Ever been told to buy your shoes too big on purpose?

still “feet” month… we are about half way!

I was never told  that I should buy my shoes too big…  running shoes in this case.  I don’t know how many pairs of shoes I have went through that are just the right size, or so I thought. I was always a participant and competitor in track and volleyball since middle school and always bought the size that fit.  It seemed that I needed to buy the smallest size that was not too small – does that make any sense at all?  “Make sure your toes are not hammered at the end of the shoe, you want it to just barely touch… or not touch, but you don’t want too much extra room” or “wiggle your toe… is it too small?”  Well, my point is that I never knew that they were too small, every time. 

Anyways, I bought some running shoes in August and I knew enough at that time to buy them a “little too big”… whatever size you buy in “other everyday shoes” you should add at least one size to it for running shoes.  This makes sense once I heard that, but it is still a little daunting to buy a bigger shoe because my shoes are already kind of big… Greg had told me this knowing I was going to try to pick out a pair of running shoes for him and I at the same time. So, when I got to the store which is a really good store with very knowledgeable employees (here is my type-out to FootZone in Bend, OR) and not to mention many great shoes.  They also suggested that I get them “too big”.  I tried on one size up from my normal size… “one size too big” (from what I normally wear) and the kind employee felt around my toes and had me walk about and said they would recommend I got another size up… oh my goodness…  So what I ended up with buying was a size 11 which was somewhat embarrassing because I felt like I had monster feet! What is crazy though, after I have been wearing those combined with flip-flops or my 5-finger shoes I feel like so many of the shoes that I have now are actually TOO SMALL and I cannot stand them… so I have a pile of shoes in the house as my get rid of pile… but at one time I thought they fit just right.  I just think it is crazy, but you may not care one bit and that is fine with me! 🙂 

So, what is the reason for needing to buy your exercise shoes too big? I mean it does seem crazy at the first, but if your shoes are too small or “just right”  for starting out – when you are running, your feet are actually cramped in the shoes because your feet will swell a little bit with running and your toes will not have enough room to move like they need to.  Every time you step, your foot expands (needs more width) and needs room to do so and a shoe that is too tight will not allow for the normal expansion (and swelling) etc. and will force your feet into a certain position the whole time and can cause injury to knees, hips etc.  Many times injuries are caused from improper fitting footwear rather than other common thought-to be causes.  A shoe that allows for room and normal expansion is much better.  This topic actually gets quite huge, but I wanted my focus to only be the “sizing” rather than the type of shoe or the brand… I am no expert but just wanted to share my experience with shoe sizing.  Once I bought a size bigger, my feet felt much better during and after when I was wearing shoes that were not so tight.

I thought about putting up some pictures of feet that have been crammed into shoes but I will try and find some for another post… hard to find examples of what I want.  There are some pictures that are really bad, but I am not trying to completely gross you out! 🙂  There are many feet that would be good examples… one way you can tell is by looking at toes – if they have been in too small of shoes, they will be formed to fit eachother really well, almost like a puzzle… they have developed really snug to eachother. 

All for now,


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