How To Tell If Boots Are Too Big - A Complete Guide

How To Tell If Boots Are Too Big - A Complete Guide

The right pair of boots helps align the foot in the right attitude while protecting it. The right attitude is the manner your foot behaves while walking, leaping, skipping, squatting, etc. This attitude allows the correct alignment of the hips, back, knee, etc. Often, thin-soled footwear with high heels are blamed for bad foot health. To improve your gait, comfort, and foot health you should look for boots that are not too small or too big but of the right size. We will discuss how to tell if boots are too big and the points you should keep in mind while trying on a pair. Read on for everything you need to know about selecting the right boots for you!

How to Tell If Boots Are Too Big

Wear the Boots – The first and most obvious method is to wear the boots and walk around. If you are buying lace-up boots, then your feet should be comfortable. The lace should not dig into the foot. There should be sufficient padding between the foot and the lace. This will prevent bruises, lesions, and the pinching of the flesh between the laces while walking.

The shoe should not be too wide to prevent the foot from flopping around in the boot. Try the finger test: put your index finger between the shoe and the heel of the foot. This should cause your toes to touch the tip.

If you can fit more than one digit in this gap, the boot is too big for you. In case you are picking heels, there should be less than a centimeter between the shoe and your skin. If your heel slips out, then these shoes are big for you.

Walk in The Boots – Your feet slide back and forth while you ambulate. If they are too big, the boots will not offer sufficient support to the foot. If the boot moves side to side, then it may be too wide. Thus, get your feet measured to get the right fit. Then apply the finger test.

For heels, add heel grips. This not only offers cushioning but also prevents chafing. The padding offers stability to the foot on the heel counter while offering a snugger fit. You could also try insoles that would pad the foot as well as offer a snugger fit.

If the boot slips off the foot, you can place a gel adhesive tape that prevents the foot from slipping out. This also prevents blisters, cuts, and marks on the foot.

Difference Between Ill-Fitting and Snug – When do you know the boots are ill-fitting? The answer is when they are too tight or too loose. When they are too tight, the toes are smashed and the heels and other parts of the foot rub against the shoe causing blisters, corns, cuts, etc.

When the boots are too loose, your foot will slip around in the boot. If the shoes are narrow, you cannot fit your foot in them. Snug boots are true to size. They fit the length and width of the foot correctly.

Some shoes fit snuggly in the store but loosen after a while or with the help of certain tools.

For example; leather boots can be loosened using a last to get a perfect fit. Shoe stretchers can widen and lengthen a boot as well, reducing the break-in period. Another trick is to wear double or thicker socks to help break in the boots.

The Perfect Fit – There is no “perfect fit.” This is because everyone has a unique shape, and one foot is not an exact mirror image of the other. Everyone walks differently due to varying foot anatomy.

Yet the correct fit of a boot should allow the wearer to wiggle their toes in the toe box. The heel should sit firmly on the heel counter. There should be padding at the collar and the tongue of the boot. These ensure a snug fit. Then the alignment between the heel and the toes will be correct, and will allow correct ambulation.

When a boot is right, the ankle and knee alignment are right. There is no chafing or blistering at the heel and other parts of the foot. If your foot is between sizes, use tools to loosen the boots. This will ease the break-in process.

Points To Keep In Mind While Trying On Boots

How To Tell If Boots Are Too Big - A Complete Guide

The Flex Point – is the part where the shoe bends along the foot. Ideally, it should align with the toe line. The widest part of the boot should be aligned to the widest part of the foot.

The Heel – Most boots will not slip if you get the right fit. But if there is heel slippage, only a little is acceptable. A half to a quarter of an inch is fine. This is because as you break in the shoe, your heel molds the heel counter, eliminating slippage. If the problem remains, you can remedy it by using silicone pads that allow a snug fit.

Width – As the flow of the blood is downwards, the feet swell up by the end of the day. This is also the right time to buy shoes, as the feet are the most expanded. Most people find the right length, but the width of the foot varies. Finding the right width is challenging.

This may lead to excessive compression, discomfort, and inflammation of the foot. Most boots will stretch, but most well-made ones stretch only a millimeter. Thus, to get the right fit, measure the length and width of the foot using the Brannock device. Bring socks along and try on the boots while wearing them.

Arch – The need for arch support depends on the type of foot you have – flat foot, medium arch, or high arch. If you have a flat foot, then you need arch support.

Here is a test to figure out which type you have: Place a wet foot on a brown paper bag.

The wetness will soak through and the shape of the foot left behind. If the arch and the inner sole do not leave a mark, you have a high arch. If the forefoot, arch, and heel leave a mark on the bag, then you have a medium arch. If the bag is marked from the toes to the heel, then you have a flat foot. If the latter is the case, place some orthotics made of silicone in the boots.

When measuring the foot size on the Brannock device, people focus on the arch length instead of the foot length. The arch determines the widest part of the boot, which determines the support offered by the boot itself.

Toe Box – Find the correct fit using your toe. The tip of the toe should align with the end of the boot. Its base should align with the flex point. The toe box should lie between these two points – the tip and the base of the toe. The rest of the toes are in line with the base of the toe, thus its depth and width accommodate all the toes. After you have worn the boot, there should be at least 3/8 to 1/2 inch of space between the toe and the tip of the box.

How To Select The Right Boots

When buying new boots, ensure the following. This will prevent the development of foot problems.

  • Get your foot measured by a salesperson. Stand up during the procedure. This will ensure that your weight is acting vertically. Fully spread your feet so you get the maximum length and breadth of the foot. Repeat the procedure for the other foot, as one foot is slightly larger than the other. Buy boots for the larger foot. The slight difference in fitting can be compensated by wearing socks. You will have to do this step yourself if you are buying shoes online.
  • Ensure that the boot is not pinching your toes. The toes should not overlap each other. The toes should not feel cramped or pinched.
  • As there is no “break-in period,” do not buy shoes that don’t fit. It is true that with time the foot stretches a shoe. But in the meanwhile, a lot of damage occurs to the foot such as pain and foot ailments.
  • Evaluate the overall construction of the boot. The boot should curve at the arch of the foot and not the toe box. The boot should be along the shape of the foot – broad at the toes, cinched at the arch, and wide enough to accommodate the heel.
  • A stable shank will offer good support. The heel counter should be firm yet return energy to the foot. The heel counter can be shallow or higher. It should offer stability to the foot. The shape of the toe box should be according to the width of your foot.
  • The toe box should not only be in the right shape but also of the right depth. The deeper the toe box, the easier it will be to accommodate or prevent foot ailments. The right toe box can prevent hammertoes, bunions, hammertoes, etc. A square toe may offer the best toe alignment. A round toe is a better choice than a pointed one.
  • Laces, buckles, or Velcro are some mechanisms that help tighten the boot around the foot. This helps offer support to the arch and tighten the boot around the foot.
  • A removable insole is ideal, as the orthotic when added or removed offers support to the foot. It also offers cushioning to the foot.
  • If despite all these checks the boots do not fit, return them and get the right size.

In Conclusion

Getting the right pair of boots is essential for the correct alignment of the body. This alignment affects the attitude and angle of the hips, legs, knees, and ankles too. This alignment is important to help you use your body while wearing these boots.

The right fit will help keep your feet in their natural position. This will facilitate all physical activity correctly. But large boots make that difficult. Thus, to get the right fit, wear the boots and walk around in them.

Ill-fitting boots will be too long or too wide.

This may cause corns, cuts, blisters, bruises, etc.

A snug fit is the right one. The boot’s toe box should have sufficient wiggle room. The flex point will align to the toe line and the widest part of the foot will align with the widest part of the boot. The heel should sit on the heel counter without slippage.

Pick the right width of the boot. Many manufacturers make regular, narrow, and wide boots. Check for the type of arch you have, as flat feet need arch support. The toe box should have at least 3/8 or 1/2 inch of space between the tips of the toe and the box.

To select the right boots, get your feet measured for the right size and fit. The toes should not be crimped, crushed, or cramped.

The arch of the foot, the toe box, and the heel counter should align with the foot. A stable shank, the right closing assembly such as laces, Velcro, etc. help gain the best fit. Removable padded insoles offer the best-cushioned support.

When trying on new boots, if they are too big for your feet, one of these points will jump out to you. After reading this article, when you find the right fit, you’ll know it!

References

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5984451/
  • https://www.prescriptionfootwear.co.uk/our-products/specialist-footwear/
  • https://blog.footfitter.com/how-to-tell-if-shoes-are-too-big/
  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/tight-shoes-and-foot-problems/
  • https://www.pedorthic.ca/feet-two-different-sizes/

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