Here at XL Feet, we’ve done our fair share of talking about how we are the place to get extra large men’s boots and shoes. We’ve done our fair share of talking about how we’re your venue for extra large mens socks and slippers too. What we haven’t done is give a comprehensive run down on the necessity of pairing them together, beyond the simply obvious reason that it would be terribly uncomfortable not to be wearing shoes and socks in your size. Therefore, and without further ado, we mean to jump right into it.
Why Extra Large Boots?
Well, there’s a simple answer to some of this here. You don’t unequivocally need extra large boots. You really only need extra large boots if your shoe size demands it, but if so, that’s all the reason in the world to us.
There is an entire fleet of reasons why you can’t get away with wearing boots that are too small for you, and it ranges from simple matters like comfort to complex matters like injuring your feet and ankles and having to forgo doing the things you love.
Comfort and Support
Let’s say you are about to take a nice long walk in the woods. Perhaps you are a fan of hiking for that matter. Plan yourself a nice, twelve mile long hike over soft, sandy, rolling country. Nothing too insane, nothing too rocky. Not even an excessive length of trail. Just a nice, leisurely walk that you can accomplish before lunch if you set out with the sun, even if you are carrying a pack.
Now, while we would suggest that you wear a quality pair of hiking boots like Columbia’s or Keen’s we’re going to do a little experiment. We are going to suggest you wear a quality pair of hiking boots like Columbia’s or Keen’s, maybe even Lowa’s or Rocky’s. Only we’re going to shake things up a little bit. We’re going to suggest that you wear those shoes, only in a size that is too small for you - by two sizes.
You’ll be alright for a half mile, even if the shoes pinch you uncomfortably. After a mile, the pain will be real. You will have blisters around every one of the pressure points and hot spots that the boots are offering. It’s not really possible to indicate where exactly, but you’ll probably have blisters on the sides and on top of your toes, on your ankles and on your heels as well.
Your feet will also start to swell and your joints will get painfully uncomfortable after being squeezed for so long by an unforgiving pair of boots, especially if you are really exerting yourself over the course of several miles. By the end of it, you’ll be sore, blistered badly, and you might even be well on the way to developing tendonitis.
Why would you do this? You wouldn’t, and we only suggested it as a hypothetical experiment. Never, under and circumstances should you attempt a hike in boots that are too small for you, not even a little.
The point of all this is that it is easy to see how important comfort and support are when your body relies on them. But there’s something else to consider - your body doesn’t only rely on comfort and support when you’re hiking in the woods. It relies on them all day, every day.
It doesn’t matter if your boots have orthotic insoles, high density foam midsoles and a tough shank in the sole, if they’re way too small for you. Those features that are intended to make your boots more comfortable will in all reality actually serve to make them a prison instead. For boots to be comfortable and supportive, as they should be, they need to be in the right size.
This is another huge consideration to make, particularly if you are an outdoorsman. Actually, we can reuse the same earlier example to make the point. Boots often advertise the traction they offer and the slip resistance that comes as a part of their design. Most of the time, slip resistance is a nice feature that keeps you comfortable, but at other times it is a matter of safety.
Now consider the previous example wherein you were hiking in a pair of boots that was too small for your feet by two sizes. Imagine that as part of that trail there were ups and downs through a slightly lower country that was flooded. Imagine that any of the low areas was slightly flooded and that the trail was thick with somewhat deep, extremely slippery mud.
Do you imagine that you would be able to traverse that country in boots that offered great traction if you were struggling to balance in the pain of a pair of boots that were far too small? The soles might still offer traction, but if your other facilities were compromised, you’d be slipping and sliding all over the place.
Now consider that you are a part of a boat’s crew, or even perhaps that you own a boat and enjoy the recreation of being on the water. Sooner or later you will come across somewhat adverse conditions even if you are wise enough - and lucky enough - to stay out of storms throughout all your years on the water. Even somewhat turbulent waters will make a deck pitch and yawn considerable. Wet fiberglass is a disaster waiting to happen, and even the best boat shoes and boots can slip. Do you want to know what will happen if you attempt to maintain your grip on a boat that is rolling and wet if you are wearing boots or shoes that are too small? You’ll slip - the rest is up to your imagination. Whatever the case, you can’t afford to wear boots that are too small in conditions that require you to be sure on your feet, whatever those conditions might happen to be.
Get the Benefits of Insulation
We can use another hypothetical scenario to paint this picture, and we’ll make it of a hunter or a winter camper. Let’s just say that your hobbies take you into the field long after most of the crowds have left it for warmer, indoor pastures.
If you live anywhere in the country where dangerously low temperatures occur in the winter, which is much of the country, then it is important to stay warm and dry. Your clothes and your footwear must be adequately insulated to make your interest in hunting or winter camping viable.
Let’s say you’re out overnight and into a winter morning where the mercury won’t breach zero degrees. That’s a brisk morning, even though it gets much colder in many areas of the country throughout the winter. You get out of your sleeping bag to put on your boots and other warm, insulative gear. The only problem is that, as before, your boots are too small by two sizes.
You think to yourself that you’ll be fine because your boots are rated down to negative 20 or even negative 40 degrees. That would be fine normally, especially on such a comparatively ‘balmy’ morning. However, this morning, your boots don’t fit properly. Boots don’t make heat; they only trap it in. These boots are squeezing your feet tightly, somewhat uncomfortably.
Over a short time, the heat within your boots will dissipate despite the insulation, and the problem lies in the fact that your boots, which are too small, are going to be restricting the circulation to your extremities. That all makes it much tougher for heat inside your boots to be replenished, and it means that over time your feet will get colder. In zero degrees, that can become a problem in short order.
Alternatively, if you had invested in a pair of boots that actually fit your feet properly, you’d be comfortable and warm the whole time. Zero degrees is nothing to balk at if your boots are rated to negative 20 and you’ve done it many times before. Just make sure they fit right or you’ll be throwing the insulative benefits right out the window.
Don’t Forget the Extra Large Mens Socks
In all of our vehement defense of boots that fit properly, we’ve almost digressed entirely from extra large mens socks. While they are only a part of the picture, they’re not something you should overlook when you’re preparing for all those adventures that make your extra large boots necessary in the first place.
They’ll Protect Your Boots
You might be wondering aloud how extra large mens socks can possibly protect your boots. They are designed to fit inside of boots, after all, and don’t really offer much protection. Most socks are usually wool or cotton, and most armor (or boots for that matter) is not made to be soft.
Think of it this way. The inside of boots are a bit rough and though they protect your foot, they aren’t necessarily suave lodgings. If you wear boots without socks, you’re probably going to get all blistered up and badly abraded. But we’re talking about protecting your boots and we launched into an explanation of how boots will hurt your unprotected feet. Where is this all going?
Well, the two things happen to be very closely related. If you do wear boots without socks (which is something you should ever do and against which we most directly advise) your feet will sweat into the boots and blister and perhaps even bleed. Over time, that will accumulate inside your boots.
As your boots accumulate oils from your feet, the first thing that will happen is they will smell terrible. That won’t necessarily damage the boots, but it sure will be unpleasant to deal with and almost impossible to counter once it begins. One more thing - over time those oils will damage the lining of your boots and will hasten their deterioration. Wear extra large mens socks with your extra large boots and protect your boots!
They Will Protect Your Feet
Remembering to wear socks will also help to protect your feet, which is equally important to remember when you are planning to enjoy certain activities. As we mentioned above, wearing socks with your boots will help protect them from being abraded and blistering in the first place, but we have to illustrate one more point.
As we said that your boots will accumulate oils and other bodily waste over time if you don’t wear socks, there’s another point that goes along with it. It’s not just bad for your boots. It’s also very bad for your feet.
If your feet are in a warm, moist location for prolonged periods of time, you will be more at risk of developing bacterial or fungal infections against which you might otherwise have had some
Socks help to absorb extra moisture and cushion your feet against the inside of your boots. They can also help regulate humidity and temperature and serve as a barrier to keep you safe against many infections. It’s never advisable to wear your boots without socks, and you should never have to use the excuse that you couldn’t find them in your size, because for that you have us here at XL Feet.
If you’ve had a hard time finding extra large mens socks in your size, then you can breathe a sigh of relief because extra large footwear is just about all we do a XLFeet. If you needed a good old pair of extra large cotton socks, you can find them on our site, but we also offer many specialty socks like wool, antimicrobial and even bariatric socks.
Of course, you can also find the extra large boots and shoes you need here on our site as well, so you never have to experience any of the unfortunate truths outlined in this article. All of your troubles as they relate to inadequately sized socks and boots can now be a thing of the past. Shop through our store today and never have to settle for boots - or extra large socks - that are too small again.