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Holabird Sports

Running Tech Center

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of day to try on shoes?

People's feet swell from morning until the afternoon. If you try your shoe on in the afternoon, your foot will have reached maximum size. This ensures that you will achieve a proper fit.

Do I really need to try the shoes on both feet?

Yes. In general, people's right and left feet are different. This includes size and shape. It is not uncommon for one foot to be even half a size larger than the other. If one foot is larger than the other, fit the larger foot.

Is it alright to try my running shoes on with dress socks?

Wearing dress socks or no socks when trying on shoes is not the way to go. To achieve proper fit, try the shoes on with the same socks you would use when running. Dress socks are too thin and don't give you a good idea of the shoe's fit.

Isn't a size eight in one shoe a size eight in any shoe?

This is not necessarily true. Cuts can vary from brand to brand, but also from shoe to shoe within a brand. It is always best to try shoes on before you run in them.

How much space should I have in my shoe?

You should have the width of your thumb between the end of your toe and the end of the shoe. Getting shoes too small can cause black toenails. Getting shoes too large can cause blisters.

Should I take my old running shoes to the store with me?

Taking a look at the wear pattern on the outsole of your shoe can tell an experienced salesperson a lot about what kind of shoe you may need.

If I have an orthotic, do I need to try my shoe with the orthotic in it?

Yes, definitely. Whether you go to the store, or are trying on shoes at home for the first time, try them with your orthotic. Custom orthotics or any kind of insert can completely change the fit and the feel of the shoe.

Do I need a custom orthotic, or is an over the counter orthotic good enough?

You need to consult with your podiatrist. The over the counter orthotics are good enough to offer some help for many people. However, only your podiatrist can tell you for sure whether you need a custom orthotic.

Should I be getting a neutral, support or motion control shoe?

That depends on your foot structure. See our section on foot types here.

What is the difference between neutral, support and motion control?

The difference is in the amount of support each offers for your arch. Neutral shoes offer the least support and motion control offers the most. For more information about shoe types see our section on shoes here.

How long should my running shoes last?

Typically your running shoes should last somewhere between 300 and 500 miles. The amount of wear you put on your shoes will vary from person to person, depending on weight and running style. If the shoe no longer feels "right" and it feels like there is no cushioning left, then it's probably time to get new shoes.

My running shoes don't have holes. Do they really need to be replaced?

The cushioning midsole of a running shoe will wear out long before the outsole does. If you have run between 300 and 500 miles in your shoe it may be time to replace. Also, you can look for creases in the midsole and go by feel. Don't delay too long; wearing a running shoe too long can actually create unnatural supination in your foot.

Is there any merit to rotating my running shoes?

Absolutely, especially if you run everyday. It takes about 24 hours for the cushioning in a shoe to rebound. Two pairs of the same shoes are great. Two slightly different pairs are probably even better. Getting two slightly different pairs can help you avoid overuse injuries.

I think I have plantar fasciitis. What should I do?

Plantar fasciitis is a medical condition and you should consult a podiatrist. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a lack of support in your running shoes, so trying a more supportive pair may help.

Can I wear a trail running shoe for road running and vice versa?

You can do either really. Be aware that a trail running shoe generally has a more aggressive outsole and generally has a harder midsole to protect from rocks. Many trail running shoes are water resistant or water proof to protect from puddles and mud. If the shoe is water proof, don’t expect much breathability. Road running shoes are alright for trail running, but the tread isn't designed for as much traction. Also road running shoes don't have a harder midsole that acts as a rock shield.

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