If you need a pair of boots for walking, hiking or hunting, it’s essential that you purchase footwear that fits correctly, as incorrectly fitting boots will cause damage and discomfort to your feet.
Here’s a guide to how you can tell if your walking boots fit correctly.
It’s easy to think that your favourite pair of walking boots are a good fit, but if you’re regularly suffering from blisters, sore or bruised toes and hot spots, then there’s a big possibility that your boots actually aren’t the correct fit.
Although they may be comfy on the whole, a good fitting pair of boots generally won’t cause foot problems such as these and will provide all offer good support and comfort for your feet.
It’s good to have a bit of space in your walking boots, so your feet aren’t cramped up and your toes won’t automatically rub, but too much space isn’t a good thing either.
A correctly fitting pair of walking or hiking boots should fit snugly at the heel. When you’re walking downhill, the toes shouldn’t push against the front of the boot.
You should be able to wear a good pair of walking socks with your boots without feeling that your boot is too tight.
Tips for Choosing Walking Boots
When you’re choosing a new pair of walking, hiking or hunting boots, it’s good to be prepared, know what you’re looking for and how you want to use them.
A specialist shoe shop that is geared up to selling outside walking gear is a good place to start, as they should be able to provide lots of help and advice on choosing correctly fitting boots.
In the first instance it’s helpful to know your shoe size; if you don’t, it’s a good idea to have your feet measured if you can.
Some shops recommend trying walking boots in a size bigger, or half size bigger, to the size you’d normally have for other shoes.
This is because it will give a bit more size to accommodate your walking socks, which will generally be thicker than normal socks.
Due to this, it’s important that you take a pair of walking socks with you when you go to try on walking boots, as this will provide the best guide to fit.
A good pair of walking socks may have extra padding on the heels and toes, will wick sweat outwards, will help keep your feet nice and dry and should help prevent any blisters from forming.
When you’re trying boots on, try and test out a couple of different types and brands, to get a good idea of what feels good and fits you.
Correctly lacing them will add to the fit and help the boots fit snugly on your feet. It will also help you feet from slipping forward, such as when walking down hills or slopes, and will reduce the friction that often leads to blisters.
When you’ve chosen your perfect boots, always give them a good test run first. Although it’s tempting to head straight out for a long walk or hike as soon as you’ve got new boots, don’t!
They do need to be broken in a bit first, so give them time and you’ll be doing your feet a massive favour.