How to get it right…
What size should I get? This is by far the most frequently asked question about Wolverine’s 1000 Mile Boot Collection.
A lot of people will say they wear this in a size and this size in another brand. Well that’s all fine and dandy but there are two inherent problems with this. The first problem is each manufacturer uses different lasts when they make a shoe or boot. Being a size 9D in say Nike might be a good starting point if you’re buying another pair of Nike shoes. It’s not necessarily good information if you’re crossing over to a work boot style like the Wolverine 1000 Mile line. The other problem is a lot of people either don’t know their measured foot size or just buy whatever size based on what they think is a good fit. Most of the time that means the shoes or boots are too small. This is a very bad thing to do. Guys can be bad about this but rest assured women are notorious for this. If you don’t believe me ask any orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist about how common footwear related problems are and all the fun things ill fitted footwear will do to you.
A Brannock device is your friend…
What I really need to know from you is what size is your foot as determined by someone who knows how to use a Brannock device. Now you might think this is a simple thing to do. You just stroll into a decent shoe store and boom, you have your measured size. Wrong. Your feet can swell or shrink an entire size during the day. There are a lot of variables that cause this. How cold or warm is it outside? Did you just run up the side of a mountain and back down again or did you just get out of bed? How long have you been on your feet today? Now throw sock thickness into all of this and getting the right size boot or shoe looks like an impossible task doesn’t it? Well it’s not that bad really. This is what you do.
The very first thing you need to consider is what socks are you going to wear most of the time with your 1000 Mile boots. The second thing is get up and move around a bit. A leisurely mile long stroll in the late morning on a nice day is a good warm up before you get your feet measured. You want to get the blood flowing in your feet while avoiding getting hot and sweaty. Now take a pair of your preferred socks put them on and go get your feet measured. Now you have the magic number that will make getting a properly fitted pair of 1000 Mile boots much easier.
Ideally what you’ll find with a well fitted pair of 1000 mile boots is a very slight heel slip. The heel cup and arch area will have little or no movement when you twist your feet. The toe box area should be wide enough that you feel no pressure or at best slight pressure on the side of your toes or where your feet flex when walking. Some people will tell you that it’s OK that the boot is tight because the leather will stretch. This is some of the worst advice you could ever follow. If you don’t believe me then talk to a podiatrist. Another thing to be mindful of is to make sure your toes have plenty of room in front of them. More info on why can be found by following the last link of this page. Toe jamming in not a good thing and if it happens to you that’s a sign that the boots are too small. With these boots you’ll also have problems with the reinforced toe box digging into the top of your feet as well.
Because these are not custom made to your exact foot measurements there’s a few things you can do to correct minor fit issues. If your foot is narrow a thicker pair of socks or an insole can help with this. The same goes for a low volume foot. On the other end of things a person with say a high arch or those who have a higher volume foot then lacing techniques can take care of these issues. Let’s say you are in between sizes. It is almost always better to go with the larger size than to size down.
Another thing that also has to be kept in mind is you might be one of those people that cannot wear these boots comfortably for whatever reason. If this is the case don’t buy them. You do not want problems with your feet no matter how cool you think these boots are.
For more information on correct sizing and lacing techniques here’s a few useful links. Some of the information is geared towards hikers and climbers. This group of people cannot afford to have boot problems at all and their advice is sound for any shoe or boot buyer.
The following link has some of the most comprehensive sizing advice that I have found to date.