boot closeups

At Outside we have over 25 years of boot fitting experience. For the best fitting service we can offer please visit our boot room in person. However if you are buying online please read our Boot Fitting Guide below. When ordering boots it is often better to order two pairs to begin with, try them both on and then post a pair back. In combination with our Boot Fitting Guide this offers the best chances of getting a good fit.

Before you start

SockPut on your preferred sock combination, (thick walking socks can make a big difference to your foot size). Try to find a slope of around a 30 degrees inclination.




Remove the factory footbeds from the inside of both boots. Stand on the footbeds taking care to line up your heel accurately at the back. Your feet should be shorter than the footbeds by something in the region of 10 to 15mm. A good guideline is the width of the tip of your index finger. Make a note if the gaps are unequal indicating that one foot is longer than the other. A gap of less than 10mm may indicate that the boots are too short, likewise if you have much more than 15mm the boots may be too long. Don’t worry if you seem to overhang the footbeds in width, this will almost always be the case.

Replace the footbeds and slip your feet into the boots. Slacken the laces and wriggle your feet forwards until your longest toe can be felt to just make contact with the front of the boot. Stand up and feel down behind your heel using your index finger. There should a gap about the width of your index finger between the back of your heel and the back of the boot.

For plastic boots and double layer mountaineering boots first remove the inners from the shells. Stand in the shells wearing your chosen socks and check the gap between the back of your heels and the back of the shells. The gap should be in the region of approximately 20-25mm. If the inners are of the non heat moulding type try these on next. Check that you can pinch a fingers width sized gap between your toes and the end of the inner boot. On heat moulding inners this check is not important.

The Boots

bootPut the boots on and lace them firmly starting from the toe end pulling out the slack as you go. For now lace them normally and use all of the eyelets/lace hooks. If you have a slope available try walking up it. Whilst stepping forwards check the fit of the heel area. If your heels lift and rise significantly inside the boot this may lead to rubbing and blistering at the backs of your heels. If you feel excessive heel lift check the lacing for adequate tension and repeat the test. If you don’t have a slope you can substitute by standing with your toes on the edge of a step, lift your heels up by flexing your knees forwards and check for heel lift.

Try walking down the slope and as you do so stamp your feet forwards. The main aim is to check whether your toes contact the front of the boots or not whilst walking down a steep descent. If you can feel your toes contacting the front, this may indicate that the boots are too short. Also check to see if your feet slide forwards inside the boots excessively whilst descending. If you feel either contact at the front or too much sliding forwards check the lacing for tension and repeat the test. If you do not have a slope you can substitute by tapping your toes against something solid (just don’t leave black marks the skirting board).

Check the boots for width, particularly across the forefoot. This should be comfortable yet secure. You should be able to wriggle your toes comfortably and there should be no sensation that your foot is being squeezed widthways. It is also important however that your foot does not feel to be loose or ‘sloppy’ across the width of the boot. A balance of security and comfortable freedom of movement is what is required. On high altitude mountaineering boots this test for adequate ‘toe wriggle room’ is of great importance. An excessively tight fit will restrict the free flow of circulation and result in cold toes!

The above is intended as a very basic guide only! If you are experiencing problems please seek the advice of one of our fulltime boot-fitters.

Image supplied by Mammut


Visa, MasterCard and PayPal Accepted 5 Star Reviews from Trust Pilot

Outside.co.uk uses cookies and some may have already been set. Please click the button to agree and remove this message.

If you continue to use the site we'll assume you're happy to accept the cookies. Find out more .