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When the shoe fits...


Do you remember the time when you used to run around the shoe store as a kid trying on new shoes? Nowadays and as an adult, it might just be easier to buy from your favourite brands online, as you won’t be struggling to find the ideal model but instead, you’ll be able to get the best deal from different retailers.

Today we’d like to explore how to best choose your shoe size, and what could happen if the shoe doesn’t fit.

Are your feet painful?

Sometimes, it might be difficult to realise that your shoes are slightly too small for your feet. As common sense, if you feet hurt or you feel constricted by your footwear after a day, this might mean that your shoes are too narrow or too small for you. Toenails can also be affected by bruising; you might even lose some – we don’t recommend it since it takes some considerable time to grow again. You also want to look for calluses and skin irritations.

Less frequently, small footwear can also cause peripheral neuropathy, resulting in feeling pins and needles in the feet.

What are the risks?

In general, wearing shoes that run too small can cause a number of conditions, from simple blisters to longer-term damage including:

Did you know? Adapt your shoe size!

Calling all long distance and ultra-runners! During exercise, it is very common for feet to start swelling – which is normal, don’t worry. This is due to venous insufficiency: running causes microtraumas to capillaries. This means fluids accumulate in our extremities and create swelling.

What are the solutions?

The first step is to get your feet properly measured and… take your time, especially if you run or exercise regularly. If you’re looking to buy new running shoes, several stores offer customers a gait analysis or to get their feet measured. Taking your time, asking for a professional and testing several different shoes will help you to pick out the most appropriate pair of shoes. It will also make sure you pick a pair that also caters for other conditions such as under pronation or overpronation.

If you hesitate between two sizes, one fitting tighter and the other a bit too large, it is common practice to pick the larger one on the spectrum. It will then leave more space for your feet if they tend to swell during exercise.

Eventually, choosing the right size for your shoes will ensure a good foot health, which ensures you can step or run in the right direction. Choosing the right size will also impact sustainability: returning items means the company will need to use more stock – and there is no secret that there is also a substantial environmental cost to producing a new pair.