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April 16, 2020


We usually recommend getting a professional fitting and gait analysis from a licensed retailer to make sure you have the right fit, stability, and comfort before buying a pair of running shoes.

As solo running is suddenly the most available method of exercise, many people have good reason to buy new running shoes – without access to a professional fitting.

So how should you go about doing it yourself? Start with the basics.

1. Trace Your Feet

What you’ll need:

  • A pair of running socks
  • Enough paper to trace each foot onto (two sheets of standard 8.5” x 11” paper should do the trick)
  • Two different colour writing tools (felts, pens, pencils, crayons etc)
  • A ruler
  • A calculator
  • Before you trace your feet, go for a long walk. The human foot expands after walking, and you’ll want to get a shoe that fits your foot in its most swollen state. Taking a long prep walk before tracing your feet will help you get a more accurate measurement.

Trace one socked foot at a time while kneeling on the opposite knee. Use a towel as a knee pad for comfort. Try to keep the leg of your trace foot bent at about a 90-degree angle.

If you have access to a helper, have them trace each socked foot while you’re standing with equal pressure on both feet – shoulder length apart with your knees slightly bent.

You’ll want to do two traces of each foot, without moving your foot off the paper between traces.

The first – in one colour – angled in as tightly as possible to the contours of your foot (be advised, this trace can get ticklish). The second trace – with the other crayon colour – should aim to keep the crayon strictly perpendicular to the ground while outlining the outer edges of each foot.

Trace both feet. It’s common for them to be different sizes

2. Measure Your Footprints

Why two traces?

Since you’re unlikely to have a Brannock Device shoe-sizer handy in your home, an average of the proportions of your two traces is the most accurate way to measure your feet via the tracing method.

You’ll want to use this averaging method to measure the following:

  • Heel-To-Toe Length – distance from heel to furthest toe
  • Heel-To-Ball Length – distance from heel to ball (the widest point of the foot’s inner side)
  • Width – distance between the ball and the foot’s outer edge
  • Now that you have these, you’re ready to find the right running shoe size for you.

Hoka Elevon 2

3. Convert to Your Size

The proportions of the human foot can vary from person to person, or even from foot to foot on the same person. For example, some people have longer toes or wider feet relative to the overall size of their footprint. That’s why a proper shoe sizing will take both heel-to-toe and arch length into consideration, with extra width also necessary in some cases.

Average your heel-to-toe size and your heel-to-ball size (round up to the nearest half size) using the following chart:

HOKA Shoe Size Chart US Men's Women's

So, if the above chart indicates you’re a size 8.5 according to your standard heel-to-toe length, but a 9.5 in heel-to-ball length, your best size is really a 9, since this is the average between the two. For averages between a half-size difference, simply round up to the larger of the two numbers.

But what about width? How can you tell if you need a wide-width shoe?

The best way to tell is to divide your heel-to-toe length measurement by your foot’s width measurement. Standard shoe width sizes for both women (“B” width) and men (“D” width) are at a length-to-width ratio of about 2.65 to 1. For wide width shoes (“D” width for women’s shoes and “EE” width for men’s shoes), this ratio is closer to 2.45/1.

So, for any length-to-width ratio of less than 2.55, a wider running shoe might go a long way toward improving your comfort.

4. Check Your Gait

Next, you’ll want to see if your natural running form could benefit from stability-added shoe features.

Trained running shoe retailers will judge this based on a gait analysis, either by having you run up and down the sidewalk or on a treadmill.

If you have a friend or family member with a discerning eye for running gaits – or the ability to shoot slow-motion video – you can perform this analysis yourself.

Don’t have those things? Try the wet foot test. Or you can do it the fast way. Check your oldest pair of shoes. Where is the sole worn down the most?

If it’s along the inner edge of both feet, you may have lower arches than usual and a tendency to over-pronate and might benefit from a stability shoe.

Outer edges? You could be dealing with higher arches and supination, and you might want more cushion without added stability.

Straight down the middle? Congratulations, you can probably wear just about any running shoe that makes you feel comfortable.

When you shop HOKA shoes, check out the features guide on each product page to make sure you’re getting the right stability, cushion and size for your feet. You can also filter based on these features in browse mode.

Good luck, and happy running!

Hoka Womens Elevon


10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Trail Running Before I Started
10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Trail Running Before I Started

January 21, 2021

I started running on trails back in 2005. I was living on the eastern shore of Maryland and accidentally found myself running on a trail one day as a way to add some distance to my road run. I loved it from the first crunch of dirt and quickly found myself wanting to get as many of my running miles on the trails as possible. I liked how I’d sometimes get a glimpse of a turtle or a deer, how I saw a lot less man-made things, how the pine trees smelled, and how I didn’t have to worry about cars. I wrote this piece to help anyone who may just be getting into trail running, or who has always wanted to try it but wasn’t so sure it was for them.

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January 13, 2021

On May 4th 2019, one of HOKA's most innovative shoes was unveiled in a way that challenged limits. The Carbon X was showcased by HOKA athletes from around the world in attempt to conquer the 100K world record in Folsom, CA.
After another 18 months of development by the HOKA Design, Product and Innovation teams, the updated Carbon X 2 is here. We sat down with Senior Footwear Designer Odile Boyer to learn more about how the Carbon X 2 updated from its predecessor and how this shoe can help inspire athletes of all types to reach for their personal best.

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January 07, 2021

HOKA ultrarunner Jim Walmsley set the running world on fire with his 50-mile world record at the 2019 edition of Project Carbon X. However, he has some unfinished business, as he wasn’t able to hold that pace through 100K (roughly 62 miles). With the upcoming Project Carbon X 2 on January 23rd at 7am MST, Jim has a chance at redemption, so we sat down with him to learn about 2019’s race, how training has gone this year, and what his goals are for Project Carbon X 2, and more.

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