What should I consider when purchasing footwear?
The most important thing of all is that the shoes fit! Taking time to try them on in the shop is therefore particularly important in order to get an idea of whether they are the right fit or not. If they are too tight, the shoes will leave you with pressure points, whereas if your feet have too much space inside the shoe, you may get blisters.
Generally speaking: the foot must fit firmly in the shoe (especially on the heel) but not tightly. The toes should not touch the front of the shoe, even when you are walking downhill. Furthermore, they should not be compressed either by the sides or by the top of the shoe. You should be able to wiggle your toes freely.
Another important consideration is the activities for which the shoes are going to be used. If you will be primarily hiking on paved, flat terrain, you probably won’t need extremely rigid and comparatively heavy mountain boots. By the same token, it is tiring and dangerous to hike on alpine terrain in a shoe that is too light or flexible. Experienced and fit hikers with strong feet can use a lighter and more flexible shoe than beginners, whose feet require more support and rigidity.
We recommend that you try on shoes in the late afternoon, as this is the time that the feet are more swollen (when compared with the early morning when you first get up). This provides a more realistic resemblance to walking conditions.