How to Get the Best Fitting Boot (Including Calf Fit) 

Finding the best fitting boots begins with the type of boot and activity planning in that boot. Hiking, work, fashion, low top, and pull-on boots have different purposes and fit features. The most important attribute of every boot is a secure fit around the ankle. Ankle fit prevents the foot from sliding forward and adds support to the foot. Trying on boots with the correct sock also makes a difference in fit. Always try on a boot with socks that are taller than the boot to prevent blisters from appearing.

Hiking and work shoes, including steel toe shoes, should have plenty of room for the top of the foot and the toes to spread and move around.

Being on your feet for long periods will cause foot swelling. The swelling can make wearing your shoes very uncomfortable. When trying on hiking or work shoes for the first time, try them on at the end of the day when your feet are the most swollen.


Pull-on boots are simple to put on if you have flexible feet. However, if your feet aren't flexible, it's better to wear a pair of boots that have zippers or a stretchy material for ease of putting on the boot/taking off the boot. Calf size on boots varies from brand to brand as well as person to person. It's essential to try on a pair of boots before wearing them to ensure they are not constricting or loose. There should be a finger width of space between the calf and the boot for comfort and breathability.

If you have a pair of orthotics to wear with the boot, try the shoe on the first time with the orthotic to ensure there is plenty of room for the length. If the orthotic curls up at the ends or the side of the boot, it will not be comfortable for extended wear. The orthotic can also add height and length to the foot room and may require going up a half to full size.