Here’s the Right Way to Measure New Sneakers, According to a Podiatrist

woman lacing up running shoes

Whether you're a seasoned runner or a newbie looking to channel your inner marathoner (or, more accurately, 5k-er), you're in the market for new sneakers.

If you were buying everyday sneaks, you could probably just go to Nordstrom or Amazon and have them shipped straight to your door. Ordering running shoes, however, takes a little more work. As in, it pays to go the extra mile (sorry) and actually measure your feet to ensure you're getting the best fit. To learn the right way to measure for sneakers, we checked in with Dr. Casey Ann Pidich, an NYC-based podiatrist.

The key, she told us, is to measure from your longest toe—which might not necessarily be the one you think. “Look down at your bare feet,” she said. “Most people think their big toe is their longest toe, but it might actually be the second toe that’s your longest.”

Next, “Measure the sneaker size from the longest toe—your first or second toe. You should have a bit of wiggle room from your longest toe—and actually all your toes—when fitting a sneaker.” Translation: Now isn't the time for vanity sizing.

If you don't trust yourself to get it right (hey, we've all got strengths and weaknesses), it might be worth it to find a running store and having someone else do the work for you. Yes, it's an extra step, but consider the alternative: Wearing the wrong running shoes could lead to totally preventable injuries like bruised toes and toenails, blisters or plantar fasciitis.

Take it from us: Going the lazy route is all fun and games until your toenail falls off.

4 Things a Podiatrist Wants You to Stop Doing When You Run

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
read full bio