How Should My Sneakers Fit? 3 Factors to Consider When Buying New Kicks


Just because you can fit your foot into a sneaker or shoe doesn’t mean it fits. A good fitting shoe should ‘pop’ onto your foot and ideally, you shouldn’t even feel it on your foot. (Shameless plug for some of our best-fitting sneakers like The Henry, The Gail and The Frank). 

As fit experts, a lot of people ask us how they can tell if their kicks fit properly. To help, we’ve pulled together the following pointers that should help you determine if your sneakers actually fit.



The three major factors to consider when checking if your kicks fit: length, width and volume.


First up to a proper sneaker fit is length. There should be half to a full thumbnail width between the end of the shoe and your longest toe. Make sure to check this while you're standing and completely weight-bearing with your foot all the way back in the shoe to get the most accurate measurement. Most people check the length of their shoes when they're sitting, or they stick their foot out in front of them and have someone else check the length. In both cases, they're not putting their full weight on their foot, so their foot is not fully splayed to its fullest shape. 

The reason you want half to a full thumbnail width of extra space between the end of your longest toe and your shoe is that throughout the course of your day, your feet will swell. That extra space allows room to account for that swelling, and this is especially true if you are exercising.

There are a few telltale signs that your feet need extra room if you notice:

  • Black toenails from your foot jamming into the end of the shoe
  • Blisters 
  • Hammertoes
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Corns    

      👍   Shown: Full thumbnail width between the end of the shoe and longest toe 


       👎   Shown: Not enough space between the end of the shoe and longest toe 


       2. WIDTH

      Next in a proper sneaker fit is the width. Your foot should completely fit over the midsole of the shoe with the upper wrapped snugly around your foot. If your foot pours over the midsole, like a muffin top,  that means the shoe is too narrow and you likely need a larger size.

      Shown: Muffin top effect  👎 


      Shoes that are too narrow can lead to:

      • Blisters 
      • Bunions 
      • Neuromas (like a pinched nerve)
      • Hammertoes
      • Ingrown toenails 
      • Corns

        Alternatively, if there is excessive space between the sides of your foot and the upper of the shoe, that means the shoe is too wide. This can lead to blisters and a lack of stability in the shoe.

        3. VOLUME (I.E. HEIGHT)

        Finally, volume is a factor in making sure your kicks fit. If you are wearing a traditional, non-slip-on type of shoe, you should be able to easily and comfortably put your foot in the shoe without it pressing tightly against the top of your foot. 

        If a shoe doesn’t have enough volume, the laces can cause pressure against the top of the foot. This can lead to discomfort and numbness in the foot. 

        If a shoe has too much volume, your foot may not fit securely in the shoe. This can lead to heel blisters from your foot rubbing against the back of the shoe. 

        Many volume-related issues can be treated by alternative lacing styles.




        3 out of 5 people are wearing the wrong size sneaker. Crazy right? So we set out to make the world’s best-fitting sneaker because when your kicks fit, you’re fit to work hard, fit to work out, and fit to be you - an everyday fighter.

        All of our sneaker designs are optimized for fit. Our proprietary last shape is engineered with over 52 points of measurement to promote a slipper like fit, balance, comfort and support. The minimal upper pattern creates a 3-dimensional form that perfectly takes the shape of the last that we worked so hard to perfect. To learn more about why fit is so important, check out our video on "Why Fit Matters.

        Ready to find the perfect fitting kicks? Our newly-launched York Fit Finder is a 3D measurement tool designed for you to virtually find your perfect footwear size from the comfort of your home. A first of its kind, this brand new technology means you get sneakers guaranteed to fit.

        Find your fit with the York Fit Finder.


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