I've had limited success finding hiking boots that really fit me. Therefore, I'm thinking about custom-made ones.

But, I'm not sure how to think through this decision. What are the advantages and disadvantages? At a first order, it seems they would be "better fit" and "extremely expensive" (i.e., pushing $1000 for a pair), respectively, but it seems there should be more nuance than that.

In my case, the main uses will be dayhiking, often off-trail in rugged terrain, and backpacking a few times a year.

  • Hiking boots are available in narrow and wide sizes, e.g., I own a pair of Asolo boots in a wide size. What is it about your foot that's unusual? Is it the width?
    – user2169
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 17:13
  • I think the key thing is width — my feet are pretty narrow. There seem to be many options in wide men's boots, but I haven't found any narrow ones.
    – Reid
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


What nuances are you referring to? If you have an atypical foot shape you of course will be able to get a good fit in a custom-made boot. If it's made by a shoemaker who knows what he is doing it should be a lot more durable too. In contrast the high price.

What nuances besides quality (fit, durability) and price are there? Maybe the time it takes to get the custom-made boot done. But to be honest that's not an interesting fact if you think of the time searching a good fitting boot bought off the shelf.

You could compare it to a handmade suit. It's expensive but of very high quality. You have to decide for yourself if it's worth the money.


Hanwag, Lowa are in general narrow in width, so are the italian shoes from e.g. La Sportiva, Scarpa, Asolo. You could also try ladies version which are narrow.

  • Nuances being for example, are there any gotchas? Are people genuinely happy with their custom boots? If I'm going to spend nearly a grand on shoes, I want a high probability of being satisfied.
    – Reid
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 17:23
  • 3
    The thing with custom boots is they make sure you're satisfied. They just keep modifying them untill you are.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Apr 12, 2015 at 18:26

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