Sneaker Size Guide: Should You Size Up or Down?
Think you know your shoe size? When it comes to sneakers, you should think again. Wearing the wrong size tennis shoe can wreak havoc on your poor feet, causing blisters, ingrown toenails, and calluses in the short term and corns, bunions, and more significant deformities over time. Before you run out and get the latest New Balance shoes, stop, measure your foot, and make sure you have a proper fit before you take another step. These tips can help you decide if you should go up or down a size for comfort and support.
Stretch the Truth
You may not realize it, but your shoe size can change, even as an adult. Many women move up a shoe size after pregnancy, and weight gain for any gender can also put you in a wider sneaker. The aging process itself is another cause, as bones, ligaments, and tendons can change the internal structure of your foot. In addition, day to day changes such as water retention or swelling could affect the size and shape of your feet, so take these little changes into account when selecting a new pair of trainers.
Do not lay out any money for a new pair of Nike or Asics sneakers until you have both feet accurately measured for both length and fit. Keep in mind that most people have one foot that is larger than the other. When fitting sneakers, you should get shoes that best accommodate your larger foot to prevent discomfort when you wear them.
Test the Waters
Once you have a precise size to work with, test out a few brands and styles to see what feels good on your tootsies. Some shoes can run small or narrow, while others, such as Puma sneakers, tend to stay true to size. Even styles by the same brand can have variations in fit. Try on several pairs to narrow down what feels best on your feet. Aim for shoes that fit snugly in the heel but allow wiggle room for your toes.
Put a Sock in It
Another factor to consider is the thickness of your socks; for instance, a thick hiking sock needs more room than a thinner compression sock. Some socks even have added padding for comfort and shock or moisture absorption. Try on sneakers with the socks you plan to use to see how the combination feels.
Walk a Mile
Okay, you probably should not test out a new sneaker that distance, but you should move, walk, jog, or bounce around when trying on shoes to detect any movement or friction spots. Most people find that a sneaker is more comfortable a half or full size bigger than a casual shoe. The exception is racing or speed; if you need running shoes for short or fast paces, you may prefer a tighter fit for those quick bursts of power.
Finding a good fit for you does take some effort, but it is worth it for happy feet that can go the extra distance. Remember, the actual size does not matter; when it comes to your feet, comfort should rule supreme.