How to Fit Hiking Boots

Rachel Hachero, who has spent time hiking in the Appalachian Mountains and in New Mexico, offers advice on how to properly fit a pair of hiking boots. Rachel Hachero lives in Fort Myers, Florida, but she takes trips to hike whenever possible.

The most important aspect of a hiking boot is fit. If a hiking boot fits properly, it will remain comfortable for miles of hiking. In order to select a pair of boots that fit well, spend some time walking around in the boots at the store. Try walking up and down an incline and see how your foot feels in the boot on different levels of terrain. Try on multiple pairs to compare how they feel on your feet.

It is important for the toes to be able to wiggle around in the front of the boot, but you don’t want there to be so much room that your foot can slide forward in the boot. If it does slide forward, when walking downhill your toes will smash painfully into the front of the shoe. When the boot is properly laced, it should hold your foot snugly in place so the heel does not come up at all when taking steps, which causes blisters. Look for something with adequate cushion and support, and a boot that is not too heavy.


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