Gear

How to Make Sure your Hiking Boots Fit Properly

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Image: Greenland.com

Aside from having the right gear and choosing the perfect destination to go hiking, the other most important thing you need to have is the right pair of hiking boots. Boots made of high quality materials and the latest technology are great, but there is one thing more important than all that; you need to check how well they fit.

TRY THEM ON

When trying on your boots, wear them using the right type of socks – one’s you’ll be wearing during the hike. Then, lace them completely and don’t over-tighten. When all this is done, take a small walk around the room and try to feel how comfortable they are. Does your foot slip around inside? Are they too tight even though your laces are fairly loose?

The best time to try them on is during the evening because this is the time of day that our feet are somewhat swollen. Thus, if they fit during the evening, they are perfect. However, if you try them on in the morning and find them to be perfect, chances are by afternoon, they will have become too tight.

ANALYZE YOUR BALL

In case you have a wide forefoot, you will find it a bit harder finding hiking boots that fit properly. But, you can take care of this small problem by loosening the laces around the area that feels numb or, you can start using a thinner insole. Doing either of these will give you extra space which may make you more comfortable.

Assuming that you have a much narrower foot, you can choose to tighten the laces or, use a much thicker insole.

CHECK THE TOE ROOM

Since hiking boots require plenty of toe room to prevent your toes from banging in front when descending, check to see if it’s enough. You can do this by wearing unlaced boots, sliding your foot forward till your fingers touch the front of the boot and, measure the space behind the heel. The appropriate space should be about your finger’s width.

MAKE SOME ADJUSTMENTS

If you have never worn hiking boots before, you are most likely to experience some forms of discomfort/restriction on your lower shin. Though this kind of discomfort disappears in due time, to help you through the break-in process, you can opt to skip lacing some of the eyelets. 

Then, if it’s the instep (top part of the foot – near the ankle) that seems to be under a lot of pressure, you should skip lacing some of the eyelets located over the instep.

If it’s the heel that seems loose, tighten the laces near the ankle.

GO FOR A TEST WALK

If the boots feel comfortable enough around the house, the next step is to take a walk within your neighborhood. Walking up and down the stairs is also recommended and if possible, up and down some small hills.

If the hiking boots seem comfortable after taking this small walk, then, you can rest assured that they are the perfect fit and that, you can confidently wear them during your next hiking expedition.

Jeremiah can change your oil, fix your computer and quote every line from the Star Wars films, like the Renaissance Man that he is. He's the proud parent of two Great Danes and one daughter.