By the time you are 30 years old, you would think you would know your shoe size. Turns out, I’ve been running in the wrong size shoes for more than 3 years.
Last week, a representative from New Balance visited the Liberty Village Running Room to offer runners in my 10K Training Clinic the opportunity to go for a run in a new pair of shoes. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. My shoes have hundreds of kilometres on them. I trained for and ran a marathon in them so they are just about dead. I’m the market for a new pair so this was the perfect opportunity.
The representative asked me my shoe size. I told her 6.5. She instead gave me a 7. I tried them on and she checked where my toe was in the shoe and decided that I actually needed a 7.5! I was shocked. I’ve been running in a size 6.5 for years. I own 7 pairs of running shoes and they are ALL a size 6.5.
I was doubtful, but I headed out for our run in the new shoes. It felt great. And my toes felt like they had room to move around and actually grip the pavement. No wonder my feet are perpetually sore. I’ve been running in shoes that are too small for years! My feet are constantly covered in callouses or blisters and I fall victim to black toenails pretty regularly. Fortunately (or unfortunately?) I have a really high pain tolerance in my feet, so these things rarely bother me. Well, except during sandal season. I am slowly going broke from regular pedicures to compensate for my ugly feet.
But now, I may have found the solution! The representative from New Balance suggested that many of these problems could be solved simply by upping my shoe size!
In fact, many websites I later consulted agree you should leave some wiggle room in your running shoes. Feet swell when you run so you should make sure that you have a thumb’s width off space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. In fact, some experts say you should be able to “play piano” with your toes, meaning you should have enough room to move your toes around top and bottom, left and right. The general rule of thumb is that your running shoe should be about a half to a full size larger than your regular shoe size. I love that I am only learning this now. I cannot believe I ran a whole marathon in a shoe a full size two small! Better late than never I suppose!
I love shoe trial promotions. They are a great way to really test-drive a new shoe. And frankly, I’m sold. Before this 10K clinic ends, I will likely buy at least one new pair of running shoes and it may very well be the New Balance 1400.