Walking boot fitting tips

Looking for a new pair of walking boots? Keep these tips in mind.

1. Thick socks can leave you cold.

A sock’s main purpose is to keep your foot dry thereby keeping it warm. A good technical sock which carries moisture away from the foot is a must.

NB. Thick socks don’t always equal warm feet. A thick sock can apply pressure to the foot, reducing blood flow, causing cold feet. Look out for anatomically shaped heels, smooth toe seams and lightly padded panels. Consider using a technical liner sock to improve warmth and moisture management.

2. Orthotic footbeds can make you go on for longer.

Investing in a well made footbed will alleviate stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments, improve blood circulation (which will help to control the temperature of the feet) and shock absorption. They will also improve posture and stability, helping to take stress off knees, hips and back, allowing you to walk for longer.

3. Problem feet?

Whether hereditary of fashion induced, problem feet can be accommodated. Different brands come in different shapes as well as sizes, some tend to offer a wider fitting whilst some will offer a more narrow fit. After measuring your feet, we will be able to recommend the brand and shape that’s best for you and customise and remould the boots, if necessary, to suit your exact foot shape. You should never have to endure endless blisters. Boots can be stretched, in store, in specific areas to accommodate bunions, bone spurs, and prominent ankle bones.

4. Snug is good.

A boot should feel evenly tight with adequate toe room. When trying it on if boots feel a little loose in the shop, they’re likely to feel positively bucket-like after a weeks walking. Try the boots on the shop’s ‘incline board’ to check fit and toe room coming ‘downhill’. A snug fit in the shop will produce comfortable supportive boots in the long term.

5. Fitting is free.

Boots last many years, so it’s worth getting the fit right from the start. Go in store and use a fitting service for free when you purchase boots.

6. Word of mouth.

Recommendations are always welcome, but when it comes to fit, a particular boot may only be good for you if you have identically shaped feet to that person.

7. Service.

Use a comprehensive and professional boot fitting and boot modification service. Ideally fitters are trained to a high standard using a recognised fitting system.

8. Colour blind.

At least 50% of men and women make a bee-line for a particular colour or style because they like the look. Remember, comfort is the most important thing to consider when investing in a pair of boots. If you don’t like the colour, have a weekend in the peat bogs of Kinder Scout – guaranteed to stain most things for good!

9. Take your time.

Be prepared to spend an hour or more having your boots properly fitted. Bring your usual walking socks with you and any footbeds. Our bootfitters will want to see your feet to identify any possible problems. Try to avoid the shop’s busiest times, ring to arrange a time to visit.

10. Heel!

The heel of the boot should fit snugly around the heel of your foot. No matter how narrow a heel, there should be a boot to fit without you having to resort to a heel grip insert. Make sure there are no gaps between your heel and the side of the boot. It is usual to have a small amount of ‘Heel Lift’ in a new boot (max ¼”), your foot will want to flex, but the boot will not.

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