How Running Shoes Should Fit

There are several factors that you should consider when choosing a new pair of running shoes. One of these is how the shoes should fit. It’s important to choose a pair of shoes that feel comfortable and provide support for your entire foot. Other important factors to consider are the amount of cushioning in the midsole, heel, and sockliner.

Proper fit of running shoes

Fit is an important factor when it comes to choosing running shoes. A properly fitted pair will reduce the risk of injuries and blisters. Additionally, a proper fit can prevent black toenails, which can be very painful. To ensure proper fit, test the shoes on your feet by standing up and tapping the heel on the floor.

A proper fit means that the shoe is as close to your foot’s natural length as possible. You also need to give the shoe room to move and absorb impact. Shoes that do not have enough room may cause injury or stress fractures. A good rule of thumb is to buy shoes that are 0.5 to 0.65 inches longer than your feet. Err on the side of 0.65 inches of extra space, but be sure to test them first to make sure they fit properly.

Heel cushioning

When shopping for a new pair of running shoes, you need to understand how the cushioning system works. There are many different types of cushioning, and each one has different effects on your foot. Some of the most common types of cushioning are gel and encapsulated air. Other kinds are made with polyurethane or closed cell foam.

One type of cushioning works to give you more comfort while running. This is known as a “soft” cushioning system, and it lets your foot sink into the shoe. It has less cushioning, but it is softer than a firm shoe, which compresses more at the forefoot. A soft running shoe will often give you an “ahhh” moment when you first put it on, since it’s more comfortable.

Midsole cushioning

There are several factors that may affect midsole cushioning in running shoes. Rearfoot strikers, for example, may feel less cushioning in the heel than frontfoot strikers. Using a durometer, clinicians can determine the amount of hardness in the midsole region. The hardness of the midsole material changes over time as a person runs more miles.

The amount of foam used in a midsole can affect how a shoe rides. The thickness and firmness of the foam used in a shoe determines how it absorbs impact from the ground. Generally, soft and medium midsole materials are used in running shoes to absorb shock during strides. Softer midsole materials are more comfortable for many runners, while firmer shoes may be uncomfortable for some.

Sockliner cushioning

Sockliner cushioning is an important part of running shoes. It provides comfort and support on the foot during the stride and reduces stress on the weaker parts of the foot. The sockliner is a removable foam pad that sits inside the shoe and cushions the bottom of the foot. It also works with the shape of the shoe to provide arch support, which is necessary for initial step-in comfort.

Over-the-counter sockliners are available in different materials and designs. One type is made of foam compounds, while another is made of gel. Another type is made of plastic or carbon fiber.


When choosing running shoes, it is important to consider the weight of the shoe. The weight of a running shoe affects how much energy it takes to run. Adding a single hundred grams of extra weight to a shoe can slow a runner’s speed by as much as one percent. This is because the additional weight forces the lower body muscles to work harder, reducing the running economy. Running economy is an important aspect of running performance because it determines how much energy is expended in sub-maximal running.

Researchers found that the weight of a running shoe significantly affects the biomechanical properties of jumping movement. The greater the weight of a shoe, the greater the side-to-side asymmetry at initial contact with the ground. A heavier shoe also decreased the effectiveness of training.

Upper comfort

Properly fitting running shoes should have space for your toes and support your foot, without restricting them. An orthopedic surgeon at Mercy Medical Center recommends measuring the length and width of your shoes while wearing socks to determine the correct size. In general, you should have 1/2 to 1 inch of room between the tip of your longest toe and the front end of the shoe. The width should also allow you to pinch the upper material at the top and sides.

Running shoes fit best when the upper is smooth and shaped like your foot. This will prevent chafing and allow the shoe to stay securely on your foot. Many shoes will also have a saddle near the instep, which works with the laces to keep your foot in place. Many shoes feature different lacing systems, eyelets, and overlays to accommodate different foot shapes.