Getting the right fit with your walking boots is essential and this short video will hopefully help provide you with a few tips and solutions that will help you make the right choice.
In the video GO Outdoors founder John Graham takes you through tests you can try yourself to check the fit of your walking boots.
How to Verify The Fit Of Your Walking Boots:
Firstly, if you are right handed, start the test on your left foot and if you are left handed, start the test on your right foot. The simple reason for this being that many people who are right handed have a slightly larger left foot and those that are left handed, have a slightly larger right foot.
- Remove the insole from the boot and place it on the ground
- Put your heel to the very back of the insole and stand up loading your weight onto the insole. This then allows you to see where you foot extends to on the insole. What you should be then looking for is a finger (width) distance between the end of your longest toe and the end of the insole. (Generally, when buying walking boots, you would usually buy a half size bigger, so for example: If you were a size 7 shoe, you would buy a size 7.5 and if you were a size 10, you would buy a size 10.5. This is because in walking boots, although you need the boot to hold you, you also need to allow a bit of space for the forward motion on your descents.)
- Next, put the insole back in the boot and place your foot inside the boot. Put your foot to the ground at an angle so that your heel naturally drops into the heel cup which then allows your toes to be as far away from the front of the boots as possible.
- Lace your boot and as you lace your boot, ensure you lace evenly from both sides at the same time. Make sure that the tongue of the boot is ‘central’. If the tongue is not central, the chances are that when your begin to walk, the tongue will drift to ones side on your first couple of outings. Then, if you sweat in the boot with the tongue to one side, the tongue will naturally want to default to that position which is not the most comfortable position for the tongue to be in. Lace your boot to the top and if you then have enough spare lace, put the lace through one eyelet down and tie the knot. Doing this puts the strength of the knot in line with the fulcrum of your joint which keeps your heel pinned and also releases the pressure of the tongue on your shin.
- Find a slope and walk up it! Try to walk up the slope in an exaggerated fashion to ensure you push the weight through your toes which then lifts your heels as much as possible in the boots. What you are trying to establish by doing this exercise, is to see if your heels are secure. if you have a little movement, this will probably adjust in time once the boot fits to your foot. However, if you have a lot of movement, this could create a potential problem.
- Next, walk up the slope again but this time concentrate on placing the pressure over the top of the foot where the boot creases. Establish whether you can feel the crease and if so, is it a sensation or a discomfort? If it is a sensation, once again, this should disappear through time but if you feel any pain or discomfort, it probably means that the boot is too deep for the shape of your foot. This then result in there being a lot of space between the boot and your foot which creates an airspace and as you walk, the leather creates a ‘V’ shape which in turns digs into the top of your foot.
- The next exercise, is to walk down the slope but as you walk, stomp your feet so that your toes are thrown forward. Although your feet and toes will be pushed forward, you do not want your toes hitting and touching the front of your boot.
- After you have performed all the above tests, the next thing to do is simply just wander around with the boots on. if after a while your forget you are wearing the boots, then this is a pretty good indicator that those bots are a good fit. If however, after a while you can still feel niggles or any discomfort, then it is safe to say that these niggles and discomforts will persist in the future and you should try another boot.
After a period of time trying on different boots, you will probably find that there are certain makes and brands that suit your foot better than others, this will make choosing a boot much easier in the future.
When buying walking boots, you really do get what you pay for and paying a little more in the beginning will ensure you buy quality and comfort which will in return make your walking much more pleasurable.
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