How Should Hiking Boots Fit?

How should hiking boots fit? A question many ask themselves when they prep for their next trek or buy a new pair of boots. Better yet, the right fit means you can relax knowing you will be a comfortable hiker. Plus, nobody wants to be the one slowing the group down because their shoes are causing them grief! 


Like with any pair of new shoes, there are some initial checks to determine how your hiking boots should fit correctly.

  • Check the length - Place your foot into the boot and push it forward to the tip of the shoe. Next, check how much room you have behind your heel and the end of the boot. In a well fitted shoe, you should be able to get a finger between the back of the boot and your heel.  
  • Check the width - If your feet feel cramped, or you can move your feet side to side within the boot, they are not the right fit. You want the boot to be snug against your foot but not so much that it is painful. 
  • Check the heel - Your heel should not slip up and down when you walk around in your boot. If it does, try adjusting how you lace the boot or try a smaller size.


We asked ourselves how hiking boots should fit properly and it helped us create a specialist hiking shoe with comfort at the heart of its design. Our lightweight hiking boot, the Wool Cross X Alpine is full of features that focus on fit so that you can enjoy a long lasting trek. 

  • Weigh just 860 grams.
  • They’re 100% waterproof.
  • They incorporate merino wool 3D KnitTechnology.
  • A two-zone lacing system secures your foot in all the right places.
  • Anti-blister heels, to bid goodbye to annoying pressure points. 
  • They feature micro-grip soles to prepare you for any terrain.

Ultimately, hiking boots are essential equipment for your outdoor activities, so making sure they fit right from day one is vital. The Giesswein Wool Cross X Alpine allows your foot the dreamy partnership of comfort and practicality. So you can take your strides to the summit with ease.


Ensuring your hiking boots fit comfortably, should be one of your main priorities before you head off on your latest adventure. There is nothing worse than discovering that your feet aren’t comfortable before you’ve left the house, or worse, mid-hike. So, what can you do to make sure your hiking shoes fit properly?    

  1. Try your new boots on at the end of the day - your feet are always the biggest at the end of the day or after high intensity exercise. So, trying your boots on at these times could ensure that your hiking boots fit well. This is because you will be trying on your boots when your feet are at their largest, so you know how comfortable your feet will be once they have expanded on your hike. 
  2. Wear the same thickness of socks - When you’re determining how your hiking boots should fit, always wear the same thickness of sock you are planning to wear on your hike. This little adjustment could make all the difference on your trek. This is because if you wear thinner socks initially, there may be more room available in the shoe than you think. When you come to wear thicker socks, they take up more room and could actually make your footwear seem uncomfortable. 
  3. Walk around in your new boots - One of the most important things you can do once you have decided on your boots is to walk about in them. Whether this is in the store before you buy, or around your home. Performing this short exercise can help determine whether your hiking boots fit correctly.   

By considering these tips on how your boots should fit, you will be able to stride to the top of the summit with ease and conquer any obstacles that come your way. Alternatively, you can also discover how your sneakers should fit properly, to avoid any discomfort throughout your everyday routines. 


Sometimes, it isn’t just about knowing how hiking boots should fit, but preparing your feet to go inside them too. Understanding what makes a good walking boot, can help you achieve your next milestone comfortably. Experienced hikers will know that the more often you go on long distance trails, the harder and tougher your feet become. Meaning you may not suffer as much with minor foot injuries, like blisters.  

hiking boots giesswein

For budding new hikers wanting to explore their surroundings, you may want to start by knowing your walking limits to toughen your feet. Start by undertaking short distances and stopping when you feel a ‘hot spot’. Hot spots can be caused by the friction between your foot and the boot. These can quickly develop into blisters, but over time the more walking you perform, the more your tolerance will build up. Meaning you could walk further than you ever have before! Often people believe they suffer from blisters because they didn't check the fit of the hiking boot first. If you are unaware of  how to measure your feet correctly at home, we have the perfect guide to help you understand. You will be gliding the nature trails with ease in no time.  


Let’s go back to basics and discover the fundamental shoe structure, to really understand how hiking boots should fit. Whether you have a lightweight hiking shoe or a special summer boot, the structures are all very similar.   

Upper: This part of the boot is what gives support to your ankle and foot. It gets its name ‘upper’ because it is the top of the boot. The upper is a very important element because it is the first line of defense your foot has against different weather conditions.

Lining: The lining of the hiking boot is what is closest to your foot. Some waterproof hiking shoes have linings which are very helpful in rainy conditions. However, you should check the breathability of the material in your boot. As having your feet in an enclosed space, can lead to hot, sticky feet and an unpleasant odour to accompany them. To have a more enjoyable experience, understanding how your hiking boots should fit is important.      

Midsoles: Although you are unable to really see the midsoles, they are one of the most important parts of the boot. Situated between the outsole and the rest of the boot, their main function is to provide flexibility.  EVA soles can be a popular choice for midsoles, as they have shock-absorbing properties and are cushioned. 

Outsoles: Outsoles are the base of the boot, which come into contact with the different terrains you walk on. Different boots can provide different levels of stability and grip, based on the type of tread they have on the outsoles. 

Top tip: Deep treads are more suitable for muddy ground, while you might need a shallower tread for rocky or dry terrains. 


Blisters are never pleasant, but sometimes these unwanted guests appear unexpectedly. Blisters are traditionally caused by excessive rubbing and friction. In other words, knowing your hiking boots fit correctly, could avoid them and allow you to continue your trek in comfort.

We have some top tips to help reduce your chances of encountering these unwanted pains: 

  • Look at the material - The material of your boot and lining could play an important part to reducing blisters. A material like merino wool reduces friction between the foot and the shoe, reducing blisters.
  • Pack spare socks - Sweaty feet are likely to cause blisters, so pack an extra pair of dry socks that you can change into mid walk. This could also be handy if the skies open and you're caught in a rainstorm.   
  • Blister plasters - If you know you are prone to blisters, or they keep appearing in one area, try applying a blister plaster before you set off.


Being proud of our heritage, we are currently the third generation owners of Giesswein. Our ambitions are as big as when the company started, which is why we want to reinvent the positive attributes wool has to offer. Many of our collections are made with comfortably soft merino wool, so your feet could experience luxury in our lightweight, everyday sneakers, women’s hiking shoes, and men’s hiking shoes. The perfect accompaniment to any outfit, day or night.   

Wool Cross X Alpine

Wool Cross X

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