Choosing a Running Shoe, the best running shoes, online guide, Profeet
How to choose a running shoe

We receive many requests for help choosing a running shoe from new customers, new runners and also existing customers looking for a change.

Although there is nothing better than a Profeet Running Fit, to ensure you end up in the right shoes, plus custom insoles, we appreciate that many of our existing and new customers would like some help and advice if you can’t make a visit to our Sports Lab.

We have therefore put together the following guide and some advice to help you choose a shoe. Of course, feel free to email us at if you have any additional questions and we will be glad to help.

1) A great place to start is with what you know

So, are you happy with your current shoes?

  • If yes, then it’s best not to reinvent the wheel, so we advise sticking to a newer version of the same shoe. Although shoes do change over time and a newer version might fit and function slightly differently, they are usually aimed at the same type of runner so are a good starting point.
  • If no… or you are looking to run further or only have a basic shoe that was never fitted, then continue reading and use this guide to help you find a shoe.
    (Or call 020 7736 0046 to book into the Run Lab for a custom fit and insole appointment).


2) On or off-road?

Will you be running on roads and paths, or trails and off-road?

We generally think of running shoes as ‘road running shoes‘, designed for roads, pavements and tarmac paths in parks.

If you are running off-road on gravel/dirt paths, woodland trails, tracks or country footpaths then it’s worth thinking about a ‘trail shoe‘. With grippier and thicker soles they provide a lot more traction especially in mud and wet grass, but less shock absorption on hard ground. The sole treads will also have less traction for wet and damp roads or pavement and may even be slippery.

If in doubt, then you could consider having both, depending on where you are running.


3) Wear the right socks

It is important to wear the right type of socks when trying on running shoe to make sure that they will feel the same when you are out and actually running.

A technical running sock will reduce the risk of blisters or rubbing and will help to cushion your feet and regulate temperature. We certainly do not recommend running in your old white sports socks. These are usually made from cotton and will increase the risk of rubbing, blisters and also getting cold feet in winter and hot feet in summer.


4) Choosing the right size

What shoe size are you – ideally in UK sizing?

If you have running shoes and are happy with the size, then that is a good starting point. Read our sizing guide by manufacturer below to help if you are unsure about size or are changing brands.

Most running shoe brands make their shoes using USA shoe sizing. But be careful as there is no standard shoe form (or ‘last’ as it’s known in the industry), and the same size may be different from one brand to another. When each brand converts to UK sizes, they don’t necessarily convert the same – especially for Women’s sizes.

Tip: Go by what fits your foot rather than the shoe size on the box or shoe label.

Tip: Use the rule of thumb
With your foot in the shoe and with the shoes laced up, you should be able to get a thumbs width between the front of your big toe and the front of the shoe a little less is OK more is probably too big.

Tip: Other things to consider
If you are wearing through the toe of the shoe it might mean it is too short. If you are slipping in the heel it might mean your shoes are too long, or too wide.

Sizing guide by manufacturer:
(NB: this can change from model to model and season to season).

  • Adidas – A little short and quite snug fitting so you might need a half size up.
  • Asics – fairly true to size.
  • Brooks – a little short but not enough to size up unless you are between sizes.
  • Mizuno – Can fit a little longer/more generous. But you would only need to size down if between sizes.
  • New Balance. These tend to fit a fraction short but generally stick to your size.
  • On Running – These tend to fit a fraction short but generally stick to your size.
  • Saucony – Generally true to size.


5) Choosing the right width fitting

To check if the shoes are the right width, start with your running socks on and standing in the shoes with your shoes laced.

  • If you can bunch up material over the ball and front of the foot it might be too wide, and you need a narrower model or narrower width.
  • If you wear out the outside of the shoe upper by the widest part of your foot or if you feel or look as if your foot is hanging over the side of the insole then the shoe is probably too narrow, and you need to try a wider model or go for a wider width.

There are significant differences in width from one model to another and we can always help if you are struggling.

Women with wide feet can benefit from a Men’s shoes or a D width over the narrower B width if you are struggling to find a shoe in a wider width.

Increasingly brands offer wider width fittings as follows:

  • Men’s shoes in a wide fitting are available in a 2E or 4E
  • Women’s in a wider fitting are available in D
  • If we don’t have these available then we can check if they exist in the shoe you require, and request a special order

It is also possible to go up a half size to get a bit more width, but you need to be careful that the shoe does not become too long as not only do you stand a chance of tripping, or your foot won’t sit in the right place and therefore the shoe won’t function as intended.

Arch height

It’s also important to consider instep and arch height. If you have a high instep or arch you might also need a wider and or higher volume shoe.


… or book and appointment at the Profeet Lab, Fulham

If in doubt, why not consider a trip to the Profeet Running Lab where we can accurately measure and recommend the right shoes for you – and we can also create our signature Custom Insoles (as worn by athletes and amateurs alike), for an unbeatable bespoke fit!

Most runners consider this a worthwhile investment and our Custom Insoles come with a fit guarantee, so you can get your money back if you have any issues – though we get precious few returns.😊

Call 020 7736 0046 to book your appointment




Profeet’s services are by appointment only, please call or book online in advance

Call 020 7736 0046