How should work boots Fit - Tight or Loose?

It's important to know how a work boot should fit. After all, you want to invest in a pair of custom work boots or otherwise high quality work boots in order to take better care of your feet, your lower back, and of yourself as a whole.

What should a good pair of custom boots feel like?

There are a number of aspects of fitment that you need to pay attention to when it comes to work boots, but how tight should they be? For a start, should they be a little loose or should one err on the side of tightness?

The answer is you need a little breathing room, but not too much.

To explain that a little better, the primary purpose of a work boot besides merely covering the foot is that of support. Inadequate cushioning can lead to a number of problems, including plantar fasciitis - also known as policeman's heel - heel spur issues, even microfractures in the bones of the foot.

A good work boot must also provide adequate security. Your foot must be adequately secured so that every foot strike on the concrete, dirt or hillside puts your foot securely to the ground. This gives you good traction and secure footing.

Additionally, loose boots cause your feet to slide inside the boot, causing unsure footing as well as hot spots. You'll notice a part of your foot feels like its burning; this is because your foot is not adequately secured inside the boot.

Your foot should have enough space to be comfortable, but not so much that you don't have the security and support you need from footwear.

How Can I Tell If My Work Boots Are Too Tight Or Too Loose?

The best practice is to note the fit of work boots when you first buy them.

Obviously, it's best to get custom work boots that require a fitting for the utmost in a comfortable fit. This way, the bootmaker can tailor the boots to your feet so you get the fit you need.

That said, how to check the fit when you first put the boot on?

First, make sure to wear the same socks that you'll be wearing on the site or in the field. This way, you get the most accurate fit.

Note the way your foot slides into the boot. Does it feel too loose, or do you encounter a good deal of resistance? With a proper fit, you should feel some resistance, but not much.

Once you have your foot inside the boot, lace it up and walk around for a little bit. Believe it or not, your instincts here will serve you well. If you think it's too loose or too tight, it probably is.

Anyhow, notice how your foot rides in the boot. Does it stay pretty much where it is when you lace up the boot, or do you notice movement?  Again, a little movement is okay.  Blisters are not.

Notice your toes. Do they feel cramped, or does it seem like they swim in the toe cap? This is just as important in steel toe boots, as a quality pair will not be too tight.

Do you notice the sides constrict your foot, or does it feel like your foot is a golf cart in an airplane hangar? You shouldn't feel like your foot is swimming in the boot, but you shouldn't feel like it's too tight either.

Get A Boot Fitting For Best Results

This is why so many people have invested in a pair of Nick's Boots over the years, and why so many people keep coming back.  The vast sizing array at Nicks allows the customer to go hone in on the fit in 1/8'' increments.