Below are three questions to ask yourself to ultimately find your answer to the bigger question: Does your hiking footwear fit properly?

If you’re taking the Oboz Fast Trail Challenge in May, or joining the 52 Hike Challenge any time this year, you’ll be spending a lot of time on trails and you’ll want to make sure your feet are happy throughout the journey.

If your hiking boots or shoes are too small, you risk getting blisters. If they’re too big, you risk rolling your ankle. Stay safe on all your hikes by finding your true size.

So, how do you know how your footwear should fit?
In short, the perfect fit should feel supportive and comfortable. Here 3 questions to ask yourself to get to the bottom of it, and find out what the answers mean:

  1. Can you wiggle your toes? If the answer is yes, great! There should be a little wiggle room at the top of your shoe.
  2. Does your shoe feel tight? If the answer is yes, you might want to size up. While hiking shoes should be snug, your feet shouldn’t feel constricted.
  3. Are your toes hitting the front of your shoe when you go downhill? If the answer is yes, you risk losing your toenails! Consider sizing up.

As a rule of thumb, your hiking footwear should be snug but never tight and you should be able to move your toes.

A great way to find your ideal size is by measuring the true size of your feet with a Brannock device. Visit your local retailer and ask a qualified associate to help you.

Read the 52 Hike Challenge Hiking Footwear 101 blog to get more pro tips on finding your true fit!

Wishing you (and your feet) safe and happy trails.

Mandi Carozza

Mandi Carozza


As a self-employed content marketer, yoga instructor and Etsy seller, Mandi finds creative inspiration through stepping into nature, moving her body, laughing loudly, breathing deeply and exploring the world. Mandi grew up in the Chicago area and always dreamed of living in an area surrounded by mountains. After leaving a career in logistics and committing to a life of adventure, Mandi spent a year road tripping cross-country, hiking trails less traveled and camping in national parks. Since adopting a wandering lifestyle, she has solo backpacked to the base of the Grand Canyon, trekked to Machu Picchu and hiked glaciers in New Zealand. Now Mandi acts as the lead content creator for 52 Hike Challenge while managing her own content marketing firm, Modern Marketing Solutions LLC. Mandi’s work has been published by REI, 52 Hike Challenge, Oboz Footwear, Sawyer Products, Recreate Responsibly and more. When she's not on the trail or writing about it, you can find Mandi soaking in a hot spring, practicing yoga, petting dogs or connecting with family and friends.