At Zamberlan we use two basic tests to ensure a proper fitting boot. These are the “kick test” and a heel-slip assessment. Please remember to perform these tests indoors to preserve your ability to exchange boots in the event you require an alternative size.
To begin, insert your foot completely into your unlaced boot. Lace up the boot completely like you would before a hike. Flex your foot, ensuring that you are comfortably situated in the boot. Take note if you are experiencing any discomfort in the flex points of the boots. Some tension is normal, especially with full-grain leathers. Now you are ready to test the overall fit of your boots.
The “kick test” simulates the fit of your boot while descending. While wearing your boots properly laced, pick up your foot behind you and kick your toes down into the ground. Your toes should hit the toe box without any pain or discomfort. If your toes feel cramped by the toe box, your boots are likely too small. If your toes do not touch the front of the toe box, your boots may be too large. You want your toes to touch the front of the toe box so as to not be too big, without running the risk of bruising by them being too small.
The second test we use to gauge fit is a simple heel-slip assessment. When laced properly, you should not be able to place more than your index finger between your heel and the heel cup of your boot. However, it is important that there be some room. Boots that are too tight cause bruising, whereas boots that are too loose leave you prone to blisters. Make sure there is some give in the heel and that you're not experiencing any slippage while doing a short test walk indoors.
Please note, many Zamberlan boots run longer than expected so it is very common for users to go down 1/2 size to find their proper fit, so don't assume you have the correct size simply because you purchased what you typically buy from other manufacturers.
These two tests will help to ensure a proper fit for your Zamberlan boots. Remember, some models may be stiffer than others in the flex points. This is often due to materials, such as full-grain leather, that may require a short break-in period, or due to the stiffness of the lasting board, which is quite intentional.
Additional sizing tests may be required for hard to fit feet, such as feet of narrow or wide widths, low volume feet and so forth. Users that are aware of these foot characteristics will want to gravitate towards boots designed for these types of feet. Zamberlan makes several wide-fitting models and has several models that are also lower volume to accommodate a range of foot types.
Boot fit is the most important aspect of boot buying, so please do pay it the proper attention. Thank you!