FITTING YOUR ROCK SHOES
Did Mallory and Irvine really reach the summit way back when? Who has the best kung fu? What is up with these Pokémon things? These are questions with easier answers than that of how to size your rock shoes. The V15-climbing gym rat will tell you that if your toes feel anything but searing pain, the shoes are too big. But what does he know — he's probably only 12 years old anyway. The veteran trad will insist that you need to leave room for three pairs of wool socks. Should you completely trust someone who might suffer from altitude-induced brain damage?
While it isn’t a black or white issue, a general rule dictates that soft shoes require a tighter fit, two to three sizes smaller than your street shoe size. We recommend you fit your trad shoes one to two sizes under your street shoe size. A thick midsole creates a platform on which you stand, while a slip-lasted slipper-type shoe relies on your crammed toes to create an edging platform.
Once you determine your needs, try on several boots in that genre. Different last types fit different feet -- that's why we make lots of lasts. If it feels good, it probably is. Remember to factor in stretch. Unlined slip-lasted shoes tend to stretch a bit more than lined shoes -- about one full size. Lined shoes stretch about a half size. Remember: a well-fit comfortable shoe will work better than an ill-fitting tighter shoe.
La Sportiva's diverse last families have been specifically designed to conform to the widest possible range of both foot shape and climbing use. We constantly strive to revolutionize climbing shoe development and to provide every individual absolute freedom of choice in finding a shoe that is perfect for both their foot AND their climbing style.
SIZING YOUR HIKING/BACKPACKING & MOUNTAIN BOOTS
And you thought buying a new car was tough... Getting the perfect fit in a pair of hiking boots is rarely as simple as relaying your size. Most good boot fitters will measure your foot on a Brannock device. Overall length is actually a minor element of boot fitting. In the ideal world, our left foot would be a mirror image of our right, while the ball of our foot would line up exactly with the last-makers idea of the perfect foot. This is almost never the case because other factors such as heel to ball length, volume, and width are critical in gaining a perfect fit. A good salesperson will address each of these issues.
To use our size chart to fit mountain boots, find your American size then go across to your European size, and then add one half size. When trying on boots make sure to bring the socks you would normally wear and any orthotics or custom footbeds you use. Another note: our shoes are handmade, and you can experience minor variations in sizing from pair to pair in a given size. What you’re looking for is the size that holds your toes ever so slightly away from the front of the boot while the lacing system is snug across the top of your arch. To check the length, you should be able to slip one finger behind your heel when you are standing up with the boot unlaced and your toes touching the front. The fit across the top of your arch is the single most important factor. If the lacing system here does not hold your foot in place, the boot will not be stable on your foot while you walk. If the boot is too short, your toes will get smashed walking down hill. Too long and your heel will slide up and down and give you blisters. Be patient, ask questions and make sure you’ve got the right size and the right fit and the right boot before you hit the trail.
Here are a few tips to make sure your new boots fit properly:
- Try your boots on with the socks you intend to wear in the field.
- Try them on later in the day since feet are prone to swell slightly as a day progresses.
- Wear them only indoors until you are confident about the fit.
- Your foot should feel snug (not tight) from the arch back into the heel pocket with just a minimum lift as you walk. If your heel lifts make sure the lacing is snug and not too loose.
- Your toes should not touch the front of the boot, but when you kick the toe into the floor, you should know where the front of the boot is. You want just enough room to wiggle your toes.
- If your toes or sides of your feet feel squished, most likely the width is too narrow.
- If your toes touch the front of the boot, most likely it is too short and you need the next half size up.
- Retain all original packaging which came with the boots until you are sure that you are happy with your purchase.