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Do Nikes Run Big or Small? Decoding the Perfect Fit


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Before ordering a pair of shoes, you may have wondered if Nike shoes run big or small. This is a valid question because finding the perfect size is crucial not only for comfort but also for your overall performance.

Throughout this article, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Nike’s sizing trends, I hope to help you make an informed decision before you consider buying a pair of Nikes.

nike blazers vs chucks as a lifting shoe

Key Takeaways

  • In general, Nike running shoes tend to run small. This is because their shoe last is relatively narrow, particularly in the toe box area.
  • If you have wider feet or prefer a more spacious fit, it is essential to take this aspect into consideration when choosing a Nike shoe. Some customers might find that going half a size up or even a full size up works best for them.
  • Nevertheless, there are exceptions, and some Nike models run true to size. To ensure you get the correct fit, it’s recommended that you measure your feet and refer to Nike’s official size chart.
  • Remember, the fit of Nike shoes can vary depending on the specific style of the shoe and the shape of your feet. So, it’s crucial to try on different models to find the one that suits your preferences and needs best.

Do Nikes Run Big or Small?

do nike run big or small

How Do Nike Shoes Generally Fit?

When it comes to Nike shoes, there are some general considerations to keep in mind regarding their fit. Nike running shoes typically run small.

This is partly due to the shoe last being more narrow than some competitors, particularly in the toe box area. As a result, the shape of the shoe overall is fairly narrow and tends to be ideal for runners with narrow feet.

Since many people find that Nike shoes run small, some find that buying a size bigger than their normal size fixes this. Also, those with wide feet often go for shoes 0.5-1.5 sizes bigger as a way to get past this problem.

In my experience, it’s rare to find Nike models that run big.

As you try on different Nike shoes, be aware that sizes can vary between models and updates. To ensure a proper fit, it’s always best to try on the shoes before you buy.

Consider this when trying to find the right fit for your Nike shoes:

  • Use the official Nike size chart as a reference, but remember that sizing may still vary between models.
  • Take into account the materials used in the shoes’ construction, as this can affect the overall fit.
  • Consider the type of activity you’ll be engaging in, this will affect what your ideal fit is.

How The Material Affects Your Fit

Different Nike shoe models use various materials, which will impact the fit and feel of the shoe.

When considering shoe sizing, keep in mind the materials used and how they affect the overall fit.

For instance, Flyknit material (below), will give you a snug, sock-like fit, whereas a leather material found in a pair of Air Force 1s for example will provide a more structured fit.

do nikes run big or small nike flyknit
Nike Flyknit Material

Nike also offers several cushioning technologies, such as the Air Max, React and Air Zoom, which have unique midsole designs and feel different to wear.

So be aware that the height and thickness of the cushioning can also influence the fit of the shoe.

Top Tip: Make Sure You Read Reviews

When considering buying a pair of shoes, look for reviews that focus on sizing from other customers who might have similar feet to yours.

do nikes run big or small nike reviews

Not everyone’s feet are the same, but reading reviews are just a good way to get a rough idea of what to expect.

Doing this has saved me lots of hassle in the long run when it comes to finding shoes that fit.

Measuring Your Feet for the Correct Nike Size

do nikes run big or small 3

To accurately determine your Nike size, it’s important to measure your feet first. Keep in mind that different shoe brands, such as Vans or Adidas, may have slightly different sizing, so it’s crucial to always measure your feet for each shoe brand.

To measure your feet, you’ll need a blank piece of paper, a pen, and a ruler or a measuring tape. Place the paper on a flat surface, and stand on it with your full weight, making sure your feet are flat and comfortable. Trace the outline of your feet on the paper, ensuring to keep the pen straight and vertical.

what exactly is a wide foot how to measure your feet Wide-feet

Once you’ve traced both feet, measure the length and the width using the ruler or measuring tape. To measure the length, find the longest distance from the heel to the farthest point of your toes. Make sure to measure both feet, as your feet may slightly differ in size. For width, measure the distance between the widest points of your feet, which would generally be around the ball of your foot.

After measuring your feet, compare your dimensions to the Nike size chart. This chart will give you the best indication of your shoe fit for Nike running shoes or any other Nike footwear. Take into account whether you have wide feet, as Nike offers shoes in various widths to accommodate different foot shapes.

Remember that shoe size can be affected by factors such as the type of footwear and the purpose for which it will be used. If you’re looking for a running shoe, you may need a different size compared to a casual sneaker.

So, always double-check the specific size guide for the Nike model you’re interested in purchasing.

This video can help you measure your feet

Additional tips to help with your Nike shoe sizing:

  • Look for reviews about the specific shoe model you’re considering, as other customers might share their insights about whether the shoe runs true to size, small, or large.

  • Try on the shoes in-store if possible, using various sizes or models to get the best idea of how the shoes will fit.
  • Pay attention to the width of the shoe as well, especially if you have wide feet or require extra support.
  • Remember that your feet may swell during prolonged physical activity, such as running or hiking. Ensure that your chosen shoe size accommodates this natural expansion.

Do Nikes Run Big or Small? – Conclusion

Keep in mind that the fit may vary based on the specific model and the shape of your feet. Nike shoes typically run true to size, but some customers find them to run a half size larger or smaller.

One of the factors contributing to the perception that Nike shoes run small is that their lasts are often more narrow, especially in the toe box area. This makes them suitable for individuals with narrower feet. However, if you have wider feet, consider going up one size or even 1½ sizes for a more comfortable fit.

To ensure you get the perfect size for your feet, it is advised to:

  • Measure your feet accurately
  • Refer to the Nike size chart
  • Read customer reviews and recommendations for specific models

Remember, choosing the correct size in Nike shoes will significantly contribute to your overall comfort and performance. Consequently, it’s important to take your time to determine the best fit for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Nike Air Force 1 shoes have a different fit compared to other models?

Yes, the fit of Nike Air Force 1 shoes may differ from other Nike models. I personally find them true to size but some have said they find them small.

Another thing to mention is that Air Forces also mould and stretch to your feet over time, especially if their upper is made from leather. So It’s worth bearing that in mind.

But I always say to try them on before buying to ensure you get the most comfortable fit for your feet.

How does Nike clothing sizing compare to other brands?

Nike clothing sizing tends to be relatively consistent with other major sportswear brands.

But ranges such as Nike Tech Fit can be different. (More info on Tech Fit Sizing can be found here)

It’s best to consult the size charts provided by each brand and consider measurements of your own body when determining the best fit for you.

Do Nike basketball shoes have a unique fit?

Nike basketball shoes can have a unique fit in comparison to maybe a Nike running shoe or a lifestyle shoe.

Basketball shoes are often designed for more support and may fit more snugly, especially around the ankle area.

You may also find that they have a lot more cushioning too.

Factor all of these in when you try a pair on.

What’s the difference between Nike and Adidas shoe sizes?

Nike and Adidas shoes can have slight differences in sizing. I personally find that Adidas feel a little more narrower and tight than Nikes do.

This can vary depending on the specific model. Trying on shoes from both brands is the best way to determine the right size for your feet.

Are Nike shoes typically true to size?

In general, Nike shoes tend to fit true to size. But some models may run slightly smaller, so it’s essential to verify the specific fit of the shoe you’re considering.

Trying on the shoes before purchasing or consulting online reviews can help you determine the best size for a particular model.

Should I adjust my sizing when purchasing running shoes?

When purchasing running shoes, many do recommended to go half a size up from your regular shoe size to accommodate foot swelling that can occur during running.

I have personally never done this, I do run, but I don’t regularly do long-distance running. But many I know do this themself.

Having more room of course ensures ample space for your toes to move comfortably. This applies to Nike running shoes as well, so consider trying on a variety of sizes to find your perfect fit.

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