Boots – Get the Right Fit
We understand just how important it is to get the right size of walking boot. This can be difficult particularly when ordering on the internet, so here’s some general advice and a few tips to help:
Choose the Right Size.
It’s important to make an adjustment to your normal shoe size to allow for foot expansion and thicker walking socks. We’d advise choosing a size half to one size larger than your normal shoe size (approx. 5-10mm). This should ensure that you have sufficient room in front of your toes so you don’t stub them on the end of the boots when coming downhill.
Remember that your feet can change shape and size over the years and if you’re buying a like for like replacement of your old boots you may well need to go up to the next size this time.
Try on Indoors (on carpet).
It’s a good idea to try your new boots on when your feet are warm and swollen, towards the end of the day or when you’ve been out for a walk. Use your walking socks of choice to get the best fit.
- Initially remove the inner footbeds and place them on a flat surface. Now stand on both foot beds with your heels sitting back in the cup-shaped part of the foot bed. Ideally you should have a 10mm-15mm gap at the toe end of the foot bed with your feet in this position. Focus on your larger foot, if you have one, and make sure you have a minimum of 10mm in front of your longest toe on this foot. You may need to add a liner sock on your smaller foot if the difference in size is significant to stop any excess movement of that foot.
- Place the footbeds back into the boots and lace up fully. You should be able to wiggle your toes without them feeling tight or restricted and there shouldn’t be too much movement at the back of the heel. A little movement is to be expected while the boot starts to soften and ‘break in’ as initially the boot doesn’t want to flex and therefore creates more leverage at the back of the heel.
- If you are new to walking and don’t like the initial feeling of support around your ankle you can fasten the laces one hook down from the top one. This allows more freedom of ankle movement while the boot cuff softens and the boot ‘breaks in’. This is also fine when out walking on easy, flatter terrain but when you’re walking up and down hills or it is rocky then you’ll need the full support by fastening all the way to the top.
- With your new boots laced up correctly try them around the house; walk up and down stairs to get an idea of how they’ll feel on the hill. Stop and re-fasten your boots to get a comfortable fit and perhaps change your sock combination if you have differing foot sizes. You can adjust the tension of the laces from the lower or upper part of the boot as most boots have a locking tab part way up to vary the tension, if you have slimmer or thicker ankles for example. If your boots are a slightly generous fit you can always add a liner sock or perhaps a thicker foot bed or volume reducer. If however they are too small there’s not a lot you can do to correct the situation.
- If you’ve followed this advice the chances are you’ve got a good fit, but for the first few walks just keep it under 5 miles while you get used to your boots and they ‘break in’. Take some trainers with you and some liner socks in case you feel a blister starting: prevention being better than cure!
The advice given is general advice to help you get the best fit. We want you to enjoy your walking and your new boots. Please bear in mind however, that everyone’s feet are different, so the final decision on fit and suitability is yours.
Look After Your Boots
Last, but not least, look after your boots with regular treatment. You’ve invested in quality boots that will serve you better and last longer if you give them a little TLC. Check out our cleaning and proofing products here.