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Should My Hiking Boots Be A Size Bigger?

When shopping for hiking boots, one of the most important considerations is getting the right size. Hiking boots that are too tight can cause blisters and other foot problems, while boots that are too loose can lead to slippage and instability on the trail.

This raises the question: should you go up a size when buying hiking boots? In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of going up a size, and also help you in picking the right size for your feet.

Key takeaways:

Whether or not you should go up the size of your hiking boots will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The fit of the boots
  • The width of your feet
  • Your hiking type
  • The lacing system of your boots

Actually, of course, you can go up a size, but it’s not always good! Let’s dig into the pros and cons of this!

Man wears hiking boots and are hiking

What are the benefits and drawbacks of going a bigger size in hiking boots? And our answer

One benefit of going up a size in your hiking boots is that it offers more room in the toe box, which can be particularly important for those with wider feet or who like to wear thick socks.

This extra room can help prevent blisters and other foot problems that can occur when the toe box is cramped which leads to your toes rubbing against the tip of the boots.

However, there are also drawbacks when you go up a size in your hiking boots. If the boots are too large, your feet will slide around inside, which can result in instability and increase the risk of injury on the trail. In addition, hiking boots that are too big may not provide the support and stability that your feet need, which can result in discomfort and fatigue during long hikes.

Another factor to consider is the type of lacing system used in hiking boots. Some hiking boots have a traditional lace-up design, which allows for a more customizable fit. Other hiking boots use a speed lacing system, which may not allow much adjustability and may require a more precise fit.

So the answer is it depends! It’s not always good to go up in size on hiking boots!

Hiking in the rocky and wet terrain

In our experience, here are a few scenarios when hikers might want to consider going up a size in their hiking boots:

  • Wear thick socks: If you plan to wear thick socks during the hike, you may need to go up a size to ensure a comfortable fit.
  • Long-distance hikes: When planning to tackle longer hikes, you might find your feet swell during the course of the day. Going up a size will help to ensure that your feet are not cramped or uncomfortable when on the road.
  • Wide feet: In this case, it is essential to go up a size to give more room for your wide feet in the boots. This help prevents the toes and the ball of the feet from rubbing against the boots (which causes blisters).
  • Layering: Wearing multiple layers during the hike makes your body bulky and heavy. Going up a size might be a great idea to ensure your feet don’t feel too snug or cramped in the boots. That feeling can ease your steps while on the trail.
  • Downhill hikes: This is because it can prevent your toes from hitting the tip of the boots, providing more room for comfort during the descent. However, it’s important to ensure that the boots still fit snugly around your ankle. If the boots are too loose, they may cause slippage and result in blisters or other foot injuries.

Overall, it’s important to remember that wearing a bigger size may affect the overall fit and performance of the boots, so it’s best to consider the type of hiking you’ll be doing before making a final decision on size.

A man and woman are hiking downhill

Some tips for choosing hiking boots with the size you want (bigger, in this regard)

It’s important to note that the size of hiking boots can vary depending on the brand and style. Some brands may run small, while others may run large (they use different size charts).

To ensure a proper fit, it’s always a good idea to try on hiking boots in person, or to consult with a knowledgeable salesperson who can help you find the right size.

Reading product reviews from previous customers can be extremely helpful in determining the fit and sizing of hiking boots, especially when purchasing online.

Customers often provide valuable insights about the fit, comfort, and sizing of the boots, which can help you make a better decision about the size you should choose.

Additionally, if a particular brand or style runs small or large, previous customers will typically mention this in their reviews.

By taking the time to read product reviews, you can get a more accurate idea of what size hiking boots you should choose for your specific needs.

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