The Right Fit
Proper Fit of Western, Casual, and Work
Boots that fit properly feel great on the feet. When fitting a boot,
remember that differences in the leather, toe or heel style, as well as changes in a
person's weight can affect the way a boot fits on their foot. You will also want to keep
in mind what type of socks you will wear with the boots, because that will also affect the
fit. These four steps should help you get your feet in boots that fit well and feel great.
1. Putting on the Boots
First of all, take a seat. Pulling on boots is best done from a seated position.
You should hear a soft "plop" when the foot drops onto the insole. You should
then stand to adjust your foot and heel.
2. Positioning the Ball of the Foot
The ball of the foot should be at the widest part of the
boot sole, and absolutely no farther forward. When standing, the boot shank and the arch
of the foot should have matching curves.
3. Ensuring Ample Toe Room
If the smaller toes push beyond the stitching line that attaches the sole, or if
the big toe creates a bump, the boots are too short. Two quick tests to check for ample
toe room are to run your finger over the area occupied by the smaller toes to see that the
toes touch lightly against the leather. Stand up and stamp your foot forward, trying to
force the toes into the front of the boot. If this causes toe crowding, try a larger size.
4. Getting the Correct Instep Fit
An important factor in proper boot comfort is the instep fit. You can check for
good instep fit by grasping the instep leather between your thumb and index finger and
rubbing your thumb across the instep. A large wrinkle indicates the instep is too loose
and may also cause excessive heel slippage. A slight wrinkle indicates a proper fit and
will feel more comfortable. Slight heel slippage is natural during initial wearing
of boots. Heel slippage will disappear after the sole is flexed a few times, and the boots
will conform to the shape of the foot. You can compare the feeling of the fore
part of a boot like a nice handshake. There needs to be some light pressure on
the instep to keep the foot from falling forward too far into the toe box.
Lace Up Boots:
Lace up boots allow more self adjustment for height of instep and are helpful in
adjusting for swelling of feet for those consumers whose feet swell during the day.
Remember, the older we get, the more our feet tend to swell. Laces also allow for
extra tightening during times of ankle stress or for the additional support needed in
stressful situations. However, you should still fit your lacer as described above.
If you normally wear two pair or a thick sock, allow for the extra room needed.