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A Runner’s Toe Torture

By Sara Drury

Do YOU wear the proper sized “running shoe?”

As some of you may know, many athletes in certain sports like football, rock-climbing, or ballet wear their shoes smaller than the normal fit; even many women may feel more comfortable wearing a tighter shoe due to the snug fit of their heels or everyday ballet flats. I, for one, grew up playing competitive soccer, a sport that involves one’s feet pretty much throughout the entire game. I am the first one to admit that I bought my soccer cleats small, sometimes too small, because I liked the compact fit. So, what must my “small-shoe” comrades and I do when the running specialty store pulls out the trusty Brannock Device to measure our feet and then tells us that our size for running shoes is a half-size, a full-size, sometimes a whole size-and-a-half LARGER than what was measured?

Well, my size 10 foot, used to a regular size 9 shoe, just got uncomfortable.

Did you know that one’s shoe size alone might cause black or lost toenails? What about that yummy callus that has formed on your big toe… or anywhere else for that matter; where did that come from? Aside from the consequences previously listed, other possible foot developments due to a small shoe size include: bunions, corns, numb toes or feet, blisters, and the infamous hammertoe! And on top of all those foot injuries, your body may start over compensating for its aching feet, putting other muscles, joints, tendons, etc.all at risk for injury.

Wearing the proper footwear in a proper size is a common remedy and prevention source to these running inhibitors. Now, has my personal mindset changed as an associate at Salt Lake Running Company? Yes, I recommend the “running shoe” size that would prevent future injury. Do I personally live by that recommendation? Unfortunately, I do not; but I have progressed from wearing an 8.5 to a 9.5 throughout the course of my employment (not quite up to par, but I like to think of it as an improvement).

Although I am very knowledgeable about the results of wearing the wrong size shoe for my foot, I like a tighter fit; and as you can see by my picture below, I have suffered the consequences. So, the moral of my message to you is this: heed the advice of the running specialist; however, we don’t intend for you to “go big or go home.” If you don’t mind having feet like mine, and let me just say it takes a lot of work to get my toes lookin’ as good as they do , then go with the shoe size that your heart desires; I mean, it won’t hurt you in the “long run”… or will it?

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