Are Running Shoes Supposed to Be Tight

Taking that bold step to workout and meet your physical goal health might be important – but so is choosing the right footwear. Many runners today struggle with choosing the right type of footwear, especially when it comes to sizing and the perfect fit.

So, are running shoes supposed to be tight?

Well, running shoes are not supposed to be tight, but should be comfortable. Shoes that are tight are likely to lead to various foot health complications.

Are Running Shoes Supposed to Be Tight -

Reasons Why Running Shoes Should Not Be Tight

How Tight Should Running Shoes Be?

Running shoes have to provide sufficient room your feet, without being overly too loose. The footwear should also provide adequate compression for the size of your foot, especially as you move between turns, and varying terrains. You also have to consider the various other factors in buying comfortable footwear for everyday purposes.

Are running shoes supposed to be tight? -
Source: Runnerclick

You have already done a spending job of choosing the correct shoes for physical health goals. Next is to for you to ensure it provides the perfect fit.

Below are some of the key components to look for in the fit your shoe can provide:


The toe should provide sufficient room in the toe box area. Any impact from running can cause the foot to swell, or lead to common types of foot health issues such as blisters. It should provide sufficient wiggle room, which is enough for you to place your thumb.

Mid Sole

It’s the component that provides support and stability for your foot as you engage in physical activity. Ensure that this section of the foot is also snug, even if you wear the shoe without laces. However, it should not be overly tight, since the shoe should also be able to accommodate the size of your foot as it increases in size. If you want more information on choosing the right mid-soles for your shoes, take a look at this guide.


A loose fit heel can easily lead to blisters, and make life difficult for any physical health enthusiast. The heel should provide a snug fit, without being overly constricting. You can test this component by walking around in the given room. Any excessive movement or slipping issues are signs that the heel structure is not robust.

Remember to Check “All Over”

The ideal pair of running shoes be comfortable from the first moment you put them on your feet. While some shoes have a “break in” period,  ensure it fits in you in the least amount of time possible.

Furthermore, most modern running shoes feature extra-durable cushioning to make sure they can accommodate the pressure due to physical activity.

Buying the Right Fit for Running Shoes

Many people ask, should toes touch the end of running shoe? Well, toes should never touch the end of running shoe. Never purchase a shoe because it feels comfortable or looks appealing in your eyes. Choose a shoe that not only looks good but also consider the following essential factors:

Timing is Right

The best time to purchase shoes would late in the afternoon. Why? It’s because shoes tend to increase in size as you the day progresses. So, choosing a good shoe at this time can save you from unnecessary trips to the store.

Measure Your Feet

Most shoes and speciality footwear shops help customers with accessories such as Brannock Devices. These are tools one can use to measure the width and length of feet. Plus, it’s a standard protocol for most modern shoe designs.

A vital factor to consider is that the last measurement is not often an accurate result. The feet can swell or experience atrophy due to various issues.

Bannock Device for Tight Shoes -

Remember the Width vs. Volume

Most people often confuse these terms. However, many think that a poorly fitting shoe means that you have to go for a wide or large size for the ideal fit. The thing people such people should remember is that the volume plays a significant impact the fit of the shoe.

Plus, wider shoes also mean that you can access longer soles, meaning that the heel section can be overly loose for your feet.

Do Running Shoes Stretch?

Yes, running shoe stretch, but this also boils down to a few key factors, which include:

  • The size of the shoe determines the extent to which the shoe can stretch. Good shoes have flexible materials and can adjust to suit the needs of the user.
  • Your foot size is also essential. If your foot is too small for the shoe, don’t expect the footwear to stretch.
  • The material construction is also crucial in the stretch-ability of the shoe. Shoe materials with breathable uppers and materials such as nylon are perfect for stretching shoes.

What’s Shoe Lace Got to Do With It?

No pair of shoes will be ideal for your feet. So, you have to accept that choosing the perfect running shoe takes time and regular updates to your considerations. For example, if you buy an overly large shoe, laces can be crucial in improving the fit.

Plus, there are various ways techniques you can use to lace up your running shoes for the perfect fit. Even if there is no “gold standard” you can use to choose laces, you can customize the fit. The perfect-fitting running shoes should provide at least two-finger widths space to accommodate the shoelaces. Any size smaller might overly loose and is not suitable for physical activity.

If you are having trouble in choosing the right footwear for physical activity, we also have this guide on shoe brands that are good for your feet. These brands are not only popular, but the footwear they provide offer various benefits – perfect for running applications.

Symptoms of Wearing the Wrong Running Shoe

Wearing tight running shoes can bring up various other complications for your foot health. A few of these issues can include:

  • Discomfort – a tight running shoe places immense pressure on your feet, and this can make running discomfort.
  • Foot health conditions –  tight running shoes can lead to various issues, blisters, bunions, and various other issues.
  • High footwear costs – you may have to spend regularly on footwear expenses if you don’t have properly fitting shoes.
  • Reduced performance – if you notice any decreased performance in physical activity due to foot discomfort, then it’s time to get rid of your tight running shoes.
Symptoms of wearing the wrong running shoe -
Source: Runnerclick

How Much Room Should A Running Shoe Have?

The amount of running room a shoe should provide depends on various factors. When it comes to wearing running shoes, size is crucial. Purchasing shoes based on size alone wont ensure the best results. As you move, the impact can cause the foot to splay, and the toes to move slightly forward.

If your shoes are overly tight, this could lead to issues such as toe pain and blisters. Plus, shoes that are overly loose might cause the foot to slip around, which can lead to injuries on your ankles. You have to gain insight into the specific section of your shoe that has room. You also have to understand the specific area of the shoe that guarantees the ideal fit for your physical activity.

These are all recommendations from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. So, should you buy shoes a half size bigger? No, you should not buy shoes half size bigger. Instead, do some research and be prepared to test different types of footwear brands.

The guide below should make it easy for you to choose the ideal shoe for your physical activity needs:

Roomy at the Toe

During physical activity, factors such as fluid flow, extra blood and the strength of each strike can cause swelling in the foot. Ensure you get shoes that provide additional space around the to box section. This is based on information from the American Heart Association.

When standing in your shoes, ensure that you leave at least at least three inches of space between the longest toe, and shoe tip. Plus, the feet should also be able to wiggle around conveniently. Remember that the running shoes tight on top of foot will not be problem when you remember this tip.

Snug at the Heel

 A shoe that is overly tight or loose at the heel can cause serious compromises on your performance. When fitting shoes, lace them up and move around with them across the room. It would be better if you also come along with the socks and insoles you place to use with the footwear.

If you find the shoe fits well, but feels overly loose or tight, try out different lacing styles. How tight should i tie my running shoes? Well, it depends on various factors such as your foot size, preferences, and other factors. However, if the discomforting issue still persists, go for a better sized shoe.

An All Around Fit

The ideal pair of running shoes should be comfortable from the first moment you wear them. If you purchase footwear with the goal of breaking them in, consider avoiding these types. During the shopping process, choose shoes that fit, but are also not heavy or uncomfortable.

Usually, running shoes should be half a size large than the traditional shoes you have available. Above all, try wiggling your foot inside the shoe and ensure it can expand to suit your movement needs.


  • Should Running Shoes Be Tight at First?

No, running shoes should not be tight at first. When you are first trying the shoes, ensure they provide a snug fit all throughout the shoe. A good rule would be to place your thumb between the shoe and your foot to find adequate space.

  • Should Running Shoes Be a Size Bigger?

No running shoes should not be a size bigger. The reason for this is to ensure that it provides the perfect for running and moving around. Remember to just place your thumb between the shoe and your foot.

  • How Do I Know if My Running Shoes are Too Narrow?

The best way to tell if your running shoes are too narrow would be to stand on them as you wear your socks. Then, remember to determine if your shoes are comfortable when you move around or engage in intense physical activity.


If you want to stay motivated to meet your physical workout or performance goals, investing in the right gear is important. Part of getting the right gear is to determine whether running gear fits your body, especially your feet. A good running shoe will boost your performance, and also make you look good on the running trails.

Leave a Comment