I was a little worried, because my feet tend to be weird with running shoes, and I'm never really sure what size I should wear. I have worn anything from an 8 1/2 to a 9 1/2, depending on the brand. And, I have totally flat feet. So flat I could probably get out of the Army.
I've tried almost all the major brands of running shoes: Asics, Nike, Adidas, New Balance. I've tried the "motion control" version of most major brands, because I've been told that is good for my flat feet. Why am I telling you all this? These shoes weren't motion control, and I didn't even mention to the Ryka people that I have flat feet, because, dude, I wasn't about to not get free shoes when Chateau Travolta has eaten my budget and my current running shoes are on their last legs. (pun intended)
When I first put on the shoes, my heart sank. The heels were really tight, although otherwise, they fit pretty well. If I had been in a shoe store trying them on, I would've immediately taken them off and not bought them. This is an important point.
I took them out that day. My typical running route is a little over three miles long and fairly hilly. I took the Rykas out about six times on this route over the course of a month and a half in varying conditions - everything from 95 degrees with 57 percent humidity to slightly rainy and 70 degrees. I also took them to the gym and used them during weight lifting and on the elliptical machine. I've worn them about fifteen times since I got them, alternating them a little with my old New Balance shoes, partly for scientific experiment and partly because I tend to wear whatever is closest when I'm about to leave the house.
That heel thing? That was too tight? Once I started running, I realized something - my toes could uncurl without my feet sliding forward to hit the toe-base of the shoe. Normally my feet slip around in running shoes something awful, because the arch never fits correctly due to my flat feet. The heel of these shoes was so tight that my feet didn't slide at all, not even going down a pretty steep hill at full tilt. Because my toes could uncurl, I didn't get blisters. I think this is the first pair of shoes I've had in years that didn't give me blisters. I love them!
Now, I have unique feet. This heel thing might not work out for you. But if you run with curled toes, seriously think about giving these a shot.