How to Change the Volume of Hiking Boots

Written by sancho m. panza
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How to Change the Volume of Hiking Boots
Putting on the boots (male in the hiking image by Galyna Andrushko from

Hiking puts a lot of stress on your feet. It is important that your hiking boots fit your feet as well as possible. Hikers with low-volume feet may find that there is a lot of excess space in their boots, which can cause their feet to slide around and may lead to blisters. There are several ways to fill up that extra volume in the boots and give your feet a better fit.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hiking boots
  • Rubbing bar
  • Insoles or heel cups

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  1. 1

    Put on your boots. When you put them on, make sure your heels are firmly in the heel cups of the boots with the back of your ankles pressed up against the back of the boot. Lace the boots as tightly as you can, though don't cut off circulation.

  2. 2

    Go for a walk that is at least 15 minutes long. If possible, hike over some uneven terrain.

  3. 3

    Figure out where the boots may be causing rubbing or soreness in your feet. As you walk, note if your feet slide around the boots. When you finish your walk, note which spots on your feet feel like they may be vulnerable to blisters or tenderness.

  1. 1

    If your problem is tenderness due to your boots pressing on certain spots on your feet, you can fix this with a rubbing bar. Simply press the bar on the inside of the boot at the spot where it hurts your feet. This will stretch the boot and, hopefully, alleviate the pressure.

  2. 2

    If your feet slide around in the boots, you will want to fill up some extra volume. Find a pair of insoles or heel cups that match the size and shape of your feet. Place them inside your boots. They will fill up extra space along the bottom of the boots.

  3. 3

    If you need more space filled up, or don't wish to use insoles, you can also put tongue depressors in your boots. Simply place tongue depressors between the laces and tongue of your boots. They will fill up extra space inside the top of the boots.

Tips and warnings

  • Experiment with how you lace up your boots. Skipping certain lacing rings or varying the tension as you tie up your boots can help alleviate pressure over sore spots.
  • Don't reduce the volume of your boots so much that your toes touch the top of the toe box as this may cause blisters.

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