New Boots Guide: Boot Fitting, Care, & Warranty


Boots are one of the most important purchases you can make. Please take a few moments to read over this New Boots Guide, to get the most enjoyment, comfort, and mileage possible, from your new footwear.

Please wear your boots indoors, on carpeted areas only, until you are sure about the fit. Please note: used boots and footwear cannot be returned for sizing problems.  To assure the best possible fit please contact Campmor Customer Service for expert sizing advice.

Boot Fitting

First, put on the socks you’ll be wearing with your boots. Some people prefer a lightweight wicking liner sock made of wool, polypropylene, Coolmax, silk or other wicking material, under a mid to heavy wool or wool blend sock. However, some new styles of wool and synthetic socks can be worn by themselves, without a liner.

Second, put your foot into the boot. With the boots unlaced, push your toes forward until they are up against the front of the boot, then slide your index finger behind your heel. Your finger should easily fit between your foot and the boot. If it’s difficult or impossible, then the boots are too short. If there’s much more room than this, they’re most likely too large. In either case, send them back right away for an exchange.

Third, tap your heel back into the heel cup. You should always do this before lacing your boots. Lace the boots snugly, going from bottom to top. Once securely laced into your boots, your heels shouldn’t lift much more than 1/4 inch. If there is excessive heel lift, the boot is too long or too wide. Your boots should feel snug in the balls and ankles of your feet, since these areas are where the boots will break in.

Finally, check the toes by kicking on them or by walking down an incline. Your toes should not jam against the front of the boot. You should feel slight pressure on impact, but not a sharp stab. If you feel your foot is sliding too far forward, try lacing your boots tighter over the instep. If this doesn’t fix the problem, the boots are too short or too wide.

One rule of thumb, compliments of the Campmor staff, is “if the boots don’t feel comfortable out of the box, they are not going to feel any better on the trail – return them”. Boots do break in over time, but no amount of break-in time will make a newly uncomfortable boot comfortable. Also, consider that improperly fitted boots will cause pain, blisters, and possibly more serious foot problems, not to mention excessive wear on your boots.

Boot Care

It is important to treat leather boots with a waterproofing agent. Treat them when they are new, and treat them often throughout the year. Different types of leather require different types of treatments. Using the wrong waterproofing substance can damage or soften the leather and stitching, and may void the warranty.  If you have any questions about the type of leather your boot is, or what waterproofing to use, call our customer service department.

The most important part of caring for your boots is keeping them clean and dry. After a trip, wash the boots using lukewarm water (never hot), scrub them with saddle soap, and rinse. Boots with a leather lining should also be washed several times a year to remove salt accumulation. Boots with fabric can also be cleaned by using a mild soap or shampoo and scrubbing with a nylon brush.

After cleaning, allow your boots to dry at room temperature. NEVER expose them to direct heat; this has damaged or ruined many boots by causing sole delaminating (the sole separating from the upper), damaging the seams, and melting the cement. This applies when you’re on the trail, as well. Never dry boots by a campfire. Also, try not to let your boots freeze when they are wet, since this can also damage the boots. Never store your boots wet.

Boot Warranty

The following warranty information is for boots purchased from Campmor only. If you purchase a pair of boots elsewhere, we suggest you check with that retailer directly for how they handle their warranties.

  1. Unused boots with original packaging and receipt can be returned for a full refund/exchange, for up to one year from date of purchase.
  2. Used boots with a defect in materials or workmanship can be returned up to one year from date of purchase. Sales receipt/invoice must accompany returned boots.
  3. Used boots cannot be returned for sizing problems. Do not wear boots outside until you are completely satisfied with fit and style.
  4. Normal wear and tear on the boots, or improperly cared for boots, are not considered defective and will not be eligible for refund or exchange.
  5. Boots beyond the Campmor warranty can be returned to the boot manufacturer for inspection under their warranty. Campmor will send these boots to the manufacturer for evaluation, if they were purchased through Campmor.

About Author


  • jane sutton

    not sure of size usually take6to6.5 but bought a pair of Salomon hiking boots years ago and they were 5.5

  • Stockbridge Hiker

    The challenge is ordering/selecting boots online. Each brand fits differenetly and the sizes don’t match up. Very frustrating.

  • Kayakjack

    Colin Fletcher hiked the Grand Canyon. He wrote “The Man Who Walked through Time”. A tip of his is to tie a square knot (reef knot) in the laces about three holes up (varies with shoe or boot – but below the hinge point). The idea here is that as we walk, our feet spread wider. Leave the laces looser below the know so your feet have room to spread naturally. Lace them snug above the knot to hold on the shoe/boot firmly.
    I use this technique in both shoes and boots, and it helps prevent problems.

  • Pedor

    Unfortunately, feet are 3 dimensional. This article only refers to the length, not the width or depth. Also, there are 3 key motion items to consider when selecting any footwear: 1. Control the heel (all 3 plains), 2. support the arches (medial, lateral, transverse), 3. Release the forefoot (toes have flex room).

  • Mica

    This was the best information I have ever received. I didn’t purchase my boot through Camp Mor because I really wasn’t comfortable ordering them without trying them on I did follow this guide. THe boots I purchased are perfect. I went to break them in and ended up walking 4 miles the first day. I purchased them for the BSA National Jamboree so I really needed them to fit. THANK YOU!