There is a lot of argument over the finest materials, the best insoles, the ideal lacing procedures, and so on, but there is one thing that all hikers agree on, hiking boots must be precisely snug.
Yet, it isn’t always simple to determine the ideal size. Boots that feel great in the shop may be excruciatingly uncomfortable on a trail, as many people have discovered the hard way.
Hiking boots that are one size larger than your typical shoe size are generally recommended by experts to prevent this issue. But if the boots are excessively huge, they might cause issues. So, should hiking boots be a size bigger? Let’s find out.
Why Should Hiking Boots Be A Size Bigger?
Your usual shoe size may be too small for hiking boots. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Your Feet Become Bigger Over The Day
Most individuals are taller in the day than they are at night, according to a common belief. This is because the spine’s connective tissues relax and stretch as a result of the reduced vertical pressure it experiences during sleeping.
In your feet, a similar thing occurs. As your feet sustain your weight and carry you throughout the day, they naturally grow to accommodate the strain.
During the day, many people’s feet get bigger due to the accumulation of fluids in the lower body as a result of gravity.
Almost everyone’s feet are larger at night than they were in the morning due to the combination of increased pressure and higher fluids.
The Size Of Your Feet Expands When You Are Warm
The heat of the day might cause your feet to swell, regardless of whether you’ve been exercising or it’s just a hot one.
Your blood vessels widen to let more heat leave when your body is heated. These changes are most evident in the soles of your feet. Because the thinner skin of the hands and feet is particularly effective at transferring heat and regulating body temperature, many individuals choose to sleep with one foot exposed.
When you’re hot, your blood flow increases, and your feet swell, and this effect is more pronounced when you’re wearing hiking boots that don’t have much space or ventilation.
Hiking Shoes Aren’t Always The Same As Ordinary Ones
You may be wearing socks or insoles that aren’t normally used with your hiking shoes if you’re going trekking in chilly weather.
Descents Are More Challenging
Going upward is difficult for casual walks and jogs, so the descent is a pleasant break.
Descending is frequently the most difficult aspect of a trek or backpacking trip for more experienced hikers and backpackers. When climbing a hill, we depend on the huge muscles in our legs, which are specifically designed for this type of work and thus quite strong.
It may be difficult to maintain stable footing on a downward slope, so we depend on the muscles surrounding the knees and ankle joints, which are smaller and more readily strained.
At the end of the day, when the feet are bigger and the body has already exerted itself, it is common for people to go downhill.
If you’re heading downhill, you’ll need the greatest comfort and support from your hiking boots, and a lousy fit is the worst.
Tips To Find The Perfect Fit For Hiking Boots
Measure The Length
Make sure that the boots are the right length for you. Check the boots’ length with your longer foot, since most individuals have a longer foot than the other one.
Put the longer foot into the hiking shoe and stand straight as the laces loosen. You should be able to feel your toes touching the end of the boot as you advance your foot forward.
If there isn’t, have them look behind your heel. Boots that have been properly fitted should have enough space at the back of your heel to accommodate one finger.
After a long day of hiking, your feet will swell, so it’s crucial to have enough space in your boots.
Check The Width Of The Boots By Lacing Them Up
The breadth of your hiking footwear is also crucial. You will have blisters on your feet if the boots are too broad to support your feet; if the breadth is too snug, the sides of your feet will be painfully crunched for the whole journey.
To determine whether the boots are the proper width, first, lace them up and then feel the inside of the boots. Your feet should not be confined and should not be able to glide side-to-side.
Having a 5% stretch in your hiking boots makes it acceptable for the boots to be tight.
Make Sure There Isn’t Any Heel Lift
Make sure your heel lifts by putting on your hiking boots and walking on your toes. It’s also a good idea to loosen the tops of your feet while lacing your boots, but tighten the ankles to retain your heels in place, Having your heel slide up and down as you walk may cause blisters.
When Trying On Boots, Wear Socks
Put on your hiking socks while trying on your hiking boots to see whether they fit. As a result, you may be certain that your boots will have the perfect fit.
Take A Stroll On A Slope
It is a good idea to test your hiking boots at an elevation to check whether they are comfortable while ascending. Also, a walkabout in the boots for 15 to 20 minutes to become acclimated to them.
End Of Day Boot Test
A day of walking may cause your feet to become swollen and sweaty. Swollen feet enable us to make the most accurate purchase selection while trying on boots.
Carrying A Huge Weight
Wearing a hefty weight while putting on hiking boots is a good way to get a feel for how they’ll perform in the real world. The weight of your backpack will cause your feet to move somewhat within your shoes when you’re trekking in the woods. As a result, you’ll want to test whether or not your boots are comfortable to wear while carrying a backpack.
Due to the aforementioned factors, hiking boots nearly invariably need a bigger shoe size. However, there are strategies to ensure that you receive the greatest possible fit while putting on hiking boots rather than just selecting a bigger size.
Later in the day, when your feet are larger, is the best time for you to put on a new pair of boots.
Insoles and cold weather socks should be worn while trying on hiking boots if you plan to use them while trekking.
You should also go up a half size for those with two different-sized feet or those who are in the middle of two sizes. An additional pair of socks is usually simpler to put on and take off than hiking footwear that is too small.