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How to choose hiking shoes according to your foot shape?

hiking shoes and foot shape

Choosing the right hiking shoe is essential to ensure comfort and performance during your outdoor adventures. Since every foot is unique, it is crucial to find the pair of shoes that fits the shape of your feet to avoid pain and injuries. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you make the right choice.

Choosing the Right Size for Hiking and Trekking Shoes

Finding the right size of hiking shoes is the first step towards comfort. A good fit allows you to walk long distances without pain or blisters. To achieve this, it is often recommended to try several sizes and consider the specifics of each model, whether it is a men's, women's, or children's model.

Should You Go a Size Up for Hiking?

Going a size up is often recommended for long hikes. These models are typically more rigid. Indeed, when descending or after several hours of walking, your feet can swell. Having a bit more space at the front of the boot prevents friction and toe injuries. However, the shoes should not be too large, as this could affect the stability of the foot. A good balance is to pick boots with a lacing system that allows you to adjust the tension throughout the day. Additionally, it is essential to try the boots at the end of the day when your feet are slightly swollen to get a better idea of the right size.

For more flexible boots, such mid-cut models and low-cut shoes, a half size up is usually sufficient. It is important to remember that the foot does not need a lot of extra space but should maintain a certain level of comfort by avoiding excessive compression.

hiking shoes and foot shape

Take the Fit into Account

The fit is a crucial factor in choosing hiking footwear. It determines how well the foot is held inside the shoe. A good fit ensures comfort and stability. It is important to note that each brand and model can offer different fits, so it is recommended to try various types of shoes to find the one that best matches the shape of your feet.

Wide or Narrow Fit?

The choice between a wide or narrow fit depends on the width of your foot. Wide feet require a wider fit to avoid painful pressure points. Conversely, a narrow fit is better for narrow feet, ensuring good support without compression. It is also useful to consider the thickness of your hiking socks. Thick socks require more space inside the shoe, which can influence your fit choice. Additionally, some models offer adjustable widths, allowing for a better personalised fit.

Toe Box

The toe box should provide enough space to allow your toes to move freely. This is essential to prevent blisters and black toenails. The front of the shoe should be wide enough to accommodate your toes without compressing them. A good toe box also helps improve balance and stability while walking, especially on rough terrain. Make sure that your toes do not touch the front of the shoe when descending, as this could cause pain and damage to your toenails.


The heel should locked in place to prevent rubbing and blisters. Good heel support is crucial for foot stability, especially on rough terrain. Ensure that your heel does not slip with each step. A well-fitted heel also helps prevent sprains and other injuries. Some hiking shoes offer reinforced heels for better support and superior protection.

Cuff Height

It is important to consider the cuff height of the shoe. Low-cut hiking shoes offer more freedom of movement and are ideal for less rugged terrain. Conversely, high-ankle boots provide better ankle protection, which is crucial on rough terrain or when carrying heavy loads. Therefore, the choice depends on the conditions in which you hike the most.

Differences Between Brands

Each brand has its own features and technologies. Browse our site, consult our buying guides, and check our product pages to discover the specifics of each model. For more detailed information, feel free to contact our experts.

Don't Forget to Choose the Right Socks

Hiking socks play an equally important role as the shoes. They should be suited to your type of shoe and offer good cushioning and moisture-wicking properties. The right hiking socks can prevent many foot problems. Opt for socks made of technical materials that wick moisture and dry quickly. Merino wool socks, for example, are excellent for temperature regulation and blister prevention. Make sure that the socks provide good padding in strategic areas, such as the heel and the ball of the foot.

Additionally, be sure to try your shoes on with your socks to check the size is right and they fit perfectly!

hiking shoes and foot shape

The More Comfortable the Shoe, the More Enjoyable the Hike

Comfort is key to enjoying your hikes. A comfortable hiking shoe allows for a smooth stride and prevents pain. To maximise comfort, it's important to choose a shoe with an insole that fits your arch and to opt for models that offer good ankle protection. Stiff shoes can provide better support on difficult terrain, but they should be flexible enough to allow for a smooth stride. Always test your shoes in real conditions before setting out on a long hike.

hiking shoes and foot shape