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If the Shoe Fits, Wear It: A Guide to Finding the Right-Sized Boot

“If the shoe fits, wear it.” Bet you’ve heard that phrase before. It means to go with what feels natural and comfortable to you. Of course, this applies for actual footwear, too. If your shoe isn’t fitting right while you’re working, it’s not helping you get the job done. Unfortunately, finding the shoe (or the boot) that fits isn’t always easy. Way too many people go to work every day wearing boots that are either too loose or too tight. Boot sizes can run large or small, and feet can change shape as you age—or even as you work.

At RefrigiWear, our mission is to create work boots that serves you best, day in and day out. There’s nothing we like more than knowing our customers are working in comfort thanks to our products. That’s why we work hard to make sure you always get the right size of boot. From measuring your foot correctly to using the latest fit-adjustment innovations, RefrigiWear has the expertise and the technology to keep your feet in great shape as you work.

Fast Facts on Boot Sizing

If you’re wondering whether a properly sized boot is really that important, the answer is yes—it actually is. Why is it so vital?

● Wearing boots that are too loose can cause blisters and chafing when your foot rubs up against the side. Boots that fit too snugly cause their own problems, including ingrown toenails and lack of blood flow in your feet (because the tight fit prevents blood from moving through vessels). Poorly fitting boots are also generally associated with problems like back and joint pain.

● The arches of your feet are critical for supporting and balancing your body. If your boots don’t provide the arch support you need, you could be dealing with fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, joint pain and other problems.

● Every boot is designed with a built-in “break point,” where it naturally bends to accommodate your foot. If the break point is in the wrong place because you’re wearing the wrong size, your foot won’t be able to flex as it should when you’re walking or working. You’ll just be setting yourself up for foot pain and or worse injuries.

● Boots that don’t fit correctly will often wear unevenly and develop wear and tear in certain spots. That’s because a boot that fits properly is reinforced to resist that damage in the spots where it will strike the ground—but one that doesn’t fit correctly may strike in other spots.

Finding a Great Fit: The Basics

Getting a size of boot that fits just right is a little bit of science and a little bit of art. First, take accurate measurements of your foot, and then try on some different boots to decide what gives your foot the best comfort and support. In general, when you’re trying on your boots, there are specific fit qualities that you should look for.

● Your boots should be a little roomy. Boots that fit too snugly will constrict your foot and make you uncomfortable at work. Also, most people’s feet get slightly swollen as they go through the workday, so you’ll want to give them a little bit of room to expand.

● When you walk, your heel should stay in place without rubbing against the back of the boot.

● You shouldn’t feel excessive pressure on your foot from the sides of the boot.

● Your toes should have room to wiggle and twist, but they shouldn’t move forward or touch the front of the boot when you walk.

● Many people’s left and right feet aren’t exactly the same size. In extreme cases, this might mean you need to order two different boot sizes or use heel inserts. For most people, though, it’s better to choose a boot that’s comfortable and flexible enough to accommodate your feet even when they aren’t perfectly even.

Of course, in order to get the right fit in the first place, you’ll need to get the right data by measuring your feet.

Measuring Your Feet

If you haven’t measured your foot in a while, it’s worth doing it again just to make sure that you’re wearing the right size. If you’ve seen the big metal gadget (called a Brannock device) that they use to measure your feet in a shoe store, you might think it’s a complex process. Actually, it’s a pretty simple one that you can do at home with things you’ve probably already got lying around.

  1. Put on your favorite pair of work socks.
  2. Tape a piece of paper to the floor.
  3. Sit in a chair and place your foot on the paper. Bend your leg forward a little at the knee.
  4. Use a pencil to trace the outline of your foot. (Make sure to keep the pencil completely vertical. If you hold it at an angle, you’ll just trace the bottom of your foot, which isn’t what you want—your boots need room for your feet at their widest.)
  5. Make marks where the outlines are widest and longest.
  6. Measure the marks with a ruler, rounding to the nearest sixteenth of an inch.
  7. Use a chart that converts inches to men’s shoe sizes or women’s shoe sizes.

If you’re between measurement sizes, move up to the larger size—it’s better to have a boot that’s got a little extra room than one that pinches.

Trying On New Boots

When you try on your new pair of RefrigiWear boots, it’s important to check them out and make sure you have the right fit. Here are a few easy tests:

● Wear your usual socks when you try on your new boots. If you use any kind of orthotic inserts or insoles, add those as well.

● Wiggle your toes and make sure you’ve got enough space for them (but not so much that your feet feel loose in the boots).

● Try to put on your new boots at the end of a workday when your feet are most swollen. This will help you ensure that they’re comfortable to wear all day.

● Put your new boots through some quick paces. Take a short walk with them on, jump a few times and climb a ladder or flight of stairs. You want to be sure they’re able to stand up to a day on the job.

● Gently roll each of your feet onto its side to make sure that your boots provide enough ankle support.

If you’ve tried your boots on and they’re not quite what you need, RefrigiWear makes it easy to return them for a pair that fits just right. Just follow the simple return instructions on our website to send your boots back for a full refund, and then place a new order. If you need some help in getting the right size, make sure to contact us—our sizing experts will be happy to give you some tips for finding the best fit.

The Boa® Fit System: The New Frontier

Once in a while, a technology comes along that changes the game. For comfortable boots that fit great, the Boa® Fit System is that technology. It allows you to quickly and easily adjust the fit of your boots without having to unlace them or take off your work gloves.

How? The system uses three components to create a revolutionary lacing system: a dial, a lace and lace guides. When the boots are laced up, you’ll slip the lightweight and ultra-tough laces through the lace guides. The laces end inside the dial, which sits at the top of the boot. Then, whenever you want to change the fit, a quick adjustment of the dial will tighten or loosen the laces by fine degrees until they’re exactly how you want them. Just pull the dial out to loosen the laces or push in and turn clockwise to tighten them. It’s simple and effective—exactly what we push for in our RefrigiWear gear designs.

RefrigiWear now offers the Boa® Fit System on our Extreme Pac Boot and Extreme Hiker Boot models. In fact, we’ve got a full range of hard-working boots that use the latest tech to find better fit, comfort and performance. 

RefrigiWear’s Most Popular Boots

Extreme Hiker Boot:

The Boa® System isn’t all that this boot has to offer. The entire Extreme collection is designed to create the toughest protection around, and this boot fits right in with Dri-Blaze slip-in liners that let you customize your warmth level. Slip ‘em in when you’re gearing up for extreme cold and take them out when you want something a little lighter. With waterproof leather and nylon construction, an ASTM safety toe and our VitaComfort™ system that supports your foot and wicks away moisture, this boot is truly ready for anything.

Platinum Leather Boot:

Looking for something a little lighter but with the same uncompromising protection? The Platinum Leather Boot is your new best friend. These boots have an eight-inch upper of genuine leather, plus the same 1000g Thinsulate™ insulation you’d get from a heavier boot, but without all the weight. With a crazy durable outsole and gold-standard Goodyear® welt construction, you can count on these boots to last you through years of hard work—and the VitaComfort™ system will keep your feet feeling great the whole time.

Women's Black Widow Boot:

Designed specifically to the standards that working women need, the Black Widow helps you get the toughest jobs done. It packs 200g of Thinsulate™ insulation, a waterproof nylon/leather construction that’s also electrical hazard compliant, and an ASTM safety toe. Plus, with the black color scheme and red accents, the Black Widow looks pretty badass too.

In every part of your life, you want to find the right fit—the right job, the right workflow and the right way to push forward and get the job done. Your boots are with you when you’re working your hardest, so they should fit just right too. By using RefrigiWear’s expert tips, you can make sure your boot is the best fit so you can keep performing at your highest level. If you’ve got questions about how to find the right size for your RefrigiWear work boots, we’ve got the answers.