Montrail shoes are all about fit, so we thought it would be appropriate to provide you with this fit guide from Montrail. Click here to go back to Montrail Shoes >>
If you have any questions about a specific shoe or if you need further guidance in your footwear selection, please feel free to call our gear experts at 1-888-707-6708 or email [email protected].
- What is Good Fit?
- IntegraFit™ Technology
- How to find the right fit for you.
WHAT IS GOOD FIT?
We at Montrail have learned a good deal about fit and fitting since we began making outdoor footwear in the early 1980’s. We have studied and referenced volumes of biomechanical literature from the most prestigious journals and from the most knowledgeable scientists and practitioners in the field. But most importantly, we have learned through the experience of building new designs concepts and testing them on running 100-mile races, backpacking across continents, and climbing the most remote peaks of the world. Simply stated, fit is the most important aspect of the product to us.
Good fit. Good fit is more than just comfort (although comfort is critical), it is having a shoe or boot that allows you to perform your best, most efficiently, most powerfully, and most comfortably. When the shape of the shoe matches the shape of the foot, when the body’s biomechanical needs are met, when the foot is supported, cushioned, padded, and secured appropriately for the activity, then that is good fit.
The IntegraFit® last (the last is the foot shaped form that a shoe or boot is built around) is Montrail’s solution to providing a good fit through design. IntegraFit® lasts are designed using a database of 800,000 pairs of digitally scanned feet. With the data, we can draw an accurate picture of the population’s feet: how they change with size (length), whose feet are fat, whose are skinny, and just about everything else we need to know about foot shapes and measurements. The standard IntegraFit® last is designed to fit up to 80% of the population.
What do you feel?
- Heel: The heel pocket is snug and shaped to keep the calcaneus bone from over-rotating. This precise heel lock, gently but firmly, holds the heel in place.
- Midfoot: Solid support on the inside of the ankle and arch helps the foot to resist pronation. The shape of the fit is contoured to match the shape of the foot, resulting in smooth, even contact.
- Forefoot: The fit is designed to flex in a smooth arc across the foot at the metatarsal heads, allowing the foot and boot to work together. The toe box allows ample room for toes to spread, expand, and move.
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT FIT FOR YOU
The Montrail Fit System (MFS) has several steps that will lead you to a good fit. You can follow these steps on your own or with the aid of a shoe fitting professional at your better specialty retail stores. Note: The process printed here is a streamlined version of the full MFS fitting process. This is a minimal process and is not intended as a replacement or equal process to a good professional fitting.
Step 1. Foot type evaluation
This is a visual assessment that can be done either with the aid of a mirror or simply by looking down at your feet.
- With socks on or off, stand up and raise one foot off the ground about six inches. The raised foot should be relaxed so that the arch forms fully.
- Gently place the raised foot on the ground without weighting it and observe the arch height.
- Next, transfer your full body weight to the foot and observe how flexible the foot is. Does the arch shape collapse? Does it flex a little? Or does it not change appreciably?
- If your foot flattens out, you have a flexible foot.
- If your arch compresses a little, but not completely, then you have a average flexing foot.
- And if your arch does not compress at all, then you have a rigid foot.
Step 2. Measure size
The Brannock™ device is the standard tool and reference for measuring feet. Using this device is the best way to create a baseline measurement for choosing the correct size shoe or boot. Note that sizing will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even from model to model within the same manufacturer. Generally, it is the job of the professional fitter to learn how different footwear correlates to the Brannock™ standard. However, the try-on process is ultimately the best method of determining a correctly fitting shoe or boot.
- There are four different Basic types of Brannock™ devices—Men’s, Women’s, Children, and Unisex (for ski boots); choose accordingly.
- Note the differences between the right and left ends. The same Brannock™ device is used for measuring both the right and left feet.
Measure overall length and width
- Place the Brannock™ device on the floor and put one foot onto the device. Be sure that the heel is centered all the way back in the heel cup.
- Weight each foot equally with legs about shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Read the size from the Brannock™ by looking straight down over the foot.
- With the foot still in the Brannock™ device, slide the width adjustment gently against the outside of the foot and read the correlating width measurement.
Note the girth (volume) of the foot. Is it slender, bony, thick?
Step 3. Try-on and Testing
This is the step where you make use of the foot assessment and get into the proper-sized shoe. This step has two objectives:
- Determine a winner. Decide between model options on the basis of fit.
- Confirm a size selection.
Choose two or three models within your chosen category that most accurately match your foot type and size. Remember to make adjustments for manufacturer and model deviations from the Brannock™ device.
- Try choice number 1 on one foot and choice number 2 on the other.
- Stand and ask yourself how the two choices compare regarding:Shape comparison: Overall, which shoe feels like it best matches the shape of your foot?Heel: Does one hold and fit your heel better than the other?Medial wall: Does one better support your foot when weighted?
Instep: Compare fits, comfort, and pressure over the instep.
Flex point: How do they compare at the flex point?
Toe box: Does one have a better shape than the other?
The concern should remain with the shape of the shoe rather than just the size.
- Replace the “loser” with choice number 3 and repeat comparisons.
With the winning pair selected, proceed to fit the shoe or boot.
- First, check the length by comparing the foot to the insole. Remove the stock insole and place it under the foot to obtain an initial comparison of overall size and shape.
- Next, preflex the boot and soften any stiff areas, such as around the collar, to enhance the initial feel and out-of-the-box comfort of the boot or shoe.
- With the shoe unlaced, put it on and check for initial length using the finger test: tap the toe against the floor to check that one finger fits behind the heel.
- Correctly lace the boot or shoe. Correct lacing is taut, but not too tight, from the toe up to the top of the boot or shoe. There should be no loose lacing and the lacing should be even and firm.
- Do the “Big Hand” check to see how the boot is wrapping around the foot. This is done by grabbing the foot firmly to check for hollow spots and areas of excessive pressure pushing outward from the foot. Are there any hollow spots, tight areas, or folding of the leather or upper?
- Consider the lacing. Lacing techniques can compensate for differing foot shapes. See illustrations that follow.
- Take plenty of time to get used to the shoes or boots by walking around the store. New footwear is naturally a little stiff and needs to soften through wear. Many pressure points and hard edges or creases will soften in just a few minutes of walking.
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