Choosing your walking boots
How to examine if a boots fit:
The following basic checkpoints can be used to ensure a proper fit. Before starting always consider the type of sock you will be wearing during use as this can alter fit and overall comfort. Once you have the shoes on both feet and stand up, check the following:
- The first area to inspect is the overall shoe length. The recommended toe room allows about a half inch (1 cm) of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe (about a thumbnail). Toes should never touch the end of the boot.
- Pinching a little area of the upper material checks the tightness of the boot in the ball of the foot and instep area. In most styles the upper should not be skin tight.
- The heels in most walking boots are designed to fit snugly and this should not be confused with a tight fit. During normal wear it is normal for boots to have ample room for your toes to wiggle. There should, however, be no slipping while walking.
- Finally walk on a hard floor or firm surface. This will allow you to experience the fit and comfort features in our shoes. You should be able to walk smoothly and effortlessly without feeling unsteady or unbalanced.
If the shoes do not fit, the first consideration is whether or not the length is correct. After checking this, keep these guidelines in mind:
- If the heel slips whilst your laces are properly tied, add a second (generic) inlay sole under the inlay sole already in the shoe. This will raise the foot into the instep where the shoe is designed to fit.
- Another option is to increase the volume inside the shoe by using a thinner insole. Replacing a 5 mm. insole with a 3 mm insole will increase the volume in the shoe by about half a shoe size.
- The ball of the foot should fit into the widest part of the shoe. If the shoe doesn't fit or break properly, you may need to go with a longer or shorter size.
- If the shoe is excessively tight in the frontal area, try going up a size. A larger shoe will provide added toe room yet may still fit snugly in the heel area avoiding slippage.
- Make sure you are lacing your shoes according to your foot type. Many shoes come "bar-laced" indicated by the horizontal lacing style. This may not be ideal for a wider foot so try re-lacing the shoe with the standard crossing manner. Alternatively completely remove the laces when fitting a new shoe and lace the shoe whilst on your foot.
Once you have bought your new boots:
Wear them indoors for a few days to ensure that you are pleased with the fit
When breaking in new boots be sure to wear the socks that you will be using with the boot.
Allow adequate time to break in your new footwear and remember heavier boots may require more time to break in. Start out with short walks working your way up to longer hikes.
If the boots are leather then a leather conditioner can be applied to help break in your new boots.
After the boots have been worn in the outdoors a couple of times and the factory applied DWR (durable Water Repellency) is beginning to wear off apply the appropriate waterproofing treatment to extend the life of your footwear.
and finally, if you still are still unsure then the clip below (borrowed from Hi-Tec) may make you wonder even more. We even stock the shoes that made it all possible!!!!!!