Should My Hiking Boots Be A Size Bigger? Should They Be Tight/Loose?

Hiking is a fun opportunity to get fit and be in nature. But choosing a suitable pair of shoes to enjoy the ride is challenging. Should my hiking boots be a size bigger? Should they be tight or loose?

Do you have these questions? We have the answer! You can learn how to choose suitable boots after reading this article.

Should My Hiking Boots Be A Size Bigger? 

The answer is YES. In our experience, we recommend choosing hiking boots larger than your feet.

Should Hiking Boots Be Tight Or Loose?

When it comes to hiking shoes, comfort is essential. Wearing the wrong size can lead to discomfort and blistering. In some cases, you will get injured. So people believe that hiking boots should be looser.

Besides, the perfect fit of hiking shoes depends on many different factors. These include hiking type, terrain, and personal preferences.

In general, hiking boots should fit your feet snugly. It means they have enough room for your toes to wiggle around comfortably. The heel should not slip, and the boot should not be too tight in any area.

Otherwise, they will cause discomfort or pain. But different types can fit differently depending on the brand, material, and style. Some hikers may prefer a looser fit. Meanwhile, others prefer a better fit.

Also, keep in mind that looser shoes can cause more movement. It leads to friction and blistering. Also, if your foot slides around in the shoe, you could lose stability on rough terrain.

As a result, you will have potential injuries. So we advise you not to choose shoes that are too wide.

We will discuss in more detail how to choose hiking boots in the next section of this article.

In short, you should choose looser hiking boots. But remember not to choose shoes that are too wide. Remember, a comfortable pair of shoes is essential for a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

How To Try On Hiking Boots?

First, it is essential to understand that the feet swell with activity. So try on hiking boots at the end of the day. At this point, your feet are at their largest.

You should also wear the same pair of socks that you plan to wear when hiking when trying on shoes. This way can ensure a better fit. That way, you’ll avoid any surprises while on the trail.

Second, wear the same socks that you plan to wear when hiking. They will give you a better idea of how the boots will fit when you’re on the trail.

Third, tie your shoelaces firmly but not too tight. Thanks to that, you will feel how the shoes fit your feet.

Pay attention to how the boots feel around your feet. Ensure no tension or rubbing and that your toes have enough room to wiggle.

Besides, the heel should not slip when you walk. Try tightening the laces or a different size if that’s the case. Try walking up and down an incline to test the stability if possible.

We recommend that you take your time when trying on shoes. Hiking boots are an investment. And you want to find the perfect shoe for your needs.

By following these steps, you can make sure you find hiking shoes that fit and are comfortable for your next adventure on the trails.

Tips For Choosing Hiking Boots

Some hikers have trouble choosing suitable boots. But you don’t need to worry anymore because we have some tips.

Understanding The Types Of Hiking Boots

Understanding the different types can help you find the right pair when choosing hiking boots. Each type of hiking boot is for specific terrain and activities.

  • Lightweight hiking boots are best for day walks on well-maintained trails
  • Hiking boots are suitable for technical climbing activities and extreme cold.
  • Other hiking shoes include access and trail running shoes.

You must understand the different types of hiking boots and their intended uses. So, you can make an informed decision when choosing a comfortable and supportive hiking boot. Besides, they are suitable for the hiking you plan to do.

Always Measure And Measure Both.

Feet can change size and shape over time. So you must measure your feet before buying new hiking boots. Also, many people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other.

So measuring both feet can ensure you get a shoe that fits well. A well-fitting shoe can prevent blisters and other foot injuries while hiking.

When measuring your feet, measure the length, width, and arch. These factors can all affect the fit of your hiking shoes.

Waterproof, Or Not Waterproof?

It depends on the climbing type you plan to do and the weather conditions you expect to encounter.

Waterproof hiking boots are a good choice for hiking in wet or rainy conditions. But they can be heavier and less breathable than waterproof boots.

Waterproof boots may be a better choice if you plan on hiking in a drier climate or warmer weather. They tend to be more breathable and lightweight.

Make Sure There Is No Heel Lift.

Heel lift occurs when your heel rises and falls inside the boot while walking. It can lead to blistering, discomfort, and instability on the trail.

To avoid heel lift, ensure the boot fits snugly around your heel and ankle. But it is not too tight to cause discomfort.

You can slide your foot forward in the boot until your toes touch the end. Then wiggle your toes without touching the front of the boot.

Walk On An Inclined Surface.

Consider the terrain type you’ll be riding on, including inclined surfaces. Walking on an incline puts extra pressure on your feet and ankles. It can cause slippage if your boots don’t have enough traction.

Thus, look for hiking boots with sturdy soles and good spikes. They can grip the ground and provide stability on steep slopes.

Some hiking shoes also have some outstanding features:

  • Heel brake
  • Stone plate
  • Anti-slip
  • Protect your feet from rough terrain.

Besides, ensure that your hiking shoes fit well and provide enough support for your ankles. It is because walking on a slope can put extra stress on these joints.

Heavy Lifting.

Lifting heavy objects puts extra stress on your feet and ankles. So you need boots that can support the weight and provide the support to prevent injury.

Look for boots with a sturdy sole and supportive midsole to absorb shock and provide cushioning. An ankle boot can also help provide extra support and stability.

Also, make sure they have durable materials. They can withstand the weight and pressure of heavy lifting. Besides, they must fit snugly to avoid slipping or discomfort.


Below are some questions and answers related choosing hiking boots being tight or loose:

Is It Better To Have Hiking Boots That Are Too Big Or Too Small?

It is better to have hiking boots that are a bit big than too small. Boots that are too small can cause discomfort, blisters, and injury to your feet. Meanwhile, loose boots can be a better fit and more comfortable on the trail.

How Much Space Do You Need In Your Hiking Boots?

You should have enough room to wiggle your toes comfortably when wearing hiking boots. But they shouldn’t leave too much room for your foot to slide inside the boot.

A well-fitting shoe should fit around the heel and ankle. Your feet also don’t slip or rub. But they are not too tight to cause discomfort.

Is It Ok For Boots To Be A Little Big?

It’s no problem to be a little too wide. But boots must not be too wide to be uncomfortable or unstable. They can cause blisters, slips, and foot injuries on the trail.

Are Hiking Boots The Same Size As Shoes?

Hiking shoes are not always the same size as regular shoes. They are for more support and protection than regular shoes.

You must measure your feet and try on hiking shoes before you buy them to ensure a good fit. It is because the size may vary between brands and models.


So should my hiking boots be a size bigger? The answer is definitely yes. It will help you enjoy your trip better. Besides, there are different ways to choose a suitable pair of boots. You can try our tips.

Hopefully, you will find the right pair of hiking boots. If you have any questions, feel free to comment with us. We will have the answer for you.

Thank you for reading!

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