How to Determine Your Running Shoe Fit

running fit

The purpose of a running fit shoe is to provide you with maximum support as well as cushioning and sliding fit while you are running. Running is a great exercise that will help you lose weight, tone muscle, and increase your stamina. A running shoe should be designed with several key features in mind to provide optimum comfort and fit while maintaining good balance and stability. While running, your feet will be working hard to propel you forward, so you want to make sure that the fit of the shoe is perfect.

An Overview

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Many amateur athletes make the mistake of using tape measures and calipers to check the fit of their running shoes. While this may work in some cases, it is far from an accurate way to determine a proper running shoe fit. It will not give you an exact location of where the shoe fits, but will likely lead to more injuries in the long run. Instead of utilizing a tape measure or caliper, use a specialized running shoe profile chart. This chart will allow you to get a close running fit, while maintaining good foot and lower leg motion control.

Foot Type

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Your running shoe should have very accurate dimensions that mirror the shape of your foot as closely as possible. The profile should be constructed with a series of grooves and channels that allow for the greatest amount of movement. It should also be constructed with very smooth internal components that minimize internal chatter and conform to your natural motion. Most shoe manufacturers make their products with these exact specifications, but many retailers do not.

Shoe Tolerance

All running shoes have a certain tolerance level when it comes to the size and width of the sole. The tolerance starts at a very low number and increases as the size increases. This means that if you start out with a size that is too small, the shoe will gradually stretch out to a larger size without much discomfort. If you start out with a size that is too large, you may experience problems with over pronation and/or excessive rolling in the feet.

Clearance Fits

Running shoes should always have a wide clearance when it comes to running shoes. The clearance is simply the distance between the front of the sneaker and the back of the sneaker. When running, your feet should always be the largest weight compared to the rest of your body. A large clearance helps to avoid the large temperature variations that occur as you run. This will help you keep your running smooth and painless no matter what the outside temperature is.

Damp Fit

Some manufacturers make running shoes with less than large clearances. These fit just like standard pairs, but they are fitted with more padding. This helps to add extra support and stability when running and gives the feet a firmer fit. Damp fit running shoes have a tendency to be a bit tighter than other types of fit, especially when a person runs on pavement or dirt.

Transition Fit

A transition fit is not a fit that are very common, but it does happen sometimes. Transition fits where the outside of the shoe meets the inside part of the shoe. These are made with smaller parts of plastic to allow for air flow between the shoe and the foot and are a great way to help prevent blisters. Shoe companies may use different parts of plastics with different tolerances to create transition fits so look for parts that are similar.


A standard and a small clearance fit better when using a twenty-five millimeter fit gives a medium fit. A fit that is more than twenty-five millimeters in either direction gives a more snug fit and a very loose fit. Running with anything other than a twenty-five millimeter and a half-inch clearance allows for air pockets to open up between the shoe and the foot.

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