The Ultimate Guide to How Boots Should Fit (5 Areas to Consider) - (2023)

"Where do they extend? Will they really stretch? YoZobelI am size 11.

The pressure mounts when you're trying on a new pair of shoes in the store, and things can get even more confusingStiefel– You have to account for heel slip and many men are taught to ignore the initial discomfort when the shoes need to be worn.

When you buy them online, things can be even more difficult. Nobody wants to go to the post office more than once to return their boots, only to receive a less comfortable pair ten days later.


The health consequences of an incorrect shoe size

"One of the aspects of wearing a shoe that's too small is that it can compress the forefoot and lead to structural problems like bunions and hammer toes," says Dr. Neal Blitz, DPM, FACFAS, umFusschirurgHe lives in New York and Los Angeles and is a board-certified physician in foot surgery and reconstructive surgery of the hindfoot and ankle. "If you wear a shoe, then toolarge, your foot does not flex where it should at the point where the shoe breaks, and the arch support may be in the wrong place. This can lead to inflammation, flat feet and plantar fasciitis.”

While Blitz has made a comfortable living with bunion surgeries, no one wants you to suffer from uncomfortable boots. Here are the top five things to consider when trying on a pair of boots.

[Related: My List ofThe best boots for men]

The Ultimate Guide to How Boots Should Fit (5 Areas to Consider) - (1)

ÖBoat Thursday Vanguard.

1. The bending point

  • Make sure your foot fits in the widest part of the boot.

This is arguably the most important component of fit, not the width, not the heel, but where the boot tapers in on the foot. No need to overcomplicate this: every boot has a natural breaking point where it will want to flex, whether it's the end of a sewn toe box or simply where the toes start, but you need to keep that in mind. The shoe should flex where your foot does and that is in line with the toe box.

It may sound simple, but when a boot breaks in in the wrong place, it will rub against your foot, your foot will slide back and forth as you walk, the instep will bend and twist, and the toe box can pinch your toes.

You can check the flexible stitch by checking the width of the shoe. The widest part of the shoe should match the widest part of the foot, i.e. the ball of the foot.

The Ultimate Guide to How Boots Should Fit (5 Areas to Consider) - (2)

(Video) The Ultimate Guide to How Boots Should Fit (5 Tips With @RoseAnvil)

do a singleAlden Indy403.

2. The heel

  • A little slippage at the heel isn't a big deal and should be fixed when the boot breaks in.
  • product likeVery convenientcan help with persistent heel slippage

The second most important part of fit is the heel, and it might be the most controversial.

Is it okay to slide on the heel?

Many brands don't slip if you wear the right size, but if all is right, a small heel (about a quarter of an inch) is acceptable when trying on well-made boots. In fact, some people find that non-slip boots can be too hard on the foot when first used, especially if they have very hard soles.So don't worry if there's a little slip-up.

As the boot molds to your foot, slippage should decrease and will likely disappear entirely as the heel molds to the shape of your foot due to friction and body heat. Unlined boots in particular have a diaper-like interior that is great for heel catching after multiple wears.

More important than slipping, however, is that the shoe moves with your foot and you don't feel your foot moving in the shoe.

If the lag doesn't go away in a few months and bothers you, there are plenty of inexpensive products out there, such as:Very convenient, which can easily solve the problem.

[Related:5 tips to avoid blisters on boots]

The Ultimate Guide to How Boots Should Fit (5 Areas to Consider) - (3)

the classicRed Wing Iron Ranger.

3. The width

  • Buy a boot that covers the ball of the foot and doesn't pinch

This is where people get careless. Many people say that if the width is uncomfortably tight, it will eventually stretch. This is not a great strategy.

"Some brands tend to have a wider foot and some brands tend to have a narrower foot, and that's a bigger issue than length," says Blitz. "If the ball of the foot is compressed too much, it can cause discomfort and inflammation."

It's important to remember that the length of your foot doesn't change throughout the day.but the width goes. Your foot is most swollen towards the end of the day and this is when you should try on your shoes and measure the width in a shop or with a Brannock splint. (Bring thick socks as well, as most boots are designed to be worn with them.)

Another important point: a lot of people say you shouldNeverNever buy a boot expecting it to stretch. This is a good rule of thumb, but remember that most boots will stretch, but only by about a millimeter.

[Related:My list of the best boots for wide feet]

The Ultimate Guide to How Boots Should Fit (5 Areas to Consider) - (4)

(Video) 5 Tips to Prevent Boot Blisters (with @BedosLeatherworksLLC)

4. There the Book

  • Find out how much arch support your foot type needs and how much the brand offers

Arches are complicated. Many boots don't have much arch support. Really important?

"I think you needknow your foot. Do you have flat feet or hollow feet? That determines what you're comfortable with,” says Blitz. “If you have flat feet, you probably need a boot with arch support. On the other hand, if you have a foot with a well-maintained arch, it probably doesn't matter that much."

He suggests a simple way to test this: Step on a brown paper bag with your feet wet. If the footprint you leave is flat from heel to toe, you have flat feet. If there is a bow and the template leaves no marks, you have a good bow. It's not the end of the world when your foot is flat and your favorite shoe has no support - they existultra-thin orthopedic solesyou might be interested

When measuring foot size on a Brannock, many people focus more on the arch length of the foot, which shoe size suggests, than actual foot length. Your arch determines the widest part of your foot and how your foot rests on the boot itself; So if your heel and width fit well by more than a size, and a size fits your arch better, that's an unlikely scenario, but there are times when you may want to choose the boot that fits your size.

[Related: Thebest insoles for boots]

The Ultimate Guide to How Boots Should Fit (5 Areas to Consider) - (5)

5. A toe

  • It's largely irrelevant whether the rest of the boot fits well.

"One challenge with boots is that you typically base a shoe's fit on using your thumb to see where the toe meets the bottom of the boot," Blitz says. "But with boots, the toe box is usually a lot stiffer, so it's harder to judge."

The first (and usually only) thing people do when trying on sneakers is wondering how much room there should be in the toe box. Ironically, it's probably the least important thing about a shoe's fit: If you care about the previous four sections of this article, then length really doesn't matter because your foot will move well in the shoe.

Never zoom out to reduce finger spacing. All of this is infinitely more important. A small toe box can rub against your feet and cause calluses, and a larger one is fine if the heel, flex point, and width feel right. The toe box might be important to style, but it's not a big component of the fit unless it's very tight.

The Ultimate Guide to How Boots Should Fit (5 Areas to Consider) - (6)


These are the top five components to achieving your greatness, in descending order of importance. For the most part, it's all about the flex point, heel, and width. Remember that sometimes your foot just doesn't fit, even when your heart is beating at full speed. This is a particularly important point for our broad-footed brothers. Knowing that a brand isn't for you can be hard to swallow, but remember to do it right. Don't wear boots that take off.

Frequently asked questions about the fit of the boots

How do I know if my boots will fit me?

There are five areas that need to be checked. They are: the flexion point, the heel, the width, the arch, and the finger box. Your boots should not be tight. You should be comfortable in the forefoot, have plenty of room in the toe box, and the heel shouldn't drop more than half an inch.

How much space should there be in a trunk?

There should not be much space or movement in the trunk. It should feel snug around the ball of your foot. You don't want it to feel too tight. You don't want your foot to slide forward. Your heel should not move more than ¼ inch.

Is it better tight or loose?

Too tight and too loose are signs of a poor fit. Leather boots will stretch a little if your boot is a little tight. If your boots are too big, you can wear thick socks, buy shoe inserts, or both.

(Video) How to know if your boots fit | Top 3 boot sizing myths

How tight should the boots be to begin with?

Your shoe should fit snugly around your forefoot. You should not feel any discomfort or pain.

How can you tell if the boots are big?

Your boots are too big if you move your foot forward in the boot and hit the front end downhill. Your boots are too big if you have a lot of extra laces after timing. Your boots may be too big if the heel moves more than ¼ inch.

How much space should there be in the toe of the shoe?

There is a lot of leeway with the space you can have in the toe of your boot. Everything is fine as long as your foot's flex point matches the boot's flex point and your toes aren't pressing against the boot.

Should the boots be tight or loose?

A little too tight when wearing your thickest socks is fine, your boot will stretch, but only a little. A little loose with the thinnest of socks is fine as long as you don't feel any hot spots when you walk.

How should boots fit around the calf?

You want your boots to fit comfortably around your calf, and most importantly, you want to make sure you can easily put them on and take them off.

How should boots sit on the ankle?

Boots can be wide or narrow around the ankle depending on their size and how you lace them. You don't want them to be uncomfortably tight. When new, the leather will soften over time.

11 ways to save money on boots!

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nick ingles

Daytime: Manhattan journalist with reporting experience on four continents, published in Vice, Men's Health, Popular Science and many other places. By night: voracious consumer of everything to do with high quality men's boots. I have a manic obsession with shoes and share my insights. Say hello:[email protected]

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