Do Nike Shoes Run Big Or Small? How To Find the Right Fit?

Do Nike Shoes Run Big Or Small

When you are buying new running shoes, one of the most important things to consider is whether they will run big or run small or whether the sizing will be off.

Shoe sizes vary by brand, which means that they could slip or rub when you wear them. 

One of the largest shoe brands in the world is Nike and they have a reputation for having some fantastic shoes.

However, they also have a reputation for producing tighter shoes, and Nike shoes do run small.

In this article, we are going to look at how small Nike shoes can get when compared to feet, whether Nike produces any shoes for wider feet, and whether you should buy Nikes or another brand of shoes for your particular feet.

What Do We Mean When We Say ‘Run Big Or Small’?

This might be a bit confusing for those who don’t really buy running shoes or shoes all that often, especially for those who don’t participate in intensive athletic activities.

When you buy a pair of shoes, you want to get them as true to size as possible, for example, if you are a men’s size 9 with slightly wider feet, then you want to get a men’s size 9 with slightly wider interiors to accommodate.

For day-to-day activities, having shoes that are a close approximation is fine.

If your shoes are slightly narrow or slightly wider than you need, but you only need them to go to the shop around the corner, then it is not really a concern for you.

However, when you start doing intensive activities that involve moving your legs a lot, then it becomes a really big issue.

If you begin a run and your shoes ‘run big’ – are too big or wide for your feet – then they will begin to slip, your grip will not be as good, and the shoes won’t support your foot causing health problems.

If your shoes ‘run small’ – are too small or narrow for your feet – then your feet will be put under pressure, it will be painful to run, and you risk serious health complications in your feet by narrowing them.

As such, you want your shoes to run to the right size.

Whether brands give people that is another story.

Do Nike Shoes Run Big Or Small?

Now that we have clarified that, we can get on to the bigger issue at stake here. Unfortunately, Nike runs small, and we say unfortunately because this has been an ongoing issue.

We understand that it is hard to get the right clothing and shoe sizes for everyone in our society, everyone’s body is very different, and no two people are alike, but the Nike shoe sizes are a little absurd.

These shoes are normally a full size smaller than what that person’s measurements are.

Again, we understand being totally accurate is almost impossible, but that is a full inch different for almost everyone who buys their shoes.

This isn’t to do with length, either. If you have wide feet, you are not going to find the right size with Nike.

Their shoes are often incredibly narrow, and so people with wider or even just slightly wide feet struggle to find the right kinds of shoes.

In fact, when people and companies tested the shoes, they found not a single Nike shoe ran big. They mostly ran small and occasionally ran true to size.

As such, if you want to buy a Nike shoe, then you should always buy bigger than you were expecting them to be.

Are There Any Nike Shoes That Are Designed For Wider Feet?

Unfortunately, there are no shoes that are really designed for wider feet. It is just not something Nike does.

However, there are some options that accommodate wider feet if you get a larger size, though this may cause other problems:

Air Zoom Pegasus

These shoes generally have a springy, deep sole with a smooth, lighter top.

The mesh on the upper part of the shoe is snug without being tight and will fit well to most feet.

Due to the style of the shoe, the toe box and the frame are slightly wider than what you would find normally, which is great for those with wider feet.


Once again, these are shoes with a deep, springy sole and a very smooth and light top, however, the top box is slightly wider in these than the Pegasus, which allows your toes to splay slightly if you have normal size feet and is a fairly good fit for wider feet.

The other thing about these shoes is that the style of the shoe means the end doesn’t taper, which is much better for wider feet.

Nike’s That Run True To Size

Although most Nike shoes don’t run big, there are a few that do run true to size and fit like a glove on different people’s feet.

With that in mind, we decided to list these shoes for your benefit in case you wanted to try them out:

  • Nike Blazer
  • Nike Air Max
  • Nike Jordans
  • Nike Kill Shots
  • Nike Reacts
  • Nike Presto
  • Nike Metcon
  • Nike Roshe
  • Nike Vapormax
  • Nike Golf Shoes
  • Nike Internationalist
  • Nike Dunks

Not all of these shoes are going to be good for your purpose though and you should consider that before buying. However, your best bet with these is the Nike Blazer and the Nike Jordans.

While the Blazer and Jordans tend to be long and narrow, they also have a slightly wider arch, allowing for more space for your feet. Which is perfect for those who may struggle with wider soles.

Why Do Nike Shoes Run Small?

There are some differences in the design principles of different brands, and there can be variations even within a brand.

Nike makes a slightly tighter shoe than many others. However, the length of the shoe is usually as long as other brands.

It can be good in principle: wearing shoes that fit well can prevent blisters on longer runs (the heel is not slipping, and the toes have enough room).

This consideration related to sizes was less important when we went to a sports store to buy running shoes. We were able to compare different shoes with the help of the salesperson.

Now, when we order online, the situation is different. Fortunately, the return policies allow you to quickly return shoes that don’t fit well or are otherwise uncomfortable.

Switch to Nike from Adidas

When switching from Adidas to Nike, it is better to get a half-size larger.

The Adidas shoes are designed for runners with average feet. In contrast, Nike has a narrower profile. Nikes will fit like a glove if you have narrower feet.

The Bottom Line

Nike shoes tend to run smaller than most and tend to also have a narrower toe box. This means that most people will have to buy a size up to fit into a Nike shoe.

If you have bigger feet, there are few options with Nike for you, but there are at least two shoes you can try.

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