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Fitting shoes
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Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Fitting shoes on 04/28/2009 20:54:25 MDT Print View

Is it similar to sizing boots. Should you be able to slip that index finger between your heel and the back of the shoe.

Any other tips I won't be able to find by googling?

I'm sitting here with a pile of Inov-8s and trying to figure out if they fit correctly w/o being able to take them on the trail. I have E width feet, so I generally have to size up to get that fit correct, but I don't want to go so far me heels are slipping.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Fitting shoes on 04/28/2009 20:58:34 MDT Print View

You should ideally do it at the end of the day when your feet are naturally larger. Also best if you can simulate trail conditions by getting your feet hot before trying on shoes (so that they swell a bit). Maybe soak them in hot water for 5 minutes, or go for a jog or something.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Fitting shoes on 04/28/2009 21:13:48 MDT Print View

I had forgotten about the foot swelling when I first tried them on. Now, after spending an hour on my feet in my apt, I can really feel the difference.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Fitting shoes on 04/30/2009 08:52:45 MDT Print View

My personal experience is to forget everything conventional about fitting shoes. I prefer my shoes big and wide. I don't want any part of them touching my toes. It's the only way for me not to get blisters. Wide so my little toes don't get blisters and so my toes don't touch each other, and long so on downhills it's just not possible to slide forward enough to touch the ends of the shoes.

You'd think my feet would be slipping and sliding in the clown shoes I wear but with the right pair of regular weight, wool socks, they don't. And being flexible shoes, not stiff boots, there are no blisters on my heels.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Fitting shoes on 04/30/2009 11:05:47 MDT Print View

Diane, I've always had the same feeling about shoes; wanting them big and wide so nothing touches my toes. I have wide (E) feet, and my toes are also tall, so I need a wide forefoot and big toebox or the tops of my toes get raw. This happens in my work shoes if I need to walk too far in them, because dress shoes have that lower front profile.

So I have always bought my shoes a little big. With this pair, I'm trying to get a better fit, get over my hang up about my toes touching parts of the shoe. I think a smaller shoe would be more lighter (obviously) and more nimble. Because I have to generally buy my shoes a bit long anyways to get them wide enough, they end up extending a good 3/4" to an 1" beyond my toes. I like to think this is what contributes to my occasional stumbling problem rather than innate clumsiness. By my reasoning, my body thinks my feet end where my toes do, where with shoes, they extend beyond that, which causes my mis-steps.

Knock on wood, but I never get blisters, ever. Just the aforementioned problem with low profile shoes. I worry more about toe-bump with too short shoes.

When it doubt. though, it's probably better to go a half-size too big than too small.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Re: Re: Fitting shoes on 04/30/2009 15:20:42 MDT Print View

I've occasionally imagined a giant cutting/melting machine that I could just chop off the unused top portion beyond my big toe and have it melt the shoe closed again.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Fitting shoes on 04/30/2009 16:30:37 MDT Print View

> I'm trying to get a better fit, get over my hang up about my toes touching parts of the shoe.
That would be the funniest idea in decades, if it wasn't a prescription for the loss of all toenails.

> I think a smaller shoe would be more lighter (obviously) and more nimble.
Oh yeah - until the pain in your toes stopped you walking completely.

> Because I have to generally buy my shoes a bit long anyways to get them wide enough,
> they end up extending a good 3/4" to an 1" beyond my toes.
Ok, getting serious for a moment. If you have to do this, then the last used to make those shoes is not wide enough for you. Many shoes are made quite narrow, which rarely suits walkers. The exercise makes our feet widen.

You mention that you have wide feet, of an E fitting. But that is in the shoe shop, not on the trail. Try changing to EE or even 4E fittings. You WILL know when you have the right width: your feet will stop hurting.

A big problem you will encounter is that many shoe companies do not even specify the width of their shoes. Many of the 'trail runners' are only a D fitting. Yes, the companies call those 'wide', which is a joke. Maybe runners don't have such wide feet as walkers?

Anyhow, you will find the New Balance web site does specify shoe width, and they do have several models in widths up to 4E. Sheer bliss, I can tell you!


Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Fitting Inov8 on 04/30/2009 17:00:08 MDT Print View

I find that the Inov8's run small, especially with my wide feet - make super sure there is enough room for you in the toebox, and if in doubt, size up.


Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Fitting Inov8 on 04/30/2009 17:37:58 MDT Print View

I normally wear a 8.5 EEEE street shoe, and in Keen hiking boots, a 9.5; with Inov8 370, I had to get a size 10 to be comfortable. Men sizes, U.S.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Wide shoes on 04/30/2009 19:36:27 MDT Print View

New Balance does come in wide widths and a nice wide width does feel good. But the New Balance shoes I tried overall did not feel good. After about 10 miles I was in horrible pain because the bottoms of the shoes just didn't feel right. So I went with another brand that aren't as wide but feel much better even though I have to go long instead of wide.

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
shoe fit on 05/01/2009 01:55:05 MDT Print View

Spend all the necessary time to find footwear that fits properly/works for you!

I can strongly recommend looking into Merrell. I wear NB 811 trail runners in 4E as my everyday shoe & Merrell is wide enough to be my (completely comfortable!) hiking boot. Yes I know, boots are taboo here in a UL group...Mea Culpa (I got them several years ago before recently going lightweight)

A quick check of Merrell's web site revealed the following possibilities (??) (no, I don't work for them)

They only list medium widths for the first two, but, as I recall, my boots were "medium"

Listed @ 1 lb, 6oz (shoe) -Women's

Listed @ 1 lb, 6oz (boot) -Women's

Listed @ 1 lb, 8oz (shoe) -Men's

Highly sympathetic to shoe problems.

Best of luck finding satisfaction!

Edited by kent on 05/01/2009 01:59:09 MDT.

Jack Grayland
(grayland) - F

Locale: Ballan
fitting boots on 05/01/2009 04:18:05 MDT Print View

By rule i have an insole, it is a good idea to get a heat molded sole and fit the boot to this. I am only 19 but have trecked out a good pair of boots with out 1 blister! Insoles!!!!

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Wide shoes on 05/01/2009 12:05:32 MDT Print View

My dad likes New Balance (not for running, just wearing around) because he has the same wide feet. I've tried a few of his old pairs and just am not thrilled with the underfoot feel. Especially now after wearing the Inov-8s with the minimal padding, even going back to my Salomon trail runners feel like I'm wearing heavy hiking boots. I'm just fascinated by how much better it feels to walk in something that allows my feet to move so freely.

Roleigh, knowing that you have to size up 1.5 sizes is really useful. By measurement, my foot is size 11 length, by width in the E+ range. The Inov-8s I've been trying on are 12, 12.5 and 1 pair of 13s. My Salomons are 13s, but after months of use, I think they might be a little to big, as I think my feet move around in them a little too much. Going by your experience, I'm not crazy to think that the 12s are a smidgen too small and the 13s a bit too big.

In the end, I'd rather go with a comfortable shoe that I have to buy a bit long than get a shoe that comes in the proper width + length but doesn't feel as good under my feet.