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Shoe sizing - how big is too big?
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Curt Peterson
(curtpeterson) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Shoe sizing - how big is too big? on 04/23/2013 21:34:40 MDT Print View

As luck would have it, I'm about a 13.5 shoe. As fellow bigfeet will know, that size doesn't exist. After 12 or so, it's just whole sizes. Because of this, I typically just try on a bunch of shoes and go with a 13 that seems a little long or a 14 that runs a tad small. I had good luck with New Balance until the last couple years when some of the lasts seemed to get tweaked a little. I still use them as my primary shoe, but every time I buy I feel like I start the whole fitting process over. Which brings me to my current situation ...

I got some of the 889s (coincidentally the review by Roger showed up here the next day - confirmed my eagerness to try these out!) and they are just perfectly sized to make me crazy. I ordered 14 wides and they're a tad long. I haven't tried 13s, but I'm guessing they would be fine in the house and I'd wish for more room any time I'm going down hill or putting in long days. Maybe just not THAT much more room.

I know lots of folks here "size up" in their trail shoes - but how much? How much air space between the toes and the front of the weighted shoe? Is there a concern with going to long as far as where the shoe flexes? Any foot issues this can create? I'd normally just take them out on the trail and see what happens, but I can't return these if they've been out on the NW sloppy trails.

How much room is too much (length specifically - the width is fantastic)? How big is too big?

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Shoe sizing - how big is too big? on 04/23/2013 21:45:57 MDT Print View

How much air space between the toes and the front of the weighted shoe?
A thumb's width (flat) seems a decent starting point. About the same as a finger side ons worth of space at the heel.

Shawn Peyton
(alifeoutdoors) - F - MLife

Locale: Iron River, WI
re:Shoe sizing - how big is too big? on 04/23/2013 21:47:18 MDT Print View

Man you don't know how relieved I am to see this post. Unfortunately I can help you at all but I'm in the exact same boat, searching for that elusive 13 1/2. I thought maybe I was nuts. I'm eager to see if anyone has an answer other than custom made. I love my Keen's but I'm definitely squished on the 13 while the 14 is way to long. I feel your pain.

Nelson Sherry

Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Re: Shoe sizing - how big is too big? on 04/23/2013 21:51:53 MDT Print View

I would argue that the right width and the right arch placement are more important than length. People get all worked up about length when even an inch to long isn't bad if the arch fits your foot and the creasing of the toe doesn't hit your foot or toes in a way that causes a problem. You can take up volume with insoles, but you can't add length.

So, for what it's worth, my suggestion is always err on the long side. People with "wide" feet often really just have short toes, so a shoe with extra space in the toe fits their arch much better and is a healthier fit. If there is too much volume, add an odor eater insole or the like to take up volume.

P.S. I'm a narrow 14.5 right now (long toes) and most companies quite making shoes bigger than 14. Jerks! ;)

Edited by nsherry61 on 04/23/2013 21:54:23 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
For the old farts on 04/23/2013 22:33:26 MDT Print View

I just learned this the hard way this year. I've been an 11.5 narrow my whole adult life and now I'm a 12. Snug shoes really jack my feet up so I'd go longer.

Richard Mock
(moxtr) - M

Locale: The piney woods
Shoe sizing on 04/24/2013 00:20:32 MDT Print View

I am 13&1/2 as well. I always go for 14 if available. I remember reading that when you kick your toes as far forward in your shoes as you can you should be able to fit 2 fingers behind your heel. It seems to work for me.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Shoe sizing - how big is too big? on 04/24/2013 00:40:29 MDT Print View

> You can take up volume with insoles, but you can't add length.

How very very true.


Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
About a full size on 04/24/2013 10:09:58 MDT Print View

I size my running and hiking shoes about a full size larger than my dress shoes. That seems about right to me. If I was between sizes I would probably err on the large size.

Curt Peterson
(curtpeterson) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Shoe sizing - how big is too big? on 04/27/2013 07:27:10 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the advice. I got them out on the trail yesterday. They're big, but I think they'll work. I didn't have them laced down super tight and I didn't have my Superfeet in them. They were a little sloppy on anything with a lot of incline. They felt great on the flats, though. I really like the sole. If NB could put that same Vibram base on a shoe with more mesh that breathed really well it would be an almost ideal trail shoe.

As long as they don't stretch a lot I think they'll work out. Thanks again!

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Shoe sizing - how big is too big?" on 04/28/2013 14:36:42 MDT Print View

I size up one full size in length. Provided the heel fits me right, I don't slide around in the shoe, and it keeps my toes from being jammed in the front of the shoe no matter how my feet swell and leaves room for thick socks if the temps are low.