What size running shoes?

Just wondering how much bigger your running shoes are compared to your normal shoes? I have small feet and wear a 2.5 (heels) or a 3 (as I can get away with flats being looser), I bought a pair of road running trainers at the start of C25K in July and was advised to get a 3.5 as feet swell when you run. They are spot on.

I would like to buy a pair of hybrids/trail shoes to see me through the winter but the equivalent shoes all seem to start at a size 4!

I know I need to go and try some on to be able to reject any really big ones, but even if I find some that seem to fit I don't think running on a treadmill for 5 mins is going to reproduce how a pair of shoes will feel in the cold and mud. I definitely can't go for kids shoes as I tried that in the past and they just don't support my dodgy knees enough as they are not really designed for slightly overweight ladies!

Looking at websites and reviews a lot of places suggest the shoes should be at least 1 size bigger anyway but do you think I am wasting my time even looking at a 4 if I normally wear a 2.5? Does anyone know a fancy way I can tie the laces to make 4's fit more snugly if I have to resort to a slightly too big pair. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


12 Replies

  • There must be kids ones! My road shoes are the same size as my normal shoes, and my trail shoes are a size up, but it's to do with variation between brands and getting the right width. I do think you need to try runners on.

  • I have tiny feet like you - we're a rare breed!!! I also have very narrow feet so in the colder weather I wear 2 pairs of socks to avoid my foot moving side to side. I'm in size 4 for both my regulars and my trail runners. My Brooks Puregrit trails are definitely snugger though and have a nice supportive band under the laces.

  • I only go up by a half size for road and trail shoes.

  • I just checked - Sportsshoes.com have the Brooks Puregrit from a size 3 so I'd imagine you'd be ok finding a size 3 in any of the Brooks trail shoes.

  • Thanks goonkeepgoing I have just had a look at them.

    It's weird though, I wear the Brooks Ravenna 6 as my road shoes and saw a pair in a different colour in the sale, I thought I might be able to get a bargain second pair but discovered they only start at a 4, even thought I already wear the other colour in a 3.5!

    It seems that buying shoes is more complicated than expected!

  • I'm normally a 4 but the guy in the shop gave me 5s to try on and they all fitted perfectly.. Much to my horror! :-)

  • Thanks everyone. I guess I will just have to go and try on a few different brands.

  • I'd be tempted to get advice at a running shop, as I did when I bought my first pair. I have tiny feet too and I had thought about kids shoes, but they advised me that that was a bad idea because kids shoes are not designed to take the weight of a woman so they won't support you properly. I hadn't thought of this!!

  • I don't know much about a bigger size than your normal size but I do know that you need space for your toes. I have some Asics and some trail NB and my NBs are larger at the front and much much more comfortable. I do wear the Asics now and again but now much prefer my larger at the toes New Balance.

  • I wear a 5 in usual shoes, and 5.5 in my trainers 😀 Have purchased in different running shops and that was I've always needed up with, good luck in your trail shoe quest!

  • I purchased a pair of new balance. I am a size 3.5 and purhased a size 4.5 and had to send them back as they were now where near big enough!

  • Sigh... Oh for small feet! I would take a 9.5 in shoes if anywhere made them but my new running shoes (Brooks adrenaline) are 11s - shock, horror! Tried the 10.5 but def too small. Obviously they are men's but brooks seem to be a fairly narrow fit so not too bad. Would love to be able to get pink girly shoes though! :-(

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