Lets talk boot's

4:35 p.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Boots: One of the banes of my exsistance.  In my life I have only found one pair of "Real" boots that have fit me to the point I could wear them for an extended period of time and were in fact comfortable.  They were a pair of Lowas 32 years ago.

If you were to buy a tent that says 90in. x 70in. and it ended up being 83 x 54 would you be happy?

If you were to by a backpack that says 5400 cubic in. and it turned out being 3800 cubic in would you be happy?

If you bought some treking poles that said adjustable from 20in to 34in and it only adjusted 28 in to 30in. would you be happy?

So whats up with the boot/shoe sizing thing?  Why are measurments not the same across the industry? (to the shoe/boot industry, Can you say industry standards?,  I knew you could).   I see their silly little lists that show they are?  Do they just make these lists to amuse themselves?  I know I'm not overly improtant in the scheme of things, but do they do it just to piss me off?  The bottom of each of my feet measures exasctly 9.5 in.  The boots that fit me measure 10-10.5 on the inside from toe to heal depending upon a number fo factors including but not limited to the socks I wear.

In my closet I have shoes and boots that fit my feet that measure all measure 10-10.5 in inside toe to heal.  One pair says size 8, many say size 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5 and one says 11.  I'm pretty sure my foot does not change to a different size when I put the different shoes/boots on.  Though I must admit I have not been able to measure my foot when inside a boot?   CAT scan maybe?

Ok, so I just bought a pair of Pivitta 8's from a member.  The length of the of the boot on the inside measures exactly 10.  The boots however say 7 AA.  I have now reached a new low on boots.  Now a 7 fits the  length of my foot. Dose this happen as one get older, your foot stays the same size but the boots that fit get's smaller?   I'm pretty sure the AA stand for narrow and I have ten in long "fatty"(Hobbit/ Neanderthal) feet so I will be selling these to a member for what I have into them but that is pending until he gets back.  Anyway, boots are not my area of knowledge as they are always mis labeled and there is no industry standard for sizing.  Here are some picts of the boots.  The were worn very little, never broken in and never treated or water proofed.  Fine looking quality boots I must say, just way to narrow for my fatty feet.


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6:22 p.m. on August 10, 2011 (EDT)
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I see no way of getting the industry to actually follow its standards short of world domination but if you were that powerful you wouldn't need shoes or you could at least get custom mades. 

The whole shoe size variance thing may be something like dress sizes.  There was a high-end dress shop in Brevard, NC which participated in a sidewalk sale every year.  The dresses that fit my mom were at least 1 to 2 sizes smaller than usual fit her.  This allowed the rich women to say they wore a size or 2 smaller than the "common folk".  I have found that to be true about men's shirts at a fine clothing store that is one of my clients.  I wear a medium instead of a large if it comes from there.  Same fit just a smaller size. Things that are measured in inches are still the same.

Anyway... a work around for your problem.  I did a google search for

shoes "free returns shipping"

and came up with www.zappos.com and www.shoebuy.com.  Both give you free return shipping allowing you to purchase multiple pairs/sizes and return them at no charge.  Zappos has a 1 year return policy and shoebuy is 60 days and also pays your sales tax.  

4:56 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi apeman,

My feet are oddly shaped, they are somewhat hobbit like.

I have a narrow heel, wide at the toes, and fairly flat.

Also my second toe is longer than my big toe.

I have not been able to afford a custom set of boots, and I have completely given up on trusting the manufacturers specs, and it sounds like you have yourself.

I HAVE to try on boots and wear them around in a store a while (with the socks I hike with, and my backpack on) before I feel reasonably certain I am close to a good fit, and this is even with someone measuring my feet and assisting me.

So....I feel your pain and I too wish there were standardized sizing. I understand that boot manufacturers use different lasts (molds) to build their boots from, but I don't see why that would keep them from having boots that were true to size.

I'm sure someone in the industry could shed some light on the subject with an explanation; but we need more than just an explanation don't we?

5:12 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Trout,

There are too many variables in foot measurement for standardized sizing to be useful, IMO.

Foot length, width at ball of foot, width at heel, arch, volume of foot, disparity between left and right feet, curvature of foot, elongated toes, etc.

5:23 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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overmywaders said:

Trout,

There are too many variables in foot measurement for standardized sizing to be useful, IMO.

Foot length, width at ball of foot, width at heel, arch, volume of foot, disparity between left and right feet, curvature of foot, elongated toes, etc.

 Yes, of course that is true.

I guess what I meant was, aside from the various widths, volumes, last shapes etc. why can't a boot that says it is size 9.5 have close to the same internal length as a boot from a different manufacturer?

5:33 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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This topic provides me with too much material, upon which I could RANT.  

I am trying to be a nice person today.

I know, I know ... very strange for r2.   I must be getting older ....   In fact, I am.

In-any-event, Brian -- you are 'right-on-the-money' with your comments.   I understand your frustrations.   I share them, as well.

                                                    ~r2~

7:19 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Don't forget that even if the boots measure the same length on the insole, the shape and rigidity of the heel counter and/or toe counter can make one shoe shorter for the foot than another.

8:21 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I understand that there are different shapes of foot.  But a sized ten boot can still equal a 10 in boot can it not.  Other wise whey do we have sizes.  There are different shapes of feet, most notably in my life....... mine.  But this reminds me of a fish story where a foot long fish is two feet long.  Things just don't add up............. litterly.  Where I come form 10 in. equals 10 in.  Regarding Boots my 10 in foot fits into anywhere from a size 8 to a size 11.5.  It's a really good thing they don't make tape measures this way even though there are different sizes and shapes of tape measures.  Maybe I'm destined to find my pair of boots in the after life.  The search forges onward..............

8:35 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I find this conversation quite interesting. My size 12 Keens feel snug when compared to my size 46 Scarpas. I can understand the whole thing in regards to different lasts etc. Good discussion guys. I think alot of people who order online thinks that all size 12s/46s fit the same as far as interior volume. Then they order their boot based on this logic and guess what? It doesn't fit. 

This is something that I have learned over the years from trial and error. Usually it was my feet that paid the price.

8:50 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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a Rick-Pittsburgh : I agree you.  The problem I'm having is that these are boots list thes a size 7 AA and measure 10in. in side.   The AA means they are thin and I am of the fatty foor clan.   I checked with my friends who have size 7 feet..........not even close.  They would be clown shoes on them.  Way, way off as well on the UK sizing.  I guess I could send Pivetta a tape measure.

8:50 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a somewhat useful guide that may help you, Brian ....

I zero'd-in on my best-fitting FGLs, a pair of Fabiano's ( of two that I have ).  Without question, they all have a Vibram sole.

I took the measurements of the SOLE (exterior).   Length,  ... width across the ball on the foot ... width across the heel.

I have this memorized, and the numbers happen to be easy to remember, anyhow.   (Exactly 12" long, 4 1/4" wide, etc.).

If I see a fine pair of Italian FGLs on eBay or Craig's List, I ask the seller for these measurements.  Almost all will have a Vibram sole.

This will get me pretty close to my size ... closer than "in-the-ballpark".

Recently got a great pair of Scarpa FGLs for $35, shipping included, in this manner.

                                                   ~r2~

8:59 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I've had similar difficulty getting a good fit with boots. The issue is complicated by the fact that my right foot is longer than the left, and my left has a very sharp tarsal ridge.

When I got my previous pair of boots, I was able to try on and and walk around for a bit in various options before I purchased one. That was a very good thing.  Of the five pairs I tried on, four were size 9m and one was an 8.5 wide. Two of the size nines were two small and did not have a good shape for my feet, one was too large, and the fourth I bought. The 8.5 pair fit as well, but didn't feel as good.

I took a gamble with my current boots, which I got just a few weeks ago. After quite a bit of research on quality FGL boots, and looking at everything in my region that was available to look at in person, I decided I wanted a pair of Alicos. I had seen the pair that Trout wears, and was impressed. There is one leeetle problem. No one sells them in the States. Well, no one except Sierra Trading Post, by mail, that is. I could have ordered them from Italy, but would have paid about twice as much for them, so I gritted my teeth, crossed my fingers, and ordered a pair 9.5m Tahoes from STP.

I am pleased to say the gamble payed off- they fit beautifully and are close to the finest boots I have ever seen, and definitely the finest I've ever worn.  I am still breaking them in sufficiently, but after wearing them nearly everyday for 3 weeks, I do not forsee any problems. That acute tarsal ridge on my left foot is a problem, but it always is regardless of the make. It will just take a while for the boots to conform a bit more.  I am very glad I opted for the 9.5 size, as I can wear thick or double layered wool socks. In the warmer months, like now, I will have a thin rubber sole underneath my aftermarket footbeds. Without that layer there is plenty of room for thick and layerd socks.

I will reserve final judgement until I have worn them for a couple years, but right now I imagine I will be sticking with Alico boots from here on out.

(and no, I am not getting paid to say that :)

8:59 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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@ Robert Rowe :  I've tryed that before only to find that different soles can and are quite often differnt sizes (even the same brands such a vibram) as well as not accounting for the thickness of the leather of the  boots.  I cannot where these newer type boots with glue on soles.  I destroy them.  I'm not sure why as I don't engage in the art of foot movement as much as some on this site, but, alas I destroy them in no time at all.  My first pair of old school Lowas lasted me 5 years and were not even close to bieng done when there were stolen.  So far the closest I've come getting the sizing right for me is to measue the inside of the boots which many people are not aways willing to do.  I may have to have some custom made.  Not very happy about that but that is the way it works sometimes.

9:01 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Lol, Kinda funny. I previously tried on both widths in the SLs(BX and BXX.) I couldn't tell the difference width wise but there was a noticeable difference when it came to interior volume. The way companies rate their lasts is quite confusing to me. I typically start at 12/46 and just go from there. I don't even pay attention to the ratings on the lasts anymore. I never know what I am gonna get into when I pull a boot out of the box. Its pretty much a crap shoot... Unless of course I have had a great deal of prior experience with the boot. 

As I said I in another thread. Scarpa has the new SL Activ coming out in a few months. They changed the last in it so it fits more people. Does that mean that since the BX last in the current SL fits me the new one won't? Uggghhhhh.... I am really considering snagging up these boots. 

Brian, just like you and your tents I have a boot issue. If I like them I buy them and I like the design of the new SL but it will be my luck it doesn't fit. 

Here is the vid if ya haven't seen it on the other thread:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkiNRjGAF3Q

The more and more I look at them the more I am probably going to buy a pair. 

9:06 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Here's another "tip", which will REALLY work well for you, Brian, considering you raise sheep.

If you use my method (above post), and the boot you are focusing on happens to be a 1/4" or 3/8" longer than your "perfect" measurement, you are still GOOD.

Why?   Because it is probably going to be about 1/2 size larger than what you normally wear.

And, here's where to sheep come in ... or, more appropriately, their wool ....

Ballerina's stuff wads of lamb's wool in the toe-area of their TOE-SHOES., to help buffer the enormous pressure ( lb/ sq in) they put on their toes.

They get fitted for their TOE-SHOES to allow ample room for this application of lamb's wool.

You ( or, we ) can do this, as well ... IF we acquire a pair of boots that are a tad too long.   (NEVER too short! ).    The important thing is to put enough lamb's wool in the toe box to keep heel-lift from occurring.   You can "micro-manage" this, with adding and subtracting wads / tufts of lamb's wool, until you get it right.

Also, the wool's natural thermal properties are a nice benefit.   Cool in the Summer ( cooler than raw leather ) ... and, obviously, warmer in Winter.

VOILA !!

                                                  ~r2~

9:26 p.m. on August 12, 2011 (EDT)
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@ Robert Rowe:  great tip.  The main problem with my old Lowas is that the heal section is to large so that if I fill up the space with socks it constricts the toes as the toe section fits just right.  I might be able to felt the proper spacers.  Good thinking.........there could be hope in this life after all.   I knew those silly sheep must be good for sumthin besides eaten.

9:33 p.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Brian,

I read somewhere that the Pivetta marking of AA, A, BB, etc. indicated heel width, not width at the ball of the foot. Weird, eh?

9:41 p.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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@overmywaders:  Really,  that would be really odd,  Dang just another reason for standards.  Wow.  If you can find that info let me know.  If only they would just let me run the world I could fix all this sillyness.  Don't make me take over the world......Don't........;-}>

10:27 p.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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back when leather boots were king, you could occasionally find people who knew something not only about fitting boots, but also about modifying them for different types of feet - stretch them a little, fill some spots on the inside with sticky-sided felt, lace them up a little differently perhaps.  a shoe repair guy who sells high-end dress shoes in Washington DC is an ace at fitting dress shoes.  one pair in particular, pair of Alden loafers, he figured out that by removing part of the insole and sticking a piece of felt to the tongue, it completely altered the fit.  Magic, i have been wearing that pair of shoes for years, resoled once and close to needing new soles again.

putting felt inside a boot to change the fit sounds good in theory, but for the uneducated (me included), i think it would be a recipe for trial and error disaster.

for me, the best antidote for the sizing differences (i agree, no matter what brand,  they seem to run a little 'big' or 'small') is buying them from someone knowledgeable, someone who knows that a particular boot or brand runs a little long or short, or a little wide or narrow, or does well/not well with high arches or no arches.  believe it or not, these people do exist.  i'm not shy about calling manufacturers or websites, patiently wading through the tedious phone messaging systems, and getting a live person who knows the products well enough to help out.  you might be surprised at how helpful this can be.  

10:38 p.m. on August 13, 2011 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550 said:

i'm not shy about calling manufacturers or websites, patiently wading through the tedious phone messaging systems, and getting a live person who knows the products well enough to help out.  you might be surprised at how helpful this can be.  

I completely agree. I am well known to a few companies out there when it comes to gear(Scarpa, BA, Leki,etc.)

I actually have separate email folders for them for correspondence purposes in regards to previous inquiries when it comes to gear.

Hey if a thread pops up its the best reference I can use for someone seeking info about a particular item.

Like I said in another thread, better to know what you're getting than be surprised at what you're not.

12:15 a.m. on August 14, 2011 (EDT)
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leadbelly2550:  said " putting felt inside a boot to change the fit sounds good in theory, but for the uneducated (me included), i think it would be a recipe for trial and error disaster."

I would most whole heartedly agree.  With that bieng said  I've been trying these boots on and off for the past 32+/- years.  I had them altered once by the guy in Denver that sold them to me .  It was very strange happening that I found him but I will leave that for another day.  I should have done a full out fitting when I had the chance but I thought I knew what the problem was (plus, fact be told, I was just being cheap,....... lesson learned.....just to late for the boots at the moment).  Needless to say anyone who fits these boots to me will require my presants or a mold of my foot to fit these to me.  Pretty much the same for custom boots. If I can play with the wool from my sheep till then I'll give it a shot, I've had stranger things work.  I know that I'm grasping at straws but what's one more grasp.  I have a long history with these boots and I'm determined to make them fit.  So far I'm on the loosing end of this battle.  But you never know what's around the next corner.  Life just keeps comming at me and amazing me everyday.  With that being said I have a lota wool to play with.  If anyone else has a pair for me to try hit me up, I'm game

6:45 p.m. on August 23, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a pair of Limmer Superlights I swear by.  Bullet proof to say the least.

9:32 p.m. on September 3, 2011 (EDT)
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So, after a 32 years my search for the perfect boots may be at an end.  As I said before the only (real) boots that ever fit my feet were a pair of Lowas that I got about 36 years ago.  I left them in a CU rec center locker room and by the time I remebered they were gone.  It's been a long hard search for boots since then.  I believe I have finally found the perfect boots.  A new pair of the same boots I had 36 years ago.  Just as I was about to start the streatching of the Pivitta's I just though I'd jump on Ebay and see what was up boot wise.  There low and behold were my boots.  By it now...... and I did.


lowa-boots-1.jpg

 

I remember these as mine was a lighter leather with the dark log on the side.  Mine had the the rivet or lug on the back heal.  I don't remember any other boots of the day that had that including other models in the Lowa line.  I think these are unused and if so is another example of people just buying stuff and letting it sit in their closet.


lowa-boots-2.jpg

Looks to me like they have never been worn or so little that the light leather interior has not started to turn darker by sweat.  My fingers are crossed. Guess it jsut goes to show ya that youi can find anything you want if you look hard and long enough.  I'm psyched.  Mine even had these same red laces.
lowa-boots-3.jpg

10:44 p.m. on September 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Fantastic score!  I love hearing about people finding old, lost, stolen, or missed stuff.  I have the boot bug, and its all of yours' fault.  I expect an apology from each and every one of you.

11:54 a.m. on September 4, 2011 (EDT)
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those lowas look a lot like the raichle overlap boots i had for a long time.  very secure, very durable.  mine never fit quite as well as i wanted, though, and too much stitching, made them pretty hard to fully waterproof.  have fun with them!

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