Do Boots Run Big or Small? (Perfect Boots Fit Size Guide)

Choosing the correct size for your boots is a very tough job.

They generally tend to run smaller or bigger or end up putting your feet to discomfort.

This is because while you buy a boot, there are certain things to be considered and the problem is that you don’t usually know the things even.

You are caught between whether to go for a size up or choose the same size. 

Do boots Run Big or SmallBoots do not run big or small. It’s just that each one has a different feet shape and there is where the sizing of the boots seems to be problematic.

Therefore, there are a number of factors to keep in mind while buying boots such as your toes should be able to move freely within the toe box and the heel of your feet should sit exactly on the heel area of the boots.

Now let’s have a deeper look into the other factors that will decide whether you should go with a size up or down with your boots!

Should you Buy Boots Half Size Bigger?

There are certain factors to be considered while you ask if you should get the boots half size bigger:

1.) In Summer months choose boots that fits your feet size:

Cotton Socks

Summer is the month when you generally go for thin cotton socks and generally choose boots or shoes which are made of light breathable material. With these types of boots, you don’t need to size up.

2.) In Winter months choose boots that are half size bigger than your feet:

thick woolen socks

During winters, when you have to deal with snow and keep your feet warm, you go for leather or rubber work boots and wear them with thick woolen socks. So, if you are buying the boots especially for the winters, you should definitely go for half size bigger boot.

3.) Lace up boots:

Lace Up Boots

If your boots have a lace up system, you can easily go for a half size bigger boot because the laces will anyhow fit the boot to your feet when you tie them tightly.

4.) If you have Wide feet go for half size bigger boots:

Wide Feet

If the toes and toe ball part of your feet is wide, the perfect sized boot would make your area of the toe ball part feel pressed from the sides. Therefore, in this case, you should go for half size bigger boots.

5.) With Knee-length boots you can go with a size up:

Knee length Boots

If you are buying a knee-length boot, you can choose half size bigger so that your feet slip in easily inside the boots. The part covering from the start of the heel to the knees will hold your feet in place.

How to Tell if Boots Fit Right?

Well it completely depends on the comfort after you wear the boots.

Still, if you are unsure, there are certain ways through which you can tell if the boots fit you right:

1.) The very first thing to notice is the insole. Just take it out and put your feet on it. Starting from the longest toe in your feet to the end of the heel, the insole should be just bigger with the width of the thumb.

2.) Wear your favorite socks while trying the boots. The boot should fit well while you are wearing the socks because you are not going to wear your boots without the socks anyway.

Top 6 Best Socks for Construction Workers

3.) The other things to notice is that the toes should not feel cramped and the heels should not slip on the sides.

4.) The toes should have some room to move inside the toe box.

5.) The ball of the feet should not feel pinched.

6.) Look if your ankles have any chance to get twisted while rolling the feet on the other sides.

7.) Wear boots for some time. Go for a long walk in it. You should not feel uncomfortable or experience any pain after removing it.

8.) Check for any red marks on your feet after removing the boots and the socks.

9.) If not overly tight, but the instep of the boot should feel a bit snug.

10.) Put your finger inside the boot on the end of the heel part. The fingers should slip in easily and come out easily rubbing against your heel.

Are Boots and Shoes of the Same Size?

Boots and shoes are of different built and made to suit different purposes. You can never expect your leather steel toe boots to be of the same size as your shoes.

Manufacturers too, take a great deal of liberty in labeling their products and somehow the same 11 number measurement for a shoe and a boot from the same brand would have different fittings for you in terms of the fitting.

Focusing on the technicalities, a size 9 sneakers and a size 9 boot of the same brand should be of the same size. But this isn’t the reality.

Shoe sizing might not be too exact i.e. size 9 sneakers might fit a size 11 person as well. However, this is not the case with boots. Boots generally tend to remain true.

So, better buy shoes from the shop. This is also because same size shoes from different brands also end up fitting differently.

Luckily, there are some ways out which can be put into application before buying shoes or boots:

1.) Take the measurement of your feet and match it with the measurement chart:

Take the measurement of your feet

With a measuring tape, take the exact measurement of your feet. Now, go to the size chart of the particular boot brand that you ought to buy. Select the size that matches with the data in the measurement chart of the brand.

You can rest assure that the shoes or boots will fit you perfectly. We recommend using Genuine Brannock brand Device to find the exact size.

2.) Try them on your feet:

The other way and probably the easiest way is to go a shop and check your exact size by trying one or two sizes.

3.) Take the measurement of your feet using a pen and paper and check with the sizing chart of the boots:

How to take the measurement of your feet for the right size of the boots?

1.) First of all wear the socks that you intend to wear with the boots.

2.) Then sit on a chair and place your feet on a white paper that is larger than the size of your feet.

3.) Take a pencil and draw the outline of your feet on the paper. You need to hold the pencil slightly tilted towards the outside of the feet and not inside the feet.

4.) Now draw a rectangle taking the widest parts of the length and the breadth of your feet’s outline.

5.) Take a ruler and measure the length and the breadth of the rectangle.

See the sizing chart below to get the exact size of your boots:

Men’s Length and Width Size Chart
Men Shoe SIze and Width Chart

Women’s Length and Width Size Chart

Women Length and Width Size Chart

Effects of small boot size:

If your boots fit small to your feet, it will have the following effects on your feet:

• Your toes will feel cramped inside the toe box

• The arch of your feet will get bent and cause foot ache when you come back home and open your boots

• You will get blisters on the heel area of your feet

• You will experience terrible foot pain

• You will definitely not feel comfortable in them

You will develop ingrown toenails very soon

• Above all you cannot walk in them for long

Types of boots and their sizing charts

Cowboy boots:

Military boots:

Top boot brands and their sizing charts:





Before we say Good Bye:

Hey guys!

That’s all for today’s article.

Hope you won’t experience any problem with the sizing of the boots or shoes, the next time you go to buy them.

Just remember the points mentioned in the article and go for shopping in the evening hours because during the end of the day your feet tend to swell up. This will help your feet to stay comfortable during the entire day.

See you soon in the next article 

Till then…

Keep walking.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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