Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Shoe size

  1. #1

    Default Shoe size

    Iíve read in a number of places that hikerís shoe size increases during a thru hike.

    Is this increase permanent or does oneís feet return to their former sizes?

    I walk 2-3 miles per day with a light 20 pound pack, and 10+ miles every weekend with a pack, sometimes light and sometimes with 35 pounds.

    Are my feet likely to increase in size during a thru hike?

    I ask because Iíve found footwear I really like but might need a break in period, plus is semi-custom so needs pre-ordering by a few weeks. Iíd hate to invest $230 in footwear for it not to fit after a couple of months.

    Thank you.

  2. #2


    I will give you my experience with shoe size and hiking since no one answered you.
    My feet are the same size now as they were when I started my long walks.
    I have worn road running shoes probably 98% of the time and usually get 500 to 600 miles out of each pair. Trail running shoes are too stiff for me.
    Could get a little more mileage if I had to.
    Used to use Asics, but quality seemed to go downhill, so I now use Mizuno Wave road running shoes.
    The Mizuno shoes easily last 600 miles.
    Tried boots one time in 2003 and twisted my ankles constantly, so switched back to road running shoes and was good to go. Not only that, but the boots never dried and were extremely heavy. Those were Limmers.
    Appalachian Trail is 27.0% complete.

  3. #3


    Hikers feet do not get longer, they get wider. I went from a wide to a 4E of 10 years of sectioning.

  4. #4


    I used to fit well in size 10.5-11. Now I'm needing to get 11.5-12. Feet have always been wide. I think I can blame the backpacking I've done over the last 8-9 years. No thru hikes, but more than 3500 miles.
    Find the LIGHT STUFF at

    The lightest cathole trowels, wood burning stoves, windscreens, spatulas,
    cooking options, titanium and aluminum pots, and buck saws on the planet

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Bad Ischl, Austria


    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Hikers feet do not get longer, they get wider. I went from a wide to a 4E of 10 years of sectioning.
    Exactly this.
    And once the feet became wider, they won't shrink after having finished the hike.
    My and my wife's experience.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Golden CO


    Mine got bigger on my first thru hike and stayed that way. They did not increase on subsequent long hikes. It makes sense there's a physical limit.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Ender's Avatar
    Join Date
    Lovely coastal Maine


    My feet didn't change size at all, and this was back in the late 90's when packs were significantly heavier.

    In other words, everyone is different. My guess, and it's only a guess... if you're already walking that much with a weighted backpack, your feet aren't likely to change much either. Again though, everyone is different, so who knows what will actually happen.
    Don't take anything I say seriously... I certainly don't.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts