Hiking Footwear Sizing
Hiking Footwear Sizing
I wear a woman's 7.5, but find if I buy men's 7.5's for hiking I have enough toe box room and the width is a little wider for my puffy feet. Men's sizes are generally 2 sizes larger then women's. Hammock Hanger
Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D
I usually wear a 12 but on the trail a 13 seems to be just right. Asian manufacturers tend to construct their shoes to be a bit widerer than the Europeans. It would be a good idea to try on shoes later in the day because your foot will swell. Shoe sizes vary by manufacturer so the old saying rings true, try before you buy.
my regular hiking boots are the same size, but my morraines for wintertime stomping are a half size larger
Fantasies are Merely realities in waiting!
wow, i just posted on the subject about superfeet and included that i always buy my hiking/running shoes 2 sizes bigger than my normal footwear. that option wasn't available in this poll but i think it's a great idea. I have never gotten a blister since making sure that i have at least an extra inch of space in front of my big toe in the box. When i started hiking, i took a 9 1/2. Now my regular shoes are an 11 and i wear a 13 for my Montrail Vitesse running shoes. (i hike and run a lot, i think this is why my feet have grown this much in the past 15 years)
I learned the hard way in '95 when i tried to do the AT with leather hiking boots that were just big enough to get my feet into. I forced myself onward thru the pain until one day my knee swelled up so big it was scary. After a week resting, and luckily running into Ray "Wall" Greenlaw, an ultra runner/ hiker who told me to get big shoes, the problem was finally solved and i could continue my hike with, WOW, no pain! I haven't had a blister since!
with brief moments in crocs or waldies or usurpers
Start out slow, then slow down.
I buy my hiking boots a 1/2 size bigger than I really need to make sure that there is plenty of room in the toe box. I have problems with ingrown toe nails and if my toes bang into the shoe it just plain hurts. Then I double up on my socks to take up the extra room in the rest of the boot and to provide extra cushion for my toes.
I used a pair of size 11 L.L. Bean Cresta Hikers on my first 2 AT section hikes. I usually wear a size 10 or 10.5 shoe. When I hiked in the boots, they were flexing in such a way as to put a lot of stress on my toes. My big toe toenails turned black and eventually fell off several months after my hike. Is this normal? I sized down to a 10.5 in the same boot but, as I have big toes, my toes felt cramped. Since I have a narrow/normal heel, I didn't want to go with a wide. The Branock Device also shows that my width is medium. These boots are poorly cushioned as well. So, I recently went out got some Dunham Waffle Stomper Nimbles. I have only day hiked in them so far but I really like them and plan on wearing them on my upcoming section hike.
My hiking boots are a full size larger than my normal size. I have trail runners in 1/2 size larger than normal and a cheapie set of hiking boots for lighthearted frolicking without a pack.
I used to fit hikers in boots/footwear and I can tell you from years of experience that "numeric" size is a bit of dark art. First off ...size rarely translated directly from one manufacturer or style to another. Another aspect of footwear size is something called "volume". All companies use a different "last" or foot form to create their footwear. Some is designed for high instep, some for shallow and some in between.
Numeric size is only a staring point in the process. It allows the outfitter to make a coarse decision as to what size(s) to initially bring out of the back room for you to try on. The rest is trial and error. Also, remember that all footwear is designed for the "masses" and your feet may not fit that mold. That's where a good footbed comes into play. A good outfitter will help you to take a stock pair of footwear and customize the fit to your foot.
Sorry for the long-winded post ...but it is a bit dangerous to generalize about footwear sizes when comparing street shoes and hiking boots/shoes.
The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.
I found that Lowa's run pretty much true to size for me. But I have broken both of my little toe's ( sit down and cry before passing out I did ) so the toe boxes had to be wide enough. I also got some great footbeds to really make the fit work right.
Footslogger has posted words of wisdom on this subject. My hiking boots are all at least 1/2 a size larger than I normally wear. Too much room could cause your toes to move too much and cause blisters also.
I wear a size larger and put a sole pad in and then a heel pad on top of that. I need the cushioning, especially for my heel. I wore just one pair of Lowa's boots from Springer to Katahdin so they were pretty well broken in and breaking down but I still use them. I had to have the toe area streched up around Carlisle, Pa for width because my feet had swelled so much. Not many blisters though.
my hiking shoes ARE my everyday footwear
"when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." --HST
Uncle Silly VA->VT '05, VT->ME '07, VA->GA ??
Second tally for Chacos. Same size for me, too.