When you are buying boots, there are so many different features which you are probably looking for that often getting a proper fit is undermined. The fact is though, no matter how pretty, well-made, well-cushioned and safe your boots are, if you fail to buy a pair which fits you properly, you will never be able to enjoy them completely and feel satisfied when wearing them.
This is why, once you have chosen the type of boots you need and want, look for a pair which fits you the best! This means that if you have wide feet, stay away from point toes, or if you have high arches, choose shoes which provide the arch support you need. Also, never buy tight fitting shoes with the assumption that they will stretch over time. Boots need to fit you well and feel comfortable from the moment you try them on!
How to find the perfect fitting boots?
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when you are trying on new boots, which will direct you to the ones which fit you best:
- Our feet change with time, and in many cases the size and shape of our two feet are different. This is why you should measure both of your feet before deciding on the most appropriate shoe size. Factors such as aging, pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss, running or overuse of the feet can change the shape and size of our feet over time. Measure both the length and the width of both your feet. Choose boots in accordance to the larger sized foot. Remember that different footwear producers and different brands and types of shoes come in different sizing, so make sure to check out any sizing instructions given by the manufacturer, and if possible go to a brick and mortar shoe store to try a pair on.
- Go to the shoe store at the end of the day, after work or after a run. This is the time when your feet are at their largest size, because they are likely to be swollen from all the standing, walking and other activities. This is the time to try on new boots.
- Wear the same type of socks which you will be wearing with the boots when you try them on. This will give you a much better idea of the fit. Most types of boots are meant to be worn with thick wool socks, so do wear a pair of these when you are trying out your new pair of boots.
- Always try on both boots, stand up and walk around the store to get a feeling of the fit. If they feel tight or uncomfortable, ask for a bigger or wider size. Don’t just assume that the boots will stretch over time, because it is very likely that they won’t. Make sure that you don’t mistake a tight fit for what you think is a snug fit. The boots shouldn’t restrict your movements and shouldn’t cause any pain.
- Be careful not to buy too big shoes either! Wearing boots and shoes which are too big for you can also be very uncomfortable and dangerous as well. If your foot tends to slip out of the shoes while walking, then probably it is too big and you should consider trying on a size or half a size smaller for a better fit. A slipping heel can cause painful blistering and your risk of tripping and injuring yourself will be greater. Make sure the heel feels snug, but not tight or not too loose in the boots!
- The toe box should provide sufficient space for your toes, so that they don’t get squeezed and crushed into one another. Then again, the recommendation is that you should have about a finger width of space between the longest toe and the front of the boot, and no more.
- Pay attention to the inside of the boots. Ones which have thick insoles are more likely to provide a snugger and tighter fit, which is why you should probably opt for a larger size. On the other hand, if you wear orthotics or want to wear cushioned or supportive inserts, you should consider getting wider and a little larger sized boots. The best choice is to find boots which have removable insoles. This will allow you to use your own orthotics, as well as to remove, wash and replace the insoles whenever necessary.
- Leather boots may need some break in time. Tough leather boots are usually very hard when they are new, so some break in will be needed, so that the leather gets softer and adjusts to the size and shape of your feet. Then again, if the boot is too short or way too tight at first – the likelihood of it becoming wide or long enough in time is slim if not impossible. Break in can be done by different methods, including: moisturizing, freezing, heating and others.
- Pay attention to the flex point of your boots. If it aligns with your foot’s natural flex point, then the shape is suitable for you. If it doesn’t – go pick another pair instead.
- Compare different brands and models. Try out several different brands or models of boots, in order to be able to make a comparison. Choose the ones which feel like they fit the best and provide the most comfort.
Whatever type of boots you are planning on purchasing, it is essential for your safety, wellbeing and overall comfort that you get a pair which fits you perfectly. Everybody’s feet are different, so don’t just go with the flow and order the latest fashionable and trendy boots just because others are wearing them. Take the time to measure your feet, to try on several pairs of boots, as well as several different sizes of the same boots before you make the purchase.
Buying uncomfortable boots is not only a waste of money but could turn into a miserable experience, especially if you are buying work boot, hiking boots or any other type of boots which you will be spending a lot of time wearing, walking and moving around.
Keep your feet healthy and happy by taking the time to ensure that you get a pair of boots which fit properly and provide you with the comfort, stability and safety you need.
10 Points of Proper Shoe Fit, American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society