Choosing the perfect pair of hiking boots isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds. There are so many different styles, materials, and brands to choose from, and sorting through all of them can be rather tedious. But regardless of which style, material, or brand you choose, one thing’s for sure: you’ll only want to buy a pair of hiking boots that fit your feet right. The hiking boots fit will significantly impact how comfortable and pain-free your feet will be during and after hiking. Choose the wrong size and you’ll be walking like a cripple a few miles into the trek. That said, here are some tips on how to fit hiking boots properly so you don’t end up wasting your money on the wrong pair.
Measuring Your Feet
Sure, you can just go ahead and go to the shoe store and spend a significant amount of time trying on several hiking boots until you find the right size for you. But you can save yourself some time (and trouble) if you already know your feet’s size before you go shopping. There are several ways to measure your feet, and the one below is a simple yet effective way of doing so.
Take note that you’ll want to measure your feet at the end of the day. This is because your feet tend to swell after walking and standing the whole day so this is when they will be at their biggest. By taking your measurements at this time of the day, you can be sure that your hiking boots will still feel comfortable after a long day of hiking.
- Wear your hiking socks or whatever pair of socks you intend to wear while hiking. This is important because your socks (especially the thicker ones) will increase the size of your foot and will have an effect on how tight or lose your hiking boots will be.
- Using a pencil and a bond paper (or any piece of paper bigger than your foot), trace both of your feet. Remember to do both since one foot is sometimes bigger than the other one. Naturally, you’ll go with the size of your bigger feet when choosing your hiking boots. Remember to step firmly on the paper and let your feet expand while tracing around it.
- Afterward, take the paper and using a ruler or a measuring tape, measure the distance between the tip of your big toe (or whichever is your longest toe) and the middle of your heel.
Knowing your feet’s size will tell you (or at least give you an idea) of the size of the hiking boots that you should look for when you visit the shoe store.
At the Shoe Store
Knowing your feet’s size will give you a starting point for what hiking boot size to look for when you visit the shoe store. Obviously, you’ll want to try on some hiking boots to see how well they fit. Along this line, you’ll want to visit the shoe store near the end of the day because as mentioned a while back your feet tend to swell at this time of the day and this will help you avoid getting hiking boots that feel tight and uncomfortable.
That said, here’s how you go about trying on those hiking boots you intend to buy.
- Go over the shelves and take a look at the different hiking boots on display and choose a hiking boot design that you like. Naturally, females should look at the women’s hiking boots Also, ask the salesperson if they have any other hiking boots in their inventory that they may have not yet put on display.
- Ask the salesperson to bring you a pair of hiking boots based on your feet’s size. If your feet’s size is in between sizes, always choose to go half a size up.
- If the hiking boots have removable insoles (some manufacturers glue the insoles to the boot to prevent them from slipping), take out the insole, put it on the floor, and stand on it. Make sure that the heel section cups your heel. Then, measure the space between your longest toe and the tip of the insole with your thumb. There should be at least a thumb’s width in between.
- Put the insoles back and wear the hiking boots. With the laces undone, put your feet behind you and tap the toe to the floor. This will make your feet move forward and leave a gap between the back of your feet or your heel and the shoes. Reach down and put your index finger in the said gap. Your index finger should fit snugly. If it doesn’t, the boot may be too small for you.
- Tie the laces up and wiggle your toes. You shouldn’t feel your toes hitting the end of the boot.
- If you have wide feet, make sure that the boot’s width is just right for you. Some boots may be the right size for you in terms of length, but they may be made too narrow and will feel tight and restrictive. If the boot is too wide, your toes will slide forward as you walk.
- Wearing the hiking boots all laced up, walk around the store to see how it feels. Walk up and down the stairs if there are any.
By the way, here’s a note about brands and manufacturers. Some manufacturers have different sizing charts, and although they may have the same size one brand might feel a bit small while the other is a bit big. In this case, you’ll want to do some research online or visit the manufacturer’s website and check their specific sizing charts.
Related Review: Hiking Boots For Wide Feet
Buying Hiking Boots Online
Buying your hiking boots online can be a bit more difficult because you won’t be able to actually try them on to determine if they fit. However, we do have some tips for you when shopping for hiking boots online.
- Always check out the manufacturer’s website for their sizing charts before deciding on size.
- If you are buying to replace your old hiking boots, go for the same brand since the sizes will be consistent.
- Reading the reviews can provide bits of information about any problems or inconsistencies with sizing.
Globo Surf Overview
Looking for the best hiking boot for you need not be difficult if you follow the steps above. And although you may be tempted to buy hiking boots based on their design or style, always keep in mind that the best and most comfortable hiking boots for you are the one the fits you right. Remember, the wrong hiking boots fit will not only be uncomfortable but will also leave your feet sore after a long day of hiking. So again, follow our tips on how to fit hiking boots properly and so you don’t end up buying hiking boots that are too small or too big for your feet.
More Backpacking/Hiking Reviews:
- Hiking Pants
- Rain Pants
- Garmin Watch
- Survival Kit
- Hiking Baby Carriers
- Long-Distance Hiking
- Desolation Wilderness Backpacking
- How To Clean Hiking Boots
- How To Choose A Sleeping Bag
- Appalachian Trail Gear List
More Boots Reviews:
- Hiking Boots – Buying Boots that Fit, The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club