How Should Boots Fit? Detailed Guidelines

We feel confident when boots fit perfectly, but how should the boots fit our feet? If you want to stay comfortable all-day while wearing boots, it is necessary; your boots fit correctly. Otherwise, your feet may hurt, and you will lose confidence while walking. Many people make a mistake while buying boots for themselves, they pick wrong-sized boots, which don’t fit properly, and they end up hurting their feet.

how should boots fit

Whenever you are buying boots, make sure they have some extra toe room, flexibility, comfort, and a fine grip. All these factors contribute to the proper and comfortable fitting of the boot. In this article, we will share detailed guidelines on how boots should fit properly? So make sure to keep this guide in your mind before buying any pair of boots.

Guidelines on how your boots should fit your feet


The first step is to buy the right size boots for your feet. Men’s and Women’s boot sizes vary. Usually, men can get the boots in a size range of 7 to 14 inches, while women can get in a size range of 5.5 to 11 inches in the US. We recommend you to check the size guide before buying the boots. Ensure there is approximately 0.12-inch space at the back of the boot. This space is necessary to keep your heel comfortable. Similarly, there should be about half-inch space at the toe box to keep the toe comfortable. If the boots are too tight without any space at the toe and heel, your feet will become really uncomfortable and suffer from pain.

Keep this simple sentence in your mind “boots shouldn’t be too tight nor too loose.” The space we have mentioned earlier in the boots is enough. If the boots are too big, then you’ll walk very unstably. Your feet may come out of the boots while walking. Moreover, your heel will keep on moving in an upward and downward direction, causing heel pain.

How can you measure the space in boots?

measure space inside the boots to make them fit

You don’t need any measuring tape to measure the boots’ space; you can measure it with your finger and by wiggling the toe. We recommend you always wear socks while checking the boots’ size, as you will wear socks all the time, so it will help find the exact size of boots.


If you want to measure the space between your heel and the back of the boots, just place a finger between the boot’s back and your heel. If you can insert the figure between them, it means there is enough space, and this is how your boots should fit. However, you shouldn’t be able to insert two fingers between them. If you can put two fingers between them, it means the boots are too loose, and you should look for a bit small sized boots.


Suppose you want to measure the space of the toe box. Tie up the laces. Now, try to wiggle your toes; if you can wiggle the toes, it means there is enough space. If you cannot wiggle your toes, it means boots are too tight, and you should look for bit large sized boots. Extra room in the toe box is necessary because the toes swell after wearing boots for the whole day. The toes will be bigger after wearing the boots for the whole day, so the extra room in the toe box can help the toes to breathe.

Take a short walk

After measuring through these methods, make sure to take a short walk. If you are walking perfectly, then the size is perfect; if your feet are sliding in the boots, or your heel is coming out of the boot, it means the boots are loose.

Consider the width as well

Remember, the width of the feet can also vary. Some people have wide width feet, while some have narrow or medium. We recommend you to measure your feet’s width first, before looking for the boots. You can take a measuring tape and wrap it around the bunion joint of your foot. The bunion joint is the widest part of the foot. Men’s average foot width is approx. 4 inches, and women’s average foot width is around 3.5 inches.

So if you have medium-width feet, then buy medium-width boots, and if you have wide feet, then buy wide boots. Otherwise, your feet can become uncomfortable, and you suffer from pain. If the boot’s width is too tight, it can compress the foot’s ball, making you uncomfortable and causing pain to your foot.

Kick test

Once you are satisfied with all the factors mentioned above, now try kicking on the wall. While kicking, your feet shouldn’t come out of the boots. Also, your toes shouldn’t rub against the end of the toe box. This test is also helpful in identifying the fitting of the boots.

Wear both boots

Most people check only one boot, but it’s better if you wear both boots. Wearing both boots helps to walk in a natural pattern, which will help you find the boots’ perfect fitting. Moreover, the feet’s size can also differ. It’s not necessary; both feet will be of the same size.

If your feet’ sizes are not the same, then buy the boots that perfectly fit your bigger foot. Then you can place the heel insert for the fitting of your other foot.

The flex point of the boots

flex point of boots

The boots’ flex point is an important part to notice while finding the right fit for your feet. A flex point is the widest part of the boot, which bends along with your toe. We bend our toes on each step we take while walking. Also, most of us bend our toes while sitting on the chair.

The flex point is the part of your boot that also bends along with your feet. It should bend at the perfect point. Otherwise, the boots may rub against your feet, which can cause problems while walking.  If the flex point is not perfect, your feet may move forward or backward while walking, making you really uncomfortable.

The arch support

Not all boots come with arch support. If you are looking at the boots with arch support, make sure to pick up the right arch support according to your feet’ arch. However, the arch support actually matters if you have flat feet. If you have flat feet, better get boots for flat feet or the boots with some arch support, so arch support distributes the weight equally, providing you comfort and stability. If your feet have arches, it doesn’t matter much if the boots have arches or not.

Do you know about your feet type? If you don’t know, you have flat feet or have arches; you can do a simple test at home to find out. Just place a blank white paper on the plane ground. Now, make your feet wet and stand on the paper. Now, look at the footprint drawn on the paper. If the footprint is completely filled, it means you have flat feet. If the footprint is not completely filled, contains an arch-like gap, it means you have small, medium, or high arches.

The boots’ tongue

You shouldn’t ignore the tongue of the boots. It is supposed to provide comfort to the foot. But, if it is irritating, it will make you uncomfortable. Make sure the boot’s tongue has the proper fitting to your feet. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight.

Check ankles of the boots

check the ankle part of the boots for proper fit

Once you have tested all other factors, tie up the boots, stand up, and check the ankles of the boots. The ankle part should provide comfort to your ankles. The fitting of the ankle support should be appropriate. It shouldn’t be causing pain.

Why it’s important to have the proper fitting of the boots?

why its important to have proper fitting of the boots

The ideal fitting is to wear boots that are not too loose, not too tight. This kind of fitting is considered to be the ideal boot’s fitting. It’s important to have such type of fitting, as it helps to keep your feet comfortable. It affects your walk and the efficiency of your work.

Sometimes, you have to walk through the terrain surfaces; well-fitted boots can protect you on those surfaces by providing stability to your walk and by saving you from slipping or falling. Well-fitted boots are really beneficial when you have to walk in the mountains or hilly areas. On the other hand, the ill-fitted boots can make you really uncomfortable by increasing your walk’s instability and by causing pain to your feet. Moreover, they can also cause some serious injury. You can fall or slip by wearing ill-fitted boots. That’s why you should wear boots with a proper fit.

How do you know if you are wearing ill-fitted boots?

Signs that you are wearing ill-fitted boots

Apart from just pain and discomfort, there are few signs; if you notice such signs, you are wearing the ill-fitted boots. Those signs are as follows:

  • If your feet have blisters
  • If you notice calluses on your feet
  • A bruised toenail
  • If the toenail is damaged or you have lost the toenail
  • If you see the skin irritation around your toenail

If you are noticing the above-mentioned signs on your feet, it means you are wearing the wrong sized boots. You have to get the well-fitted boots.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you wear boots too big?

Wearing boots that are too big makes the walk very uncomfortable. You will walk in an unnatural way. Your feet will keep on slipping inside the boots, which can cause serious foot problems. You may also feel pain in your feet.

Is it better to buy boots bigger or smaller?

It’s better to buy the boots of your feet’ size, neither bigger nor smaller. However, if you don’t have an option, then you should go for the bigger one (not too big) because, the smaller boots will cause pain to your feet. However, you can make the bigger boots suitable for you by using the boot insert. You can use the boot insert to make them fit for your feet.

Is it better to size up in boots?

If you are wearing the accurately sized boots, you don’t need to size up the boots. However, if the boots are too tight that they are causing pain to your feet, then you should size up the boot.

Should your toes touch the end of your boots?

No, there should be a space of about half an inch between your toe and the end of the boots. If the toes touch the end of the boots, it will make your feet uncomfortable, as the toes swell after wearing boots for the whole day, so they need space. You can check the space by wiggling your toes; if you can easily wiggle your toes, it means there is enough space.

The Bottom Line

Your boots should fit in a way that they shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. This is the ideal fitting that can keep your feet comfortable, provide stability, and save you from any mishap. We have shared the complete guideline that will definitely help you finding well-fitted boots for your feet. Just keep in mind the points mentioned above before getting any pair of boots.

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