Wide Fitting Walking Boots for Men
Having the right gear and ensuring it fits well is one of the easiest ways of enhancing your enjoyment of the great outdoors. It is important when out hiking that your boots and socks are comfortable and suitable for the type of walking you enjoy doing.
Choosing Your New Boots
There is no single boot that will be suitable for every type of walking or terrain; you will need to decide what kinds of walks you will be undertaking in the boots you are looking to purchase. A boot suitable for light trekking whilst carrying a small daypack is not going to be much use for high altitude alpine treks! If you are unsure, store staff should be able to help you pick the right pair for your intended use.
Before Trying Boots On
Trying on boots at the right time of day is very important. Later in the day your feet are likely to have swollen and will be at their biggest. Remember to take along the socks you are most likely to wear too (including sock liners if you prefer to use them) to get a true fit. You may wish to buy some new socks at the same time, which is often a sensible idea especially if you don’t already have specially designed walking socks.
One of the most common things most people forget to do is trim their toe nails! Also take with you any orthotic footbed you may need to use and fit them into the boots when trying them on.
How to Fit Hiking Boots
A boot should feel comfortable from the moment you put it on, if they hurt or pinch they are not a good fit.
Try both boots on at the same time, starting with your biggest foot if one is slightly larger than the other (which is more common than people think) as this will dictate the size of the boot you need.
The step by step instructions below should help you decide if the hiking boot fit is good.
Once you have determined your size (if one foot is larger than the other) put both boots on. Before you lace the boots up, stand up and let your feet spread into the boot with the weight of your body. If the boots feel uncomfortable before they are laced, this is usually a good indicator that they will feel more uncomfortable once you fasten them.
The next step is to determine if there is sufficient length to the boots. Sit down and wriggle your feet forward in the boots till your toes are just touching the end of the boots. Don’t scrunch your toes up! Then bend your leg forward at the ankle without raising your heel off the sole of the boot and insert your index finger down the inside of the boot.
You should have enough room down at your heel so that your finger is not squashed, and you can move it backwards and forwards a couple of millimetres. If there is too much room the boot will sit loose on your foot regardless of how thick your socks are, or how much you tighten the boots! If there is not enough room to slide your finger down to the heel, the boot is too small. Remember that there needs to be enough room for your feet to swell. If either of the above scenarios occurs, try on the size up or down accordingly and repeat the process.
Once you are satisfied that the general fit is good and the boot is the right length, proceed to lace them up. Make sure your heel is well back in the heel cup, and tighten the laces as you normally would for walking (don’t leave them too loose or the next step won’t work properly!)
With the boots laced up properly, stand up. The boots will feel very different from how they did in the first step, they will feel like they are supporting your feet (this might feel a little unusual depending on the type of footwear you had on prior to putting the boots on). You should have sufficient space at the front of the boot to wiggle your toes around and shouldn’t feel restrictive across the width of your foot.
Top Tip: The way you lace your boots will effect the fit. Try lacing your boot from the bottom up if there is more than one eyelet. Take the lace around the heel lock then lace as you would normally but starting from the top this will lock your heel down into the back of the boot and prevent your heel lifting. Try lacing the boots the way you would normally and from the top down and see if you feel the difference.