Ever hunted in a pair of hunting boots that didn’t fit? If so, you either ended up cutting your hunting outing short, or had some serious foot problems to deal with when you got back in.
As much as we like to act like we’re tough, or simply tough things out when conditions and scenarios aren’t ideal, the truth is that an ill-fitting pair of hunting boots can ruin your hunt. It may be tempting to think you can just make do with whatever you’ve got, but believe me — a properly fitted hunting boots size can make all the difference in the world.
Unfortunately, the fitting process isn’t nearly as simple when compared to buying an ordinary pair of shoes, or even boots for that matter.
Hunting boots have a lot of different aspects not found with other types of footwear, and thus require a unique fitting process to ensure you get a pair that will work well with your feet, while providing maximum comfort, safety, and traction.
Below are some helpful tips to make sure you get hunting boots with a great fit.
Just as with any other kind of footwear, the profile of your foot is important to be aware of when shopping for hunting boots.
If you wear a standard size, you can just shop as you normally would, but if you generally wear shoes designated as narrow or wide, you’ll need to look for the same with a pair of hunting boots. Most major brands offer their boots in wide and narrow sizes, even if they aren’t listed on their site or shopping page.
If you already own a pair of boots from brand X, and you’re now considering a pair from brand Z, don’t assume that you can order that same size 11 in the new brand and expect the exact same fit. The same is actually true within brands in regards to other product lines and years.
Always check that exact shoe’s size measurements on the product listing. If buying online, try to find the boots at a local store so you can try them on first.
When trying the boots on, they should fit snugly around both your instep and ankles, and you should also be able to move your toes with ease. If you feel your circulation being cut off — even just a little — they are too small. The space between your longest toe and the tip of your shoe should be a thumb's width apart.
Put on both boots, and then walk around a bit. If there’s an incline, walk up and down it a few times. If your feet slide forward, the boots are probably too wide.
Always try on hunting boots in the afternoon or early evening, as your feet swell up half a size during the day, and will swell even more when out in the field. Trying the boots on at this time of day will provide a more accurate fit.
It’s worth reiterating: don’t overlook your hunting boots size. By picking the right size for each purchase, you’ll go a long way in providing yourself a much better experience every time you hunt, and with less aches and pains afterwards. Happy shopping!