Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
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.