Boot Fitting Guide

3 Steps To Find The Perfect Fit

Have you ever wondered… how do I know my boots are the right fit?

It can often be hard to determine the perfect fit of a pair of hiking boots, especially when it’s an investment that you expect to use for many years. The amount of room in front of your toes, the movement inside the boot, all the way through to how snug the fit should be.

All these questions circle your head as you try on a pair of brand-new boots and want to make the right choice.

This is especially hard when online shopping for boots as there is no sales staff to guide you. 

LOWA has created a step-by-step guide to help you determine your perfect fit. By using this guide, you can make the right choice with confidence whether you are at home or in-store. It is the perfect tool if you can’t get to one of our trusted LOWA retailers to be fitted by a staff member in person.

As always, to get the best possible fit, LOWA recommends visiting a trusted LOWA retailer to be fitted by a trained staff member. 

Step 1 - Measure Your Foot

LOWA sizing generally runs true to UK sizing, so we recommend purchasing your regular UK size.

We also recommend measuring your foot to double check you have the correct size, as sizes can vary drastically among different hiking boot brands or even your normal running shoes.

Measuring your foot is an important step of selecting the correct size in your LOWA boots, and it is best to do this in the afternoon. This is because your feet swell throughout the day (and when you hike), so it is best to measure your foot at its biggest.

Did You Know, Most People Have One Foot Larger Than The Other?

Pro Tip: Always measure both feet! One foot can sometimes be larger than the other and it is best to buy for the bigger foot.

In fact, a US study found that approximately 60% of adults have “mismated” feet resulting in one foot being smaller or larger than the other. This is completely normal. 

To ensure the perfect fit for each foot, you can take advantage of the LOWA Shims. These boot inserts can help with odd sized feet and make the smaller foot fit more closely to how the larger foot feels. 

This can be done by placing one Shim underneath the insole of the smaller foot to increase the volume of the boot. This will provide you with a snug fit in a size that is just slightly too big! Check out the Shims by clicking here. 

How Can You Measure Your Foot Correctly?

You can use our handy foot measuring chart to measure your foot.

Click here to open the measuring chart and find the instructions on how to measure your foot.

When measuring your foot, we recommend putting on a pair of socks so you can gauge how much room is needed in the boot with socks on. If you generally wear extra padded socks, you may need to size up! 

See more below on how to choose the right hiking socks for you.

Step 2 - Use The LOWA Size Chart

Once you’ve measured your foot, you can use the LOWA Size Chart to determine which UK size is most suitable.

We also offer free shipping on exchanges in case you need a different size. So don’t worry, we’re here to make sure you get the perfect fit.

Step 3 - Try On The Boots

Once you’ve got your size and your fancy new boots have arrived. It’s time to try them on and figure out if they fit correctly.

There are a few key things you need to look for when you try on your hiking boots. Check out LOWA’s 3 for 30 checklist below. Remember, you have 30 days to trial your boots at home and if they don’t feel like the perfect fit, you can send them back to us.

Just make sure the tags are kept on, the boots are within the 30 days return window and they have only been worn inside. You can read the full LOWA returns policy by clicking here.

Home Trial - 3 for 30

3 for 30 means you need to keep 3 things in mind for 30 days while you trial the boots.

1 - Room In Front Of Your Toes

You need to have at least half a thumb width, or up to a full thumb width of room in front of your toes when wearing the boots. Just enough to wiggle your toes. This is because when you walk down hill, your foot tends to slide forward slightly, and you don’t want your toes hitting the front!

You can check the room by kicking your foot back in the boot before lacing them up and pressing the front of the boot to feel where your toes are.

If you are unable to press and check where your toes are, you can take out the insole and place your foot on it to check. Although this method is not 100% accurate, it will provide you with an idea of how your feet are sitting inside the boot and how much space you likely have in front of the toes. 

You can also try banging the toe of the boot in the ground to see if your toes hit the end. If they do, the boot is too small! 

Having enough room in front of your toes means you can walk downhill in comfort and avoid ending up with bruises… or worse, lost toenails!

Pro Tip: Did you know that carrying extra heavy loads over 25kgs for long distances can make your feet longer? If you are a self-supported hiker or hunter carrying heavy loads, you may need to size up to allow for foot expansion caused by heavy loads. 

2 - Room Across The Width Of Your Foot

When you are hiking for long periods of time, your feet tend to swell due to the increased blood flow from walking. This can increase the amount of space your feet take up inside the boot.

To ensure your boots don’t feel too tight when this happens, you must look for a snug fit across the top of your laces (as shown in the image).

 

A boot that is too tight across here might mean you need to opt for a wider fitting boot that allows you extra room across the metatarsal area shown.

You can also go up half a size if the boot feels too tight. An extra half a size will provide you with 5mm in length but also, 2-2.5mm extra in width! 

Pro Tip: Always make sure your boot laces are done up nice and tight for support through the ankle.

3 - Heel Lift

One thing you want to minimise is the amount of heel lift. Heel lift occurs when you are walking on a flat or inclining terrain and your heel lifts off the insole as your foot flexes forward.

Excessive heel lift can indicate you have too much room and the boots might be a little too big for you.

Pro Tip: Make sure your laces are done up tightly through the ankle (especially by the hooks). This can often reduce heel lift.

The Final Steps… 

Now that you know what you are looking for in the perfect fit, take your time to walk around the house and see how they feel. Remember, if you are unsure about the size, make sure the boots are only worn inside. 

Once you’ve got all three things ticked in your 30 day trial, you'll know the boots are the perfect fit!

It’s time to rip the tags off and head off on your first adventure with your new LOWAs.

Want To Exchange For A Different Size?

Just remember, you need to preserve your boots during the trial so they are in resalable condition. This is just good sustainability practice, so keep these three things in mind when you receive your boots:

  1. The boots are only worn inside and kept in pristine condition
  2. The tags are kept on
  3. The shoebox is looked after and you pack the boots neatly inside when returning

Just treat your boots and the packaging with the respect they deserve, so your exchange doesn't create any surprises. Click here to visit the returns page.

Bonus Info - The Importance Of Socks

To get the most comfortable outdoor experience with your LOWAs, we recommend wearing them with a pair of Thorlos Hiking Socks.

Remember how most people have one foot smaller than the other?

This simply means you’ll never find a pair of shoes that fit both feet perfectly...

And why you need to get the right socks to fill up the extra space by expanding in the gaps while still compressing in the right places (which most socks don't do).

The Solution Is... Thorlos Socks!

Thorlos socks are uniquely designed to protect the fat pads on your feet and clinically proven to reduce pain, blisters, moisture and pressure.

Thorlos have got socks for every type of outdoor activity. Whether you’re going for a day hike and need a light cushion, or you’re trekking for a week and need a few pairs of heavy padded socks. There’s a match for you!

By pairing your boots with a pair of Thorlos, you’ll be able to hike for longer and with less pain.

You can purchase Thorlos socks by visiting your nearest Thorlos retailer. 

You can also purchase them online from the NZ Thorlos Website or find the outdoor styles on the LOWA website sorted by Men's or Women's.

More Questions?

Feel free to reach out using the chat box on the right of this page or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

And for a completely personalised fitting experience, we always recommend you visit one of our highly trained LOWA retailers.

We look forward to getting you fitted into the perfect pair of LOWA boots for your next adventure.

Happy Hiking! 🥾