Hiking Footwear Fit Guide

Footwear Fit Advice

First things first with footwear. Everyone has different shapes and sizes, that being said what fits us the best might not fit another. Below will be a recommendation on how to accurately get the best fit for you

We always recommend getting your feet measured. Feel free at any time to come into our store Great Outdoors 53/54 South Great George’s street for a free footwear fitting. Whether you’re purchasing then and there doesn’t matter. We just want what’s best for you and your feet. 

When getting your feet measured you might feel uneasy to find out that your feet are not exactly the same size. This is more than normal and we will try our best to accommodate the size of the larger foot. Many of us have one foot that is slightly bigger, so choose the shoe size that is the best fit.

Even if the shoe feels a bit loose on the smaller foot, we recommend trying on both the shoes and being sure to lace them properly. Oftentimes you might feel like there’s a big gap at the back of the heel. This is normal! Lacing the boots or shoes firmly will activate the majority of footwears heel lock system. Make sure it’s firm but also comfortable. 

If you would typically wear a specific sock when wearing walking shoes, boots or runners, be sure to bring them along. Nothing feels quite as good as wearing a sock that’s familiar to you already. 

The easiest way to tell if a shoe is too big or too small is to take a look at how much room there is in the toe of the shoe. Generally speaking, we are looking for approximately 1 cm of room. The best way to see this space is to take the insole out of the shoe and place it under your foot. With your heel all the way back, bring your foot next to the foot with the insole and bend your knees. This is the way to get the full length of the foot.

The ball of the foot should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe, and at the heel make sure that you have some room for slight heel slippage.

Shoe sizing can be completely different between brands and styles, so keep in mind that your shoe size may go up and down. This is completely normal as we stock many brands that originate from all over the world.

Don’t be afraid to give honest feedback and tell us how you feel. It’s important to our footwear team to be empathetic and try our best to understand how it feels without wearing the shoes.

Many of our shoes come with standard arch support however, these insoles will wear down faster than a regular shoe grip will. We recommend SIDAS insoles as a replacement or rather, an insole you should use from the get-go. Insoles are a great way to improve comfort and offer much more arch support. The way these insoles work is that they slow down the movement of your arch so that you can conserve more energy and use it on your walks.

Just like walking boots, it’s super important that your running shoes are as comfortable and supportive as possible. Generally speaking, the best fit for running shoes is snugness from the heel to the middle of the shoe. There should be plenty of wiggle room around the toes (remember your foot will swell throughout the day and when warm). The aim is to feel supported around the back of your foot but not restricted!

While Gore-Tex is breathable, a merino wool sock will help wick away the sweat that’s generated. Oftentimes we get questioned if a merino sock is good for summer as well as winter. Yes! Merino is a great natural wicking material that will keep you hot when it’s cold and cold when it’s hot. Smartwool socks and bridgedale socks are two of our best selling brands however, if you are allergic to wool, we recommend Coolmax as a nice wool alternative.

Things to note:

Your feet will swell with time. We always allow 1cm distance from the foot to the top of the insole to ensure that you have enough space; however, we also have a 28 day policy for returning footwear. As long as they are not worn outside, you can try them on for however much that you please within those 28 days. If you’re running late? Not to worry. Call our store at any time and let us know that you won’t be able to make it back in time. Nothing wrong with giving us a heads up.