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Big Foot

Is it true your shoe size increases after hiking the AT?


Is it true that your foot size will increase up to a full size after hiking the AT? If so, is the increase permanent?

Submitted by - Paul, Alfred, ME


In Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail, author Roland Mueser reported that 30 percent of men and 80 percent of women claimed an increase in shoe size—sometimes by as much as one and a half sizes—after hiking the AT. These changes were not permanent, but they often lasted a long time. The time it takes to return to your “normal” size depends on variables such as the individual way your body responds to this kind of stress and how much hiking you do post-AT. There appears to be no great danger from this size increase, but if your feet hurt, report it to your favorite physician.

1 Comment

  1. Brett AKA Boy Wonder

    My feet increased about 1/2 size after my 1997 thru-hike. I could not wear anything but my broken-in leather boots when I returned home. It took a couple years, but they are a bit smaller now. My feet have remained wider ever since my through hike though.

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