Category Archives: Shoe Fit

Shoe Review – Brooks Addiction 8 vs. 9

I have blogged about Brooks Addiction 8 in previous posts and have been waiting for the 9 to debut. Fortunately, the version changes have been worth the wait.

I much prefer the Addiction 9 to the 8 because it provides better midfoot fit. It also narrower which matches most feet better.

The toexbox depth of the Addiction 9 is shallower, so it won’t feel like you’re toes are swimming, which for some runners happened with the 8.

Other than these changes, the Addiction 9 is the same stable well designed work horse that the Addiction 8 was. Keep up the good work Brooks.

Shoe Review – Mizuno Wave Renegade 4

Mizuno Wave Renegade 4 is one of my favorite shoes for a wide foot needing serious support. The generous amounts of mesh in the upper make this shoe light weight in addition to being bunion and hammertoe friendly.

The outsole retains it’s width throughout the waist area which is also great for a wide foot, especially if you pronate excessively or have a history of posterior tibial tendonitis.

Finally, Mizuno Wave Renegade 4 has a firm heel counter which reduces pronation at heel strike promoting a more forward foot alignment.

All in all, I really like this shoe. It falls in the same class as Asics Gel-Evolution 5 and Brooks Beast. Great shoes!

Climbing Shoes

OD came in today with her climbing shoes. If you’re a rock climber then you already know how painfully short and tight these shoes are. Discussing the rationale behind this or the lack of a single scientific studies supporting this will be tabled to another blog posting on another day.

For now, I am going to return to the basics and remind you that a square peg is not designed to go into a round hole, especially if you have a bunion (wide forefoot) which OD has.

She has been wearing the Mad Rock shoes on the right for the past few years. Because they are starting to wear out, she purchased a new pair of Evolv shoes shown below on the left.

As you can see from the above image, these two shoes are not designed the same. The Evolv on the left is much narrower than the Mad Rock on the right, and the widest part of the shoe (forefoot) is not adjustable because it has straps instead of laces that don’t go as far down to the toes.

If you have a wide forefoot then you want the shoe to be adjustable at the widest point. Although laces are less popular than straps, this is a must-have design for a wide foot.

If you’re comparing two laced styles, check the width by turning the shoe over and comparing the width of the forefoot between the pairs. Again, in comparing the images below, with the Evolv on the left to the Mad Rock on the right, it’s easy to see independent of the upper, that the Mad Rock has a wider forefoot sole.

Now if you look at the side profile of both shoes, the rubber on the left Evolv comes up much higher on the foot, whereas the Mad Rock’s rubber is lower to the ground. This reduces forefoot compression, another plus for a wide forefoot

Finally, if you need even more forefoot room, you can always modify the lacing on your climbing shoes. This image shows what we did with OD’s shoes. Both feet are the same width, but the Evolv shoe on the left is essentially acting like a vice grip. You will not experience a loss of gripping ability with the modified lacing on the left, but an enormous improvement in overall comfort and fit.

Shoe Review – Zoot M Ultra Temp+ 2.0

JM was trying to find better fitting racing flats (training) and was recommended Zoot Footwear by a Road Runner Sports brick and mortar store.  According to the Zoot website, their footwear is designed by and for triathletes to be easy-on, easy-drying and easy-off. As a racing flat however, I was underwhelmed.

Although lightweight and definitely breathable, this particular model’s upper seems to overpower the outsole resulting in a sloppy fit hovering over an unstable base. A semi-curved last and an extremely narrow outsole don’t help either and at least for SK who has a wide foot, this shoe would be disastrous with any mileage at all, triathlon or track run.

And to add insult to injury, the quick-pull lacing systems cinch plate came apart after just one use requiring us to tie the elastic lace in a knot to keep the shoe on.

In the end, we went with Asics Gel-Speedstar 3 which I also reviewed

Shoe Review – Asics Gel-Speedstar 3

Finding a running shoe that works as a racing flat is not easy. Finding a racing flat that fits a wide foot is nearly impossible. Fortunately, Asics Gel-Speedstar 3 qualifies.

Although it looks like it should be narrow, the mesh upper has extra depth which makes this a great match for a wide foot.

Even thought the midsole looks thick, it’s made of soft EVA which is lightweight, providing shock absorption. All this in a mere 9 ounces.

What a great shoe!

Snowboard Boots – Heel Slippage

Snowboard boots are notorious for not holding the heel down which is essential for a good fit in any shoe. What most people don’t realize is that the snowboard boot liner needs to fit snugly to secure proper fit. Unfortunately most snowboard boot liners fail in this area of design.

Typical liner fastening utilizes either the traditional lace system or faster quick pull systems. Unfortunately, these systems don’t go far enough toward the toes to secure proper fit. Without a snug fit over the top of your foot and not just the ankle, your heel will slip out affecting comfort and performance.

If you have a heel slippage problem, rather than buying a new (expensive) pair of boots, give this modification a try. Have your local shoe repair shop add additional eyelets over the foot part of the liner and lace an additional pair of laces through. This will cinch down the foot part of the liner securing your heel in the boot.

This modification also works for ski boot liners.

Shoe Review – Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10

Thank goodness, Brooks has debuted Adrenaline 10. I count  on Adrenaline to fit the most narrow foot, which is why the Adrenaline 9 was such a disappointment. Prior versions were perfect, but version 9 had changed so much from prior versions that it would no longer fit the narrow foot properly. Here’s my post about it.

Now however, I am happy to report that Adrenaline 10 rises to the level of fit for the narrow foot that all versions prior to 9 had. What a relief. This is a classic case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Brooks has been restored to their rightful first place in helping runners with narrow feet find a perfectly fitting running shoe.

As an added bonus, the overall look is much more stylish and sleek making this shoe even nicer. Thanks Brooks and thanks JY for bringing these shoes in for me to evaluate.


Shoe Review – Asics Gel Nimbus 11

Reader Ken asks “I read in one of your reviews that you don’t like the Nimbus 1o from Asics. This shoe was recommended to me as a neutral runner with high arches and problems with shin splints and IT band soreness. Can you elaborate on your problems with the Nimbus 10.

The Gel Nimbus is a very popular Asics shoe and I must admit I am much happier with Gel Nimbus 11 than I was with Gel Nimbus 10 or 9. In fact, the 11 is a great shoe for a neutral runner with high arches, shin splints and IT band soreness. As long as you don’t pronate too much you should be just fine.

Here are some of the major differences between the three versions.

  • Upper (top) -Differences between the uppers may mean the difference between crowding of the toes, puckering or perfect toe box room. As many of you know, I prefer regular lacing to asymmetrical lacing with the 11’s asymmetrical version (Asics is listening) being preferred to the 10. I am also pleased that the 11 toe box has full mesh like the 9 and not with trim over the big toe which can cause tendon or toe friction if prominent.


  • Outsole – Fortunately, the Nimbus 10 and 11 have a much improved outsole with a wider waist. The outsole is overall wider in the forefoot than it was in version 9 also providing more support. The sizing comes in a full range from Women’s narrow (2A) to Men’s extra wide (4E).


  • Midsole (medial) – This is the biggest change and most welcome improvement to the Nimbus 11 from both prior versions. Previously the Nimbus had much less EVA in the midsole directly in the center of the arch. This made the shoe flex more in the arch than it should as well as it made the shoe much less durable and more soft. Now however, the midsole is full EVA providing extra stability as well as cushioning, which I really like.
  • Trim over the big toe joint – The only downside with the 11 is trim overlying where a bunion would be. If you have a bunion then the 10 would have been a better design for you or you can try skipping the 1st set of eyelets entirely which may help.


All in all, if you have previously avoided wearing Asics Gel Nimbus – now is the time to give the 11 a try. It has a much more biomechanical design and I really like the improvements Asics has made to this light weight shoe cushioned running shoe.

Fleet Feet Sports San Francisco

It’s great when I find a store with knowledgeable staff. Fleet Feet Sports in San Francisco is just such a store.


Owners Brett Lamb and Kim Holt are passionate about running, passionate about shoes and are passionate about making sure their customers have the best fit possible. At Fleet Feet Sports in San Francisco, you’re not just a sale, you’re part of a running community they are active participants in. Their goal is to help you achieve your running or fitness goals, which shows in the care and fitting their staff bring to helping you find just the right shoe.

If you live or are planning a visit to San Francisco and need expert advice when purchasing your next pair of athletic shoes, Fleet Feet Sports San Francisco is the place to go.

Shoe Review – Asics 2140 Trail

It seems many running shoe companies do not put the same effort into trail running shoes as they do non-trail running shoes. In fact, similar to hiking boots, trail shoes are often heavy, wide and a poor anatomic match to most feet. Asics 2130 Trail shoe was in this category, however the new 2140 Trail shoe is much improved and I recommend it whole heartedly for those trail runners wanting support as well as a more form fitting design. 


 It easily accommodates an orthotic which is great. An inflexible, firm EVA midsole makes this a stable shoe as does the firm heel counter. The upper is made of lightweight mesh, which is not too deep in the toe box and the sides are nicely padded for a comfortable fit. It comes in both medium and wide widths, which accommodate  most feet unless your foot is really wide. 


Shoe Review – Saucony Grid Stabil 6 vs. Progrid Stabil CS

I recommend Saucony Grid Stabil 6 daily for narrow feet needing a lot of support. This year Grid Stabil was replaced with Progrid Stabil as Saucony’s ultimate support shoe. Unfortunately, Progrid Stabil is nothing like  Grid Stabil and if you wear this shoe, you may be headed for injury if these differences matter to your foot type. Here are the major differences.

  • As the image shows below, ProGrid Stabil is flexible whereas the Grid Stabil is not. Rigidity is important if you pronate excessively or have forefoot pain.


  • Medial Midsole – The Grid Stabil has a firm medial midsole whereas the ProGrid Stabil has a less firm (softer EVA) midsole. If you are a heavy pronator, you need a firm medial midsole.
  • Deeper Upper – The ProGrid Stabil has more more mesh, is wider and has a deeper uppr than the Grid Stabil, making the shoe much wider overall. This is not good if you have a narrow foot and will cause your forefoot to move side to side motion more, which may cause pain.


  • Flex Grooves – The Progrid Stabil has an additional flex groove which create more forefoot flexiblity. One of the reasons I like the Grid Stabil isthat it doesn’t flex in the forefoot. The same cannot be said of the Progrid Stabil. The Grid Stabil is also narrower overall than the Progrid Stabil.


In summary, the Progrid Stabil is not the same as the Grid Stabil. It’s wider, deeper and less stable. If you have a narrow foot and you need firm medial support and an inflexible forefoot, then the Brooks Addiction is a better choice than the new ProGrid Stabil. If you have a medium foot, then Saucony Guide is a much more stable shoe.

Tango, Salsa and Ballroom Shoes – Jorje Nel Dance Design

I don’t usually get a lot of Tango dancers, but today RL came in with these beautiful Jorje Nel Design Dance Shoes The style is Fernanda Ghi. She found them online and sent in a weight bearing foot tracing along with her order to ensure proper fit. I think these shoes are fabulous for the following reasons:

  • Lacing from ankle to toe allows for depth adjustment, which is especially great if you have a wide foot.


  • Mesh upper accommodates bunions and hammertoes allowing for a more variable fit.
  • Waist width is wide which will provide  more overall support of the foot while dancing.


What I don’t like, is that even though a weight bearing tracing was sent in, the overall length was easily 2 sizes too short because RL has a longer heel-to-ball measurement than heel-to-toe.  For why this is important, see my related post

If you are a tango dancer and you purchase shoes from Jorje Nel Design, you will want to know whether your heel-to ball or heel-to-toe measurement is longer and not only have them use your foot tracing but your proper length (heel to-ball or heel-to-toe, whichever is longer) measurement as well.

All in all though, if the length is correct then I am a big fan of this particular shoe.

Shoe Review – Ecco Performance Savage Lo and Mid Styles

Finding a hiking boot for a narrow foot can be a challenge. MB came in today with the Ecco Lo, which fit her  narrow foot to a T.


This is a very supportive shoe and comes in a low top version (Lo style) and a high top version (Mid style). It comes in men’s and women’s sizes and is made with Gore-Tex so is waterproof.

My only hesitation with this boot is it does not have a firm heel counter, so if you pronate excessively, this shoe may not work for you, especially if you plan on hiking over rugged terrain.

Otherwise, it’s a terrific shoe for an otherwise challenging narrow foot to fit.

Shoe Review – Saucony Progrid Guide

If you have a shallow foot then the ProGrid Guide may be the shoe for you. This is one of my favorite shoes because of it’s stability and fit, available in both medium and wide widths.

The Saucony Guide is similar to Asics 2130 but is around $10 less, which helps.


It has a removable insole which can accommodate an orthotic and has mesh in the inside and outside of the forefoot which helps if you have bunions and need a little extra room here.


It is torsionally stable (doesn’t twist) and has an inflexible forefoot sole which not only prolongs wear but also prevents excessive pronation or rearfoot collapse.


Shoe Review – Adidas adiPURE TRX FG

AR came in today with her new soccer cleats – Adidas adiPure. AR has a wide foot, so she wears men’s soccer cleats, which is a great idea for women who have trouble finding wide enough women’s cleats.

In addition to being wide, the adiPure is made with extremely soft leather which helps with fit. The shoe also has a removable sock liner which can accommodate an orthotic if you need it. Even though the width looks narrow based on the outsole, inside there is a wide insole which provides a great foundation for your foot, especially if it’s wide.

This shoe can be found on in both men’s and women’s sizes.

Shoe Review – Aquatalia Wasabi Boot & Whoopie3 Loafer

If you have a narrow foot then I don’t have to tell you how frustrating it can be trying to find a pair of boots that fit. If you’re looking for a stylish, waterproof boot, then Aquatalia’s Wasabi knee high boot is not only fashionable but narrow and shallow as well. It has a great rubberized sole to help with shock absorption and will get you through even the wettest days.

Aquatalia also makes a patent leather loafer on the same last, with the same low volume upper and narrow outsole – Whoopie3 which is shown below.

Aquatalia’s website is Check it out for new styles!

Shoe Review – Brooks Addiction 7 vs. 8

The Brooks Addiction is similar to the Beast in that it is wide, deep and very stable which is good for heavy pronators. Recently the Addiction 8 was released and it is a significantly different shoe than the Addiction 7.

Toebox Length and Depth – Substantially longer toebox in the Addiction 8 vs. the 7. This may be good or bad depending on whether your heel to ball or heel to toe measurement is longer The toebox depth in the Addiction 7 is much deeper than in the 8, or put differently, the 7 has more overall volume than the 8.

Width and Outsole Shape – The Addiction 8 is much narrower and has a much straighter last than the Addiction 7. If you have been successfully wearing the 7 you may need to go wider in the 8.

Overall, I’m pleased with the changes and much prefer version 8. It is more streamlined and proportional to the average foot than then 7. If however you have short toes, then you may want to try the Brooks Dyad, which has a shorter toebox than the newer Addiction 8.

For my review of Addiction 9 see the following post

Narrow, Shallow Clogs – Sven Clogs

Physician and reader Eva asks “I have worn Danskos for years since residency, but have never been satisfied with them. I have a very shallow foot (but regular width) and have nearly sprained my ankles multiple times from the excessively loose fit. Can you recommend any brands that make a more snug-fitting clog for shallow feet?”

As Eva points out, clogs are a great shoe choice for people who stand on their feet all day. Only problem is, most clogs are too wide or deep for many people’s feet. It doesn’t matter whether your foot is shallow or narrow or both, you still need a lower volume clog than the typical ones sold.

If this is a problem you’re having you can always try the narrow Dansko clogs, which are much more shallow than the regular ones. Another choice are Sven clogs, which beat Dansko hands down for a narrow and shallow fit. Even better, with Sven clogs, you can customize the fit and look including base, color of leather and upper.

Motion Control Shoes and Orthotics

Reader Rick asks “If I have flat feet, should I wear an orthotic, or wear a motion control running shoe? Or, can I have both or will this cause too much stability and actually make me a supinator?”

It all depends on whether or not you are having problems. If your foot is just flat, than a motion control or certainly a wider outsole shoe would be recommended for you. Motion control shoes usually have a firm heel counter (non-collapsible) a stiff footbed below the sock liner and a firm EVA midsole, which are all designed to prevent excessive pronation (foot collapse inward).

What a motion control shoe may or may not have is a stable upper, which is also necessary for proper support and pronation control. If your podiatrist determines you need an orthotic (excessive pronation), a motion control shoe can help, but you will still need the orthotic.

Don’t worry about the shoe and the orthotic causing supination (turning outward) as the combination won’t have that effect. Worst case scenario, you will have more control than you need, but this shouldn’t be a problem.

Shoe of The Month – Circa Joan & David

SF brought in this fabulous shoe today. A cross between a gladiator sandal upper and the classic T-strap, make this shoe the one to beat for keeping your foot from sliding forward.

The outside strap is also adjustable ensuring snug fit at the ankle. Although you may not be able to find this exact shoe, these features can be found on many heels, and would be worth looking for.