worn out running shoes versus new running shoes that fit

Do Your Feet Get Smaller When You Lose Weight?

When you lose weight, your body changes in ways that I can pretty much guarantee that you’ve never even considered. Like, did you know that when you lose weight, you’re feet get smaller? Yep! They absolutely do!

Your feet themselves aren’t going to change structurally. You’re not going to get longer feet or different toes. But the fat around them will shrink, making them a bit less wide and thick. Which means that you will, 100%, need to wear smaller shoes.

At least, if you lose a considerable amount of weight. And it’s weird. As you lose, it brings up issues that affect the way you dress and groom yourself. As well as the kind of clothes that you buy. I’d bet money you aren’t used to your feet getting smaller. It’s weird!

I mean, that was one of the biggest changes as I went from 310 pounds to 155. For some reason, I didn’t expect my feet to lose weight when I dropped enough weight to make up for another whole person. I never asked myself, gee, if i lose weight will my feet get smaller? Never once crossed my mind. This revelation is especially important for runners.

Remember, Runners: Your Feet Will Lose Weight. You Will Wear a Different Running Shoe Size.

You expect shirts to get looser and baggier the smaller you get. Pants, too. After all, pant size is the go-to detail in those before/after photos from late-night infomercials. You probably even expect your double-chins to shrink and give you a more pronounced jaw and neckline. And they will.

But your feet will, too! So will your neck, arms, legs, and face. Heck, your fingers and wrists will shrink, reducing your ring, watch, and bracelet sizes.

You will notice these changes yourself, and other people will notice those changes. They’re public and prominent and easy to see. (And awesome. Don’t forget awesome.) But what really got me was that feet do lose weight. No one really tells fat people that every single inch of your body shrinks.

(I’ll pause here while you guffaw like adolescents for a few minutes.)

But seriously, the biggest change from weight loss (and one that no one told me about) was that, yes, my feet would lose weight. My shoe size would change. And it took me a bit of pain to realize how big a problem that was.

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Now, I have nice feet. For a Hobbit. They’re short, thick, hairy, and wide. After my weight loss, I went from wearing a size 12 to a size 9(ish).

Even now, 8 years later, I don’t fully know what size I wear. For years, I wore a 10 4E (that’s extra-wide) in my Asics Gel-Nimbus running shoes, but I’ve been told that’s far too big for me, too (my ankles and balls of my feet agree). In Altras and Converse, I tend to wear a 9 or 9.5. New Balance 860 is a 9 2E (just wide, not extra).

The fit changes a bit by each shoe and brand, but that just means I get to experiment with more running shoes. So that’s a plus.

Don’t Wear Shoes That Are Too Big! They Hurt! Bad!

When my feet first lost weight, most of my shoes slipped up and down more than they did before, obviously. But I kept wearing them. It was gradual, and despite getting blisters and sore feet and knees, I just kept wearing the one pair of sneakers (those beat up Skechers in the pic above), for both everyday wear and for running.

As I started really running, the blisters got worse. So did the foot and knee pain. It wasn’t the normal fat-guy pain. This was an all-new, all-different kind of pain. And when I finally did buy my first pair of real running shoes (Nimbus 13s, size 10.5, 4E width; pictured above), they were a size and a half smaller than my old Skechers. And the soles weren’t destroyed, there was cushion, and they didn’t slip around and blister my feet.

I was in heaven. Once I realized that weight loss made my feet shrink, the fix was easy. But it took me so long for the idea to even come to me. I mean, who has fat feet? Answer: me. I did. Because I went from a men’s size 12 shoe to a size 9.

So please take my advice. When you lose weight, don’t wear your old, worn out shoes. They will be far too large. That’s hard on your feet. That’s hard on your ankles and your knees. And more importantly, it’s hard on your whole body because foot health has an impact on almost every part of your body. Shoes can be expensive. And running shoes even more so, but I always say the only thing a runner really needs is a comfortable pair of running shoes.

If you’ve lost weight, make that a comfortable pair of running shoes in the right size.

Nobody told me that weight loss would make my feet shrink so dramatically. So this is me telling you that straight up your feet will get a lot smaller when you lose weight.

Prepare for it. And don’t wait to grab even a new, cheap pair of comfy kicks. We might think the most important part of re-wardrobing after weight loss is new shirts and pants, and I am as guilty as anyone of being so obsessed with the exposed and visible areas of my body. But we all tend to forget that our daily lives and overall well-being are affected by the soles of our feet a whole heck of a lot more than the size of our biceps.

As you’ve lost weight or become more fit, have you noticed any unexpected changes in your body?

B.J. Keeton

B.J. Keeton

B.J. is a geek, gamer, podcaster, and livestreamer. He has been the co-host of the Geek to Geek podcast since 2016, and he helped start the Geek to Geek Media Network. His biggest pet peeve is when someone spells Wookiee with only one E. One time, he told his friends he liked vegetables maybe more than he did Star Wars, and they made him put a dollar in the jar. That should tell you everything you need to know about him. Find him on Twitter as @professorbeej or on Discord as @professorbeej#1337.

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  1. badaza

    Wait, what?

    “Work shoes, casual shoes, and running shoes (and for each kind, you’ll need some for winter and for summer and in different colors to match various suits and outfits…that’s a ton of moola!)”

    Work and casual shoes can be had in neutral colors (black comes to mind, maybe another neutral paler color, medium brown?) and running shoes shouldn’t have to fit your outfit, they’re running shoes for God’s sake! Who cares if your running shoes fit your outfit that day?

    Work shoes: 1 pair black plus, maybe, 1 pair medium brown
    Casual shoes: 1 pair black plus maybe 1 pair medium brown
    Running shoes: 1 pair.

    Now, depending on how much you walk in each pair and how much the proper fit is important in your profession, I’d change the shoes in the following order:
    Running shoes
    1 pair work shoes
    1 pair casual shoes
    The rest.

    Oh, there’s seasons, right? Here (in Quebec), it means a pair of boots for outside and you change in your other shoes once at work. So, at least 4 pairs, max 6 pairs. I’ve worked with approximately that many pair of shoes all of my life and I’m of the gender people always expect to have dozens of shoes. Heck, I won more bras than shoes!

    • badaza

      own, not won!

    • B.J. Keeton

      Well, for me, like you said, there are black and brown dress shoes. Then, I have a pair of black dress boots that go with most outfits and that I can wear on cold/wet days. The color also escapes me at the moment, but most men who wear suits have the red-brown shoes, too.
      As far as running shoes go, you’re definitely right about color. I really do need some seasonal ones, though. My Nimbus 13s are phenomenal but in the wet, they’re useless, and the cold is pretty rough on them, too. I would adore having some winter running shoes that are more substantial.

      As for casual, a single pair of sneakers just isn’t enough if you ask me. Most guys wear cross-trainers as casual shoes, but in all honesty, that shouldn’t work. Having one pair of Converse All-stars, a wardrobe does not make. Even if you aren’t matching colors for sneakers, having a couple pairs that you don’t wear to run in is pretty noticeable. I also like to have a pair of middle-grade shoes that can dress up a pair of dark jeans enough to wear a button down with them, too. For me, that pair is the dress boots, but half-boots in black and brown really open up accessorizing options.

      All that said, though, I am the kind of guy who changed from my work sneakers into half-boots before going to grad classes just so my wife (wasn’t my wife at that point) wouldn’t see men in dirty tennis shoes.

  2. Theresa

    Hi, I am a new subscriber from Friday Fitness. I just love this post! My feet have shrunk half a size! I started laughing when I was trying on shoes a few weeks ago. I never would have thought that they would do that!! Have a great weekend!

    • B.J. Keeton

      It’s a crazy feeling, isn’t it? I could barely believe it!

  3. Toad Phillips

    Well this explains why my feet and hands are getting sore really easily. There’s no fat padding for the impact. I just noticed how scrawny my hands look and why working with tools has been killing me lately. Must be the weight I’ve lost. Hopefully “everything” didn’t lose weight.

  4. Caitlin Wickliffe

    I have nice feet for a gollum!! They have been even worse since I gained weight. So happy to find out it isn’t just me. I was wondering cause my shoe hurt me. Now I realize I just need to lose the weight.


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