Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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DOR Podcast #78: How Should Your Shoes Fit, plus Saucony Freedom 5 & Axon 2 Reviews

How do you assess whether a shoe fits you well? What should you look for when shopping for running shoes? What are the consequences of poor fit?

In this week's podcast, Nate, DJ, and Matt tackle these questions. They also take an in-depth look at Saucony's latest update of the Freedom 5 featuring the same PWRRUN PB midsole foam as their Endorphin line. They also review Saucony's updates to the Axon: a max-stack, rockered, budget-friendly trainer.

Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify | Anchor

Sponsor (Running Warehouse!) + GIVEAWAY
We are excited to announce that this week's episode is sponsored by our friends at Running Warehouse! We are tremendous fans of all the work they do to provide runners the best shoes available with an awesome return policy and huge selection of shoes. They currently have some terrific Spring Savings deals on your favorite brands! Head over to to learn more.

Check out some of our team's favorite picks at Running Warehouse (affiliate links):

Naked Belt - DJ's favorite way to carry all his gels and phone during the run

Ciele Hat - Nathan's favorite running hat of all time

Coffee Flavored Skratch Labs - Matt's favorite way to recovery post run and get a morning jolt

We also have a GIVEAWAY to celebrate our new sponsorship. Here's how to enter:
GIVEAWAY: $50 Running Warehouse Gift Card (US Eligible Only)

TWO ways to enter:

1. Review this podcast (Apple) and send a screen shot of your review to 
2. Subscribe to our YouTube channel (
Doctors of Running) and comment your answer to "The Subjective" (video will be posted on 3/11/22) 

*One entry per method (max of two entries per person).
Winner will be contacted on 8/13/22.


0:00 - Introduction 
4:32 - The Subjective: What's the best fitting running shoe you've ever had? 
8:32 - Saucony Freedom 5 Review 
17:46 - Saucony Freedom 5 Uses & Comparisons 
31:02 - Saucony Axon 2 Review 
48:04 - How should a running shoe fit? 
1:12:46 - Shoe recommendations for narrow & wide feet 
1:15:34 - Outro

Science Blog:
Getting the Right Fit

By Doctors of Running Editorial Team

While a great deal of attention is often paid to the sole and ride of a shoe, paying attention to how a shoe fits is incredibly important. The challenge with fit is that footwear is often designed based on a single or a small group of people. So, each person faces the task of finding the shoe that is closest to their own foot shape. This is especially challenging when each person’s foot has a unique shape, caused by unique experiences, genetics, activities, musculature and more. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of shoe types, upper technologies and companies coming each year, meaning that there are more options available. The challenge with more options is that more choices can be confusing.

Generally, there should be a half to full thumbs width between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. This is important to accommodate for slight movement in the shoe with running as well as foot swelling. For those running longer distances, you may need even more room or a more flexible upper. There are a few exceptions, as some people racing shorter distances may want a shoe to fit closer but having enough room will reduce the risk of pressure sores/blisters, damage to toenails and more. Feet do change size throughout the day both length, width and volume wise, so we suggest that you try new shoes on in the evening after a long day rather than first thing in the morning.

It is better to have a bit of room width wise for the toes. Shoes that are too narrow not only are risk factors for compression of certain structures of the foot (the smaller nerves between the foot bones in particular, which may be a risk factor for neuromas). There is also mild evidence that narrow toe boxes in particular may negatively impact foot function. Muscles and tendons work when they are in optimal positions, so compression or positions that may push people toward bunion type positions are not great for foot health. It should be noted however that optimal toe box room will depend entirely on how wide or narrow your foot is.

3. The upper should be secure but not compressive. Like the discussion regarding the toes, the nerve and vascular structures of the foot, like any body part), do better with a little bit of space. The foot should not be moving around excessively within the shoe, but it should have room to breathe. Common areas of lock down include the heel and midfoot, however this should not be so tight that it comprises any tissues mentioned above.

4. Find what works for you and not others. Each person has a unique foot with unique amounts of sensitivity, shapes, functions. Feet are highly individual and even some of the biomechanics are still disputed to this day. That means that while our reviews discuss fit, you are going to have to figure out what things work best for you. We will do our best to provide some guidance along that process.

Thanks for Listening!
Find all of our past podcasts in our archive here.

Recently at Doctors of Running
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Saucony Kinvara 13 - A fantastic new upper highlights the latest Kinvara update
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Diadora Mythos Blushield 6
- The Italian maker's stability shoe model, with a plush underfoot
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Xtep RC260


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