FITTING OF FOOTWEAR ITEMS
6-1. GENERAL PRINCIPLES. Proper fitting of military footwear depends on the effectiveness
and knowledge of the fitter. The following principles are provided as a basis for proper fitting
methods and techniques.
a. Foot Construction. The foot is so constructed that each of its parts contributes directly to the
supporting and transportation of the body weight. Structure, shape, and size of feet vary
considerably with some feet long and narrow, and others short and wide. An individuals two feet
are also seldom exactly alike. Despite there normal differences, most individuals can be correctly
and comfortably fitted with standard military footwear.
b. Concept of Fit. The basic goals of proper fitting are to ensure maximum comfort and prevent
foot injury. Properly fitted footwear will hold the foot securely from the lacing at the instep to the
heel and have sufficient room in the front for the foot to be free from restriction (Fig. 6--1).
c. Misfitted Footwear. Improperly fitted footwear may cause many ailments, not all of them
confined to the foot. The continual wearing of misfitted footwear may affect health, morale and
efficiency. Fallen arches, bunions, callouses, corns, blisters, ingrown toenails, distorted toes and
aching feet often result from poorly fitted footwear. Following are three types of misfitted footwear
and the problems they may cause.
(1) Short Footwear. Short footwear prevents natural expansion of the foot. Back pressure of
the forepart of the foot transmitted to the arch jams archbones out of normal position and
contributes to fallen arches. Pressure forces a spreading of the toe joints, irritates the great and
little toes, and contributes to ingrown toenails and the formation of bunions.
(2) Tight Footwear. Tight footwear presses the toes together so that they often overlap and
restrict the flow of blood. Frequently, the bottom of the foot is extended over the edge of the
innersole, gradually pressing a groove into the flesh. This pressure causes the flesh to become
sore and painfully calloused. Corns may form between and over the toes and the feet may
become weakened, distorted, and permanently injured.
(3) Oversize Footwear. Oversize footwear prevents normal foot function by failing to provide
adequate support. As the foot spreads, it throws the weight--bearing portion of the foot out of
position and abnormally expands the arch. The foot tends to ride forward and sideways, causing
chafing at the heel, toes, bottom, and outside of the foot. When worn for running or long
marches, oversize footwear will cause discomfort and fatigue.
6-2. MEASURING AND FITTING OF FOOTWEAR ITEMS.
a. Fitting of Socks. Check socks when the individual is standing, weight evenly distributed on
both feet. Socks should fit with no apparent tightness or fullness (wool socks should be fitted
slightly larger to allow for shrinkage). The Size Correlation Chart Table 6--1, is only a guide for
selecting the initial try--on size. Socks should be tried on and checked for proper fit.