Your feet usually ache and become sore after hiking all day. It will give you more pain if your feet have squeezed uncomfortably in the hiking boots that don't accommodate your wide feet.
To protect your feet on the hiking trip, you need to carefully select a pair of hiking boots that perfectly fit your wide feet.
This guide gives you useful tips on how to measure your feet' width and choose the right hiking boots accordingly. It will be easier to find the perfect boots for wide feet with these tips in mind.
Do I Have Wide Feet？
If you often try on shoes that are long enough for your feet but squeeze your toes altogether, you might have wide feet. The only way to confirm it is by measuring your foot width.
There are 2 systems to describe shoe width sizes. One is using letters: A, B, C, D, E, EE, EEE. The others describe shoe width in 4 sizes: Narrow, Medium, Wide, Extra Wide.
Men's shoe width
Women's shoe width
Here are 2 ways to measure your feet' width at home by yourself.
Step 1: Get a piece of paper and place your foot on the paper while seated. Trace your foot with a pen. (It's better if you get someone to trace your feet while you seat upright.)
Step 2: Trace the other foot and pick the larger foot.
Step 3: Measure the width between the two widest points on your foot.
Step 4: Identify your feet width size with the corresponding shoe size in the above chart.
Step 1: Place your foot flat on the ground and wrap a tape measure around the widest part of your foot.
Step 2: Mark the width of your foot on the tape measure.
- 1. Your feet will be slightly wider by the end of the day. Therefore, you should do the measurement at night.
- 2. While measuring the feet, wear the socks you intend to wear in hiking.
Why Do I Have Wide Feet？
Some people are born with wider feet. Also, people with flat arches usually have wider feet.
Apart from the genetic factors, there are other factors that cause wider feet.
Feet can get wider as we age. It's normal that your feet grow wider as you get older;
Your feet could be wider if you gain or lose weight;
Always wearing shoes that don't fit the width or length of your feet can cause bunions, calluses, or other foot deformities, which make your foot wider;
Pregnant women can have a wider larger feet in their second and third trimesters.
Tips to Help You Select Hiking Boots for Wide Feet
Wide width hiking boots
If you have extra wide feet, go for the brands that offer wide width hiking boots that have the length of the normal size, but increase the width of the toe box to accommodate wider feet.
Get hiking boots with wide toe boxes
Most hiking boots are designed with narrow toe boxes as they seem more stylish in that way, but style should be the last thing to consider for backpackers with wider feet. Hiking boots with wide toe boxes let your toes splay naturally when hiking, which will save you lots of pain after a long hiking trip.
The widest part of the boot line up with the ball of your foot
Put on the boots and lace up. And make sure the widest part of your foot should position on the widest part of the hiking boots.
Read the reviews of other wide-footed hikers
If you are shopping online, read the reviews from the backpackers that have wide feet like you. Their experience will help you make a wise choice.
Break in your boots before hiking
Before hitting the road, break in your brand-new hiking boots. You can wear heavy socks in the boots for a few days or stuff dampen socks into the shoes and try them on again when everything are dry.
Benefits of Hiking Boots with Wide Toe Box
Hiking boots with a wide toe box can give you a new footwear experience. Here are some reasons why you should get a pair of hiking boots with a wide toe box.
More comfortable. There is enough space for your extra-wide feet in the toe box and your toes can naturally splay in the boots all day long, which will make hiking less tiring for you.
Better balance. With the wider support provided by the wider toe box, you have a better sense of balance, especially when you are hiking upward.
Less likely to get injured. Foot injuries are very common in hiking. Boots with wide toe boxes can better protect your feet and thus they are safer choices.