Boot Fitting Guide

If you have ever been out on a long walk, only to have your boots begin to rub, miles from home, then you will know the value and importance of correctly fitted footwear.


If you have a pair of boots at home or have recently purchased a pair online, you can follow the stages below to gauge the overall fit of your footwear. If you have any doubts after doing so, you can always take your boots into one of our stores to receive free boot fitting advice.

Follow The Stages Below 

1. Testing The Length Of The Boot

With the boot unlaced, gently tap your toe into the front of the boot and then plant your foot flat on the ground. Insert your index finger down the back of the boot, along your Achilles. There should be enough room to snugly put your finger deep into the boot, without having to force it.


If your finger is tight along the back of your heel or squashed against the back of the boot, then this is the first sign that the boot may be too short. Too much space and the boot may be too large.

2. Planting The Foot And Lacing The Boot

The next step is to see how the boot feels once it is laced up. From a seated position gently tap your heel into the back of the boot and plant your foot flat on an even surface. Then beginning at the toes start to tighten up the laces. Pressure should be even and firm, but not restrictive.


This process gives a good idea of the amount of space your foot is occupying inside the boot. If the boot is too small, the laces will be bulging outwards; too big and excessive tension will be required.


Follow the laces all the way up the boot, hooking onto any eyelets and finishing off with a secure bow. Ideally you should remain seated throughout this process.

3. Stand Up

You will now need to check the overall fit of the boot, which involves standing up. As you do this you will notice the feel of the boot changes, this is because your body weight naturally elongates and expands your foot. If your toes are now touching the ends, consider a larger pair.

4. Shifting Your Weight 

Make sure you try to shift your weight around inside your boots. This process is about checking the width and internal support offered. The foot should feel well supported and comfortably held in place at all sides as well as from above.

5. Use Your Hands 

With your hands give your foot a really good feel. Squeezing for any points where the foot is bulging outwards, or equally where the boot feels baggy and empty. Ideally you want to feel that the foot is evenly filling the entirety of the boot. A little bit of variation here and there is ok, but excessive bulging or bagging is not.

6. Checking The Flex Point 

Depending on the mobility of your foot, your flex point is from the ball of your foot, into your toes. This area of the boot undergoes considerable and repeated strain so it is important to get it right. If the material is excessively creasing then the boot maybe too large. If the material is putting pressure onto your foot in a pinching or rubbing sensation, then your boot may be too narrow.

7. Get Used To Them

The other thing to do is to wear them indoors. Go up and down stairs, and generally just allow your feet to get used to the new sensation. Boots are much more supportive than the majority of shoes and are likely to be heavier too. Sometimes it’ just about getting used to them.


As long as they are in sellable condition, have not been worn outside and are within the agreed returns period you can change your boots, no problem at all. For more information you can visit our returns page.


If you can go around the house for an hour or two without any rubbing or pinching, then the chances are the boots are a good fit.

8.Different Ways To Lace Your Boots 

There are many different ways to lace your boots and each will offer a different feel. If you are confident in the fit of your boots but wish to try a few different techniques we have outlined two of the most common requirements for you to try below.


It is important to stress however that if a pair of boots does not fit correctly then you should not attempt to solve the problem by changing the lacing. Instead take them into the store and a member of staff will be able to help you.

9. For Greater Ankle Mobility 

Lace the boots all the way to the top, but rather than tying off a bow loop back around the eyelets, heading back down the boot, hooking into the eyelets underneath. Pass the laces over themselves until they bite and then tie a firm bow.

10. For Greater Heel Tension

Starting from the toes, lace the boot up as normal but just before the ankle section pass the laces over themselves, inter-winding until they bite and hold. Usually this needs looping three times.


Pull firmly, applying supportive but not restrictive pressure through the flex point of the ankle, down into the furthest tip of your heel. This should comfortably fasten the heel into the shoe. Follow the eyelets and complete with a firm bow.

Come And See Us In Store

An Expert Boot-Fitting Service - Cotswold Outdoor

In store, every member of Cotswold Outdoor staff is able to provide a free boot fitting service. This process involves a series of highly accurate measurements, coupled with a discussion about your footwear needs, any existing foot injuries you may have as well as the type of activity you will be doing.


Staff members will then talk you through our extensive footwear range to find the best solution to your needs as well as using their expertise to offer a number of customised fitting solutions along the way.