Advice on Fitting Boots
Index to this section:
How to Determine the Correct Size to Order
It's easy. The only reliable way is to measure both of your feet to determine their size using the US men's sizing standard. Once you know the size of your feet, you're standing on solid ground. Any other technique is prone to error... you might order boots which won't fit well.
Further down on this page we show you how to do this or you can do it at shoe store.
For each type of boot we sell, we tell you whether to order your exact size or if you need to order boots larger or smaller than your actual US men's size to get a good fit.
If you are overweight, our sizing advice may not work. If you are overweight, you should not order footwear online unless you already know through experience with our boots that a particular size fits you well. Although feet are usually the last part of your body to pick up body fat, once fat wraps around parts of your feet, the length and width may be the same as before but your foot can become too large to fit into footwear designed for that length and width.
Click here to skip down this page to our section which shows how to measure your feet.
Keep reading if you want to know why you shouldn't use our spiffy size conversion chart to convert your woman's dress shoe size to men's boot size or order boots the same size as your favorite Nike athletic shoes.
Why you must measure your feetMeasuring your feet is the only reliable way to determine your true foot size.
If you order the same size Wesco boot as your favorite old combat boots you could end up with Wesco boots that are too small. Older combat boots were larger than the marked size. (so were older Wesco boots) So your beat up old combat boots that are marked size 9 may actually be comfortably filled with size 10 feet. Those size 10 feet will be cramped in size 9 Wescos!
Your favorite old Nikes may be marked US men's 12 but, when you measure your feet they may be 10½. Many basketball shoes are marked 1 to 2 sizes larger than they actually are. The fit varies from one manufacturer to another and from style to style.
You wear a US women's size 8 so you look in our chart and see that is equivalent to a US men's size 7. Our chart is correct, but the folks who made your shoes may not have been correct in their sizing. Women's footwear size accuracy varies tremendously. To make things worse, various conversion charts show that a US men's size 7 converts to a size 8, 8½ or 9 in US women's sizes. The moral is that you can't trust the size of a shoe to be an accurate reflection of your actual foot size... you need to measure.
What about UK sizing... a UK 9 is the same as a US 10... right? Yes... and that's what we show in our conversion table. But we checked major footwear manufacturers' web sites to see what UK size they showed for a US men's 11. The UK sizes we came up with varied from 8½ to 10½ - ( 10 is correct ).
The situation is similar in Continental or European sizes. When we checked the conversion charts at major footwear manufacturers and suppliers to find the Continental equivalent to a US men's size 11 we came up with answers from 44 to 45.3
Finally... you should measure your feet each time you order because your feet grow larger as you grow older. Your feet may have been size 10 when you were 35 years old, but they could be size 10½ now that you're 40. By the way... this is one good reason to consider buying your boots slightly larger if that is practical. Your good tight fit could turn into a too tight fit in a few years. (our boots last a long time)
About Boot / Shoe Sizes
This section will probably tell you more than you ever wanted to know about sizing! The goal is to provide you enough information to determine your true foot size using the US Men's measure system. With this information as a baseline, we can then tell you, for each of our boots, whether to order your true size or whether to make allowances for the way the boots fit..
Some of our boots are not only custom made for you, but made to your specific measurements. For instance, custom Dehner boots and Wesco boots over 20 Inches tall must be custom fitted and there is no extra charge for custom fitting of these boots.
If your feet differ in size, you really came to the right place! We can do a custom pair of boots where the right and left boot sizes are different.
So why provide all this detail? Because lots of people like to figure it out for themselves... and where else could you ever learn all the intricacies of shoe / boot sizing systems? Fasten your seat belt... here goes!
Throughout the world there are a number of different sizing standards. The chart below shows conversions between the major systems. The USA size system uses numbers to indicate the length and letters to indicate the width. The width measurements were standardized about 100 years ago but shoes made in different widths did not become popular in the United States till the 1920's. In most other parts of the world, shoes are typically available only in one or two widths.
Many of our boots are available in US sizes from 2 through 19 and in 9 widths from AAA through EEE.
The Brannock Device pictured to the right is commonly used to measure sizes in the USA. The size system is linear. Men's size 1 is 7 ⅔ Inches long and each additional size is ⅓ Inch longer.
There are 9 widths in the US system. From narrowest to widest, they are: AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, EEE. The D width is considered to be "medium". The widths are linear and are separated by 3/16 of an inch. Just to keep things interesting, the actual width measurement which yields a D width size varies with the length size.
When you use one of these at a shoe store, make sure it's marked for men's sizes and also that it isn't the special red version made for athletic footwear. Sneakers don't use the US men's measuring system... they are about a size smaller than footwear which uses the standard US men's measuring system.
Even with these systems, shoes vary in size because the lasts on which footwear is built tend to vary from the standard. It is very likely that you have shoes and boots in your closet which fit just fine but are labeled with a number of different sizes. Athletic shoes are notorious in this regard. It's not unusual to see someone with a size 10 foot wearing athletic shoes in size 11 or 12. On the other hand (foot?!), they may wear a size 9 or 9½ combat boot.
So how can you tell us what size boot to ship if there is this ambiguity? The answer is simple, we'd like you to measure your foot and find the correct size in the charts below.
What size do you want?
This is not a trivial question! Even if all shoes and boots were made to consistent sizes and you wore a size 9 shoe, you wouldn't always want a size 9 boot. Consider the Wesco engineer or logger boot. They are made slightly large so they will fit well with boot socks. So if you have a size 9 foot the size 9 Wesco boot will fit well when worn with boot socks.
You might want to wear extra heavy boot socks or multiple pairs of socks in cold weather or for extra cushioning. In that case you'd order the boots a half to full size larger than your foot size and also go up one width.
The Dehner motor-patrol and equestrian boots are usually worn with the same weight sock you would wear with shoes and you should order your US men's foot size to get a good fit when worn that way. If you expect to wear these with extra heavy socks you would order these boots slightly larger than your foot size.
Finally, you should consider this: you can always adjust the fit of a boot which is too big, but if it is too small, there is no way to make it larger! Good boots will not stretch in length and will only stretch a bit in width. Your toes should never hit the end of the boots. The goal of boot designers is to have about ⅓ inch / 1 cm of space between your toes and the front of the boots. So it's better to get boots a bit too large than a bit too small. See the notes at the end of this page for techniques to adjust the fit.
What kind of socks to wear
Here are the factors to consider:
Socks provide extra cushion between your foot and the boot and allow your feet to breath and stay dry. In cooler weather, socks also provide insulation to keep your feet warm. In general, thicker socks made of wool and / or synthetic materials keep feet warmer in cold weather and cooler in hot weather when compared to socks made of cotton or thin synthetic materials.
For the dressier boots such as the Dehner patrol or equestrian boots, an athletic sock, heavier dress sock or light weight boot sock works well. Different weights of socks can always be used to adjust the fit.
For heavier boots, one of the best all-around combinations is a pair of heavy (but soft) wool socks worn with a thin polypropylene inner sock. The best wool socks are 85% wool, 13% nylon and 2% spandex. The polypropylene socks wick moisture away from the foot and solve the "itch" problem some people have with wool socks. The wool socks provide good cushion, carry away moisture and dry quickly after they've been soaked. The disadvantage is that both the wool and polypropylene socks are more expensive and they are more fussy about the way they are washed and dried.
A good compromise is a heavier boot sock made of synthetics or a blend of synthetics and wool.
Cotton socks absorb moisture from your feet then retain it instead of wicking it away. The result is that your feet will be warmer in hot weather and cooler in cold weather. Your boots and feet will be more susceptible to mold and fungus growth.
How to measure your foot and find its size & width
You can accurately determine your foot size and width using these simple instructions and the size and width tables below. The results will be the same as if your foot was measured with the familiar Brannock Device used in shoe stores.
Of course, you can do this using a men's Brannock device at a shoe store.
To do the measurements at home, you'll need :
Before starting, you should wade through the long dissertation on sizing and socks above so you'll know what type of sock to wear. You also should consider the following points about feet.
Follow these steps for each foot. It's easier to have someone else do measurements.
Boot Size Chart
Boot Width Chart
In the US sizing system, the foot length is shown as a number and the foot width as a letter. The letter "D" indicates medium width for each size. "C" is narrower than standard and "E" is wider than standard. There are two versions of this chart. The one on the left shows the foot widths in inches, the one on the right shows the foot widths in millimeters.
On each chart, US men's length size is along the left in red. For each length size, the foot width measurement is shown for AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE and EEE widths. The columns are marked with the width letter (shown in blue)
Go to the row for your length size then find the width measurment of your foot in inches or millimeters on that row. The column head gives the width letter.
How to adjust the way boots fitThere are two ways to adjust the fit of a pair of boots.
Wesco boots come standard with a cushioned insole insert. If the boots are too tight, this insert can be removed or replaced with a thinner insert. Thinner socks can be worn if the boots are too tight.
Boots too large:
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Last edited 10 May, 2017 at 20:12 GMT