Toe Box Size
This shouldn’t come as much as a shock, but you’ll want to make sure the toe box is, you know, actually wide. When you stick your foot into the shoe, you should be able to lay your toes comfortably flat without them crossing over each other. This may require a little trial and error, but you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly after you try a pair on if they have a wide toe box or not.
Dr. Michael Fishkin, also from Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, weighs in on how to determine if a shoe has a wide toe box:
“For extra space in the toe box, you do not want it to be too sloppy on the foot, but the foot should be cradled by the base of the footwear,” Fishkin says. “There should be 1/2 to 1 full thumb nail of toe space from the longest toe, to the end of the shoe. A wide toe box will have a rounder forefoot feature to accommodate the foot, while a wide width running shoe may still have the tapered toe box look.”
Toe box size aside, you’ll want to make sure the sole of the shoe fits the type of terrain you intend to run on. If you prefer to run on trails or rocky paths, ensure the shoe you choose has a durable, grooved sole that won’t wear out immediately. For those who like to run on treadmills, you can be a little more flexible with the durability of the outsole, because a treadmill deck is typically more forgiving than a sidewalk, road, or trail.
Read more: Best Treadmill Running Shoes