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How should boots fit?

captainshields

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I just got my first pair of new boots in a long time (Thorogood Moc Toes).
I've done a lot of research and info seems to be a little all of over the place on how much room your foot should have inside the boot.
Is there a rule of thumb for knowing how much room your foot should have in a boot? Thorogood says a finger's width and an inch of space at the toe, both in the same fit guide article. Those seem very different to me. I ordered my normal size. Measuring the inside of the boot vs my foot, I seem to have about .75" of difference/room. Does that seem like enough or too much? I'm worried going down another half size they will be too small.

Just curious if there are any other ways to tell. I know wearing them a lot will let me know, but would like to keep them in good shape if I need to return them due to sizing.
 

Nigel Sequeira

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It's a great question and definitely one that's hard to answer for a couple of reasons.

The reason they say you should have space at the front of the boot is so when you bend your foot your toe isn't pushing up against the toe box. My personal rule of thumb is to put the boot on so that your heel is snugged into the heel counter, and then standing on a downwards incline (your toe is facing down), your toes should not be jammed up against the toe box. Same with bending your foot, there should be adequate space for your foot to move around but not so much that it feels like a clown boot.

Sizing and fit are also somewhat of a personal experience - I went through Danner recently and given my brannock sizing they put me at a 9 narrow, but I found after some trial and error I was an 8.5 extra-wide because of the shape my toes create. Most boot companies are cool with you wearing them around your house for a bit to see how they feel, just don't wear them outside or crease them too much.

I hope that's a helpful answer, good luck with your boot adventure!
 

captainshields

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It's a great question and definitely one that's hard to answer for a couple of reasons.

The reason they say you should have space at the front of the boot is so when you bend your foot your toe isn't pushing up against the toe box. My personal rule of thumb is to put the boot on so that your heel is snugged into the heel counter, and then standing on a downwards incline (your toe is facing down), your toes should not be jammed up against the toe box. Same with bending your foot, there should be adequate space for your foot to move around but not so much that it feels like a clown boot.

Sizing and fit are also somewhat of a personal experience - I went through Danner recently and given my brannock sizing they put me at a 9 narrow, but I found after some trial and error I was an 8.5 extra-wide because of the shape my toes create. Most boot companies are cool with you wearing them around your house for a bit to see how they feel, just don't wear them outside or crease them too much.

I hope that's a helpful answer, good luck with your boot adventure!
Thanks so much!
My worry is that I just don’t know what a good fit feels like. I think I’ve been wearing the wrong size for years, but I also don’t want to invest so much money and time breaking in boots that might be too big!l and cause issues down the road.

I see a lot of people saying boots need to fit tight and then you break them in. These new boots I got seem to fit well right out of the box, which is why I’m concerned they might be too big

it’s a tough one!
 

Nigel Sequeira

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Do you feel like the issue is width or length specifically? (from what you say it sounds like length is more of your issue)

With my danners I went back and forth returning and ordering like 4 times til I felt comfortable with my decision. Granted I couldn't find a pair of Danners in stock where I am, I feel like thorogood are easier to come by. Maybe try finding a store that has them in sizes so you could try them on back to back and see if you're feeling any differences?
 

captainshields

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Do you feel like the issue is width or length specifically? (from what you say it sounds like length is more of your issue)

With my danners I went back and forth returning and ordering like 4 times til I felt comfortable with my decision. Granted I couldn't find a pair of Danners in stock where I am, I feel like thorogood are easier to come by. Maybe try finding a store that has them in sizes so you could try them on back to back and see if you're feeling any differences?
Its the length. I’m definitely a wide width. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find these specific boots locally.

Again though, my probably is I don’t know what the right fit is supposed to feel like, so even trying them on in stores would be tough.
 

captainshields

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So, the size 9 boots I got fit exactly how the manufacturer suggests, down to the exact space inside, the length of my foot, etc. However, it seems like my heel moves a lot more than in other boots.

Does anybody else have any good pointers for properly sizing boots?
 

Nigel Sequeira

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Do you wear a specific style of socks with your shoes? that could be one of the defining factors. Another thing to remember is with most (not all) leather boots, there's going to be a bit of slippage in the heel at first, as your foot massages the leather into conforming to your heel it'll happen less. There's obviously a point that's too much but without being there to see how much you're talking about I can't tell you if it's more than normal
 

captainshields

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Do you wear a specific style of socks with your shoes? that could be one of the defining factors. Another thing to remember is with most (not all) leather boots, there's going to be a bit of slippage in the heel at first, as your foot massages the leather into conforming to your heel it'll happen less. There's obviously a point that's too much but without being there to see how much you're talking about I can't tell you if it's more than normal
The sock thing is tough. I actually wear my boots year round so part of the year I wear thicker socks and part thinner. Because of that I was thinking I should stick to the slightly larger size for when I have thicker socks.

I didn't realized that about some slight slippage. That's good to know! I decided to also buy a pair in the size smaller to check out. If they feel too tight, I will commit to the larger ones that have a small amount of slippage and see how they wear in. It's hard because I can't really wear them in and see if they will fit better in the long one without losing the ability to return or exchange.

Thanks for the response!
 
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