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Can You Put Insoles in Cowboy Boots? Pros and Cons

If you are totally new to wearing cowboy boots, you may have some moments sitting contemplatively and question back to yourself, why did you buy these boots!?

It’s just nothing like any other pair of sneakers or shoes that you have had before.

Well, I understand what you think and feel. And, as a real cowboy boots lover for years, I have to admit that cowboy boots are possibly not for everyone to wear on a daily basis.

It somewhat hurts your feet because they don’t possess a proper insole and that’s true!

The insole structure of cowboy boots often uses leather material with a design that embraces the curves of the toes, arches and heels (with a heel length of 1.5 inches or more).

Therefore, they are often not reinforced with additional padding to reduce foot fatigue when walking.

Girl on her cowboy boots

In addition, the surface of the leather insole will become sleek, worn out and slip after a period of regular use. You may encounter heel slippage as well.

This is what makes the wearers who are used to the soothiness of sports shoes will not feel comfortable in a pair of cowboy boots.

But cowboy boots are more than that. My current ones last for almost 6 years of frequent use and I’ve always looked fabulous when dancing on them.

So, the best way to work things out is to find out whether you can put extra insoles on the cowboy boots. It makes sense, right!

Cowboy Boots 1

Can you put insoles in cowboy boots?

Definitely, yes. Many cowboy boot lovers (like me) choose to insert extra insoles for many reasons (not just all about reducing foot pain when wearing the footwear).

However, with a unique and different sole design from ordinary shoe shape, adding insoles to boots can lead to some struggles that you may encounter. Let’s take a look below!

Man wear cowboy boots with jeans

What are good to put insoles in cowboy boots?

First off, let’s get started with some good news.

Cut off foot sores/pains

Of course, first and foremost, extra insoles help relieve foot pain, especially if you have to stand or walk all day long in cowboy boots every day.

Although 1.5-inch heels are guaranteed to provide a certain degree of heel and arch support, it may not be enough for some people.

You will need an extra layer of gel or cushion to absorb shock on the go while being on the feet for more than 10 hours a day – which reduces foot fatigue.

Some reputable cowboy boot manufacturers like Ariat or Durango have improved the construction of the boots by adding layers of cushion midsoles in the middle of the boot sole.

As a result, it helps to reduce soreness around arches, toes and heels under normal conditions. But if you need more personalized support (e.g. Plantar facility issue), you’ll need to consider adding an extra insole.

A blue form insole

Besides, I agree that R toes, X toes or J snip toes are uncomfortable to wear. Their design constricts the tips of your toes and causes them to suffocate.

Therefore, you will probably need a layer of padding on the ball of the foot which comes from extra insoles to promote blood circulation around this part.

If walking in cowboy boots over 2 inches tall, you may need air cushioned insoles for maximum comfort and cushioning.

Improve walking posture

Many of us are born with different arches, toes, and heels. The truth is simple footwear like ordinary cowboy boots cannot be tailored to your particular design.

They are designed for the size of the majority of wearers. Therefore, for someone with a high arch like me, I added insoles with thick, high bulges in the arch area along with deep heel cups under the feet when wearing cowboy boots. So I am able to walk more “steadily” on the go.

Once your legs are properly adjusted to your gait, you shouldn’t feel much pain from the entire feet and lower back at the end of the day when you get back home from work.

Reinforced insole

Tighten broad toes and correct heel slippage

If you have to do manual work often and you choose to wear cowboy boots with round broad toes or square broad toes when doing that, guess you will have to find a way to deal with loose toes, or heel slippage, too.

These designs provide excessively roomy toe boxes for comfortable toes wiggling. However, they are still somewhat challenging for those with small feet (even if you get your size right).

Therefore, putting extra insoles into the boots not only help you relieve foot pain but also tighten the distance between vamp and foot, toes and toe caps or heels and boots. This will contribute to correcting your walking posture when walking for more than 12 hours a day.

Reduce bad smells

Wearing cowboy boots in hot weather of about 36 degrees Celsius like in Texas definitely can’t make your feet smell good.

Some of my friends wear cowboy boots and don’t wear socks. They quite enjoy the cool and smooth feeling when barefoot is in contact directly with the leather insole of the boots.

But at the end of the day when I got home, I really didn’t dare go with them in the elevator going up to our apartment. The smell from their boots seriously freaks me out! (I’m actually quite sensitive to odors in the air!)

smeeling boots

If the wearer continues to wear the boots the same way for a long time, the smell and liquid from your sweat will definitely seep into the leather insole and stay there forever (no matter how hard you try to wash them afterward).

Guess you don’t want to toss them in the trash just for a bad smell when they’re still so new and healthy.

Therefore, adding extra insoles to the boots when worn will significantly reduce the smell as well as prolong the life of the boots. Your job is to simply wear bare feet on the extra insoles (as you wish) and replace the smelly used insoles for the next wear.

Maxinmum Form Insole
Click image for more information

Regulate the temperature inside

It’s obvious that putting an extra insole can help warm up your feet, especially in cold or frosty weather.

Guess most of you don’t often experience cold feet when wearing mid-to-high shaft cowboy boots.

Since leather material has the ability to retain heat quite well, but due to wide shaft construction, cold air from outside can still penetrate deep down and freeze the feet.

You can go with something like Thermal insoles with a surface stitched with heat-retaining fabric that has good insulation, breathability and sweat absorption.

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Yaktrax Thermal Cold Weather Insoles for Men and Women, 1 Pair
  • Pair of insulated thermal insoles for men’s and women’s boots and shoes
  • Ideal for keeping feet warm when working or playing outside in cold weather; rated to -13 degrees...
  • Made from fray-resistant, moisture-wicking blended woolen polar felt and recycled blended felt for...

Last update on 2021-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Besides, some types of insoles can help cool down the inside of boots. One of the reasons your feet feel so hot inside cowboy boots is because the hot air coming out of your feet can’t get out.

You can choose gel pad insoles. These bouncing pieces are not only good shockproof but also help to absorb heat.

Therefore, it will help regulate the temperature of the feet when wearing cowboy boots better.

Cowboy boots in snow

Renewing old boots (yes!)

After many years of wearing cowboy boots, I realized that the biggest problem I have is having a pair of cowboy boots that still look new and fabulous on the outside, but the leather insole inside has been worn out.

Real leather upper can withstand damage from the environment well, but leather insoles will not be able to endure being oppressed by your body’s weight for many years.

They will often begin to appear deflated or even torn.

Like me, I guess you will gradually get tired of putting on these pretty boots.

You should not throw those boots away if they are still very new from the outside.

So the extra insole is a perfect boot-saver. They do not change the structure of the boots, even your feet are better supported.

After all, you will feel like wearing a new pair of cowboy boots without spending too much money on real new ones.

Act as foot medical devices

Some of my friends suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, corns and calluses around the ball of the feet or even gout attacks on the feet.

orthotic insoles

And that challenged them to wear cowboy boots and dance like everyone else. I don’t strongly recommend that people with foot issues like the above wear cowboy boots. You know, the footwear can make conditions worse.

But if you still want to wear cowboy boots, you need to wear orthotics insoles to provide the necessary support. So you won’t end up having fun in terrifying painful feet.

These insoles are prescription medical devices and you even have to see a doctor and order your own. They are not readily available and even expensive. But if it solves your problem, I’m happy to explain them further below.

What is bad to put insoles in cowboy boots?

It’s not fair to admit something 100% good. Now is the time to look at all the drawbacks of putting insoles into cowboy boots.

Men tighten his cowboy boot shaft

Heat the feet from the inside

Insoles can warm your feet, but they can also overheat things. That’s why the friend I talked about above likes to wear bare feet with cowboy boots. That cool and smooth feeling is quite stimulating to the get-high sensation of the feet.

Most Americans have a high caloric diet, so there’s nothing worse than feeling hot when you’ve just finished a tray of Mcdonald’s fried chicken while wearing cowboy boots with thick insoles.

If you must wear insoles with cowboy boots in hot weather (due to personal foot problems) then go with memory foam insoles with micro holes on the underside.

They contribute to heat dissipation and absorb sweat.

As mentioned above, gel insoles are also a good choice to reduce the feeling of overheating for the feet.

A pair of cowboy boots

It’s picky

Cowboy boots are footwear with the widest variety of boot toe shapes. These designs will also shape how the soleplate looks. Therefore, you will have to choose extra insoles that have compatible designs.

Otherwise, you will have to end up with trimming down some parts of the shoe insole to fit your cowboy boots. Isn’t this another inconvenience?

Especially when you can’t cut the gel insoles because that would ruin everything completely.

Besides, according to my personal experience, fitting over-the-counter orthotic insoles into cowboy boots is never my cup of tea (of all time).

The process even reaches a higher level of difficulty because I only go with J toes, J snip toes, snip toes, R  toes and even S toes. They will always leave an excessive volume over the size of the soleplate. Or if they fit a soleplate, they may not fit your foot.

But there will still be insoles specifically shaped for cowboy boots. So don’t worry too much. It’s just that you won’t get a wider selection than you would with shoe insoles.

Make narrow toes uncomfortable

Pointed toes, square toes and snip toes are often quite cramped, as you probably understand.

They don’t seem interested in allowing something extra, like an extra insole placed between them and your foot.

As a result, putting insoles into cowboy boots with even the same shapes may still suffocate your feet and you may not have enough comfortable roomy toe boxes to wiggle.

My personal advice for you is if you mean to carry extra insoles along with your boots right from the first place, it’s better to pick a half bigger size than your size.

Women try to put on cowboy boots

Types of insoles that are good for cowboy boots wearers

Materials and shape play an important role in the positive and timely effects of insoles on the foot. Therefore, understanding what is best for your feet will save you a lot of money and time.

But most important is that you find the right style for your foot.

For example, if you have a high arch, you need insoles that have deep heel cups coupled with a thick and stable bulge around the arch.

If you’re wearing cowboy boots with snip toes or square toes, you can simply choose half-foot high-arch insoles. They only support padding under the heel and foot arch while not constricting the toes part.

Look what I’ve got for you, here are the most common types of insoles you can have with your cowboy boots.

Over-the-counter insoles

These are the kind of insoles available in the market that you can buy anywhere and anytime. They are made from common materials such as foam, gel or even natural latex.

Foam insoles

FORM cushioned insole 2
Memory Foam insoles | Click image for more information

The most popular type of insole today. Conventional foams are made of relatively hard, cheap materials and have poor elasticity.

If you have foot health problems, I do not recommend this material. In addition, ordinary foam insoles can leave tiny residues on your feet or inside your boots when they start to wear out.

If you used to wear hiking boots or tactical boots often, you will probably get used to memory foam insoles.

This is a more advanced version with softness than regular foam. They have better elasticity, so they mold to the shape of the feet better. That will prevent the foot from having to adapt to the insole again each time it is worn.

You can trim down this material to fit the boot and your feet better.

Gel insoles

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Dr. Scholl's Work Massaging Gel Advanced Insoles for Men Shoe Inserts
  • Designed for people who work on hard surfaces all day and experience discomfort and fatigue in their...
  • Built with massaging gel technology and extra cushioning to provide all-day shock absorption, they...
  • Great arch-support - Firm columns provide contoured support to overworked arch area

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Many of my friends have completely given up on gel insoles. Especially the one that adds gel pads to the entire foot.

Honestly, in my personal experience, this type of insole is quite heavy for the foot. Because they add some weight from the liquid or silicone that creates gel pads.

They are also quite stiff and rarely mold to the feet although this means they can be more durable than foam insoles. But in return, you will rarely encounter heel slippage because they grip well on the insole of the boots.

Additionally, the gel pads create a bounce in the foot that stimulates energy return while walking.

But if you need something more lightweight and comfortable, you should go with a memory foam insole with gel pads on the ball of the foot, arch and heel.

I don’t recommend cutting down this type of insoles.

Air-cushioned insoles

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Dr. Scholl’s Comfort and Energy UltraCool Insoles for Men, 1 Pair, Size 8-13
  • Designed for people who suffer from foot odor and experience discomfort in their feet during the day
  • Built with Odor-X Technology, to help keep feet cool, comfortable and odor free
  • Aircool Vents - Honeycomb design and breathable wicking top cloth promotes airflow to help your feet...

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a pretty smart insole.

They are improved upon gel insoles with the aim of reducing weight by not adding liquid gel but using stacked stoma designs, providing the bounce needed to support the foot when wearing cowboy boots.

The special feature is that they have the ability to retain the best flexibility, elasticity and arch support.

They also don’t deflate like foam and aren’t as stiff as gel pads. Therefore, I recommend this type of insoles to anyone who often has foot health problems.

Sometimes you can also go a little higher with these heel lift insole designs.

I think you can cut down some parts of this insole but you should not do it on the thickest parts. This will possibly deform the overall shape and effects.

Natural latex insole

Natural Latex Insole (S(5~6.5)) Made in Korea
  • The foot is the second heart
  • Latex soles fit your body shape by itself
  • Latex surface may have bubbles or impurities

Last update on 2021-11-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It sounds strange but they work amazing as they are naturally supple, cool (literally) and highly elastic.

What makes them not so good is probably the excessive elasticity of natural latex. That is very difficult to give the sturdy support you need for a high arch or Plantar fasciitis. However, you can cut the excess to fit cowboy boots better.

Can you wear orthotics in cowboy boots?

You definitely can but like I said above, if you buy over-the-counter boot orthotics, you will probably have a hard time figuring out how to fit them inside cowboy boots perfectly.

I usually have problems with no excessive areas between toes and vamps because you know, this area is pretty cramped with snip toes.

Therefore, if this is an extremely necessary device for you, you should definitely go with the custom-made option.

You will likely need to meet with a podiatrist for tests before proceeding to produce your own orthotics.

REINFORCED - Comfort & Relief Insoles
Click image for more information
  • Rigid orthotics are made from plastic or synthetic carbon fiber. They have the ability to ease high arch or long-time strained arch. Since cowboy boots don’t have enough arch support, this is the best to go for.
  • Soft orthotics are made from soft compression materials. They soften the tension of Plantar fasciitis, corns & calluses or gout attacks on the feet that happen while wearing cowboy boots.

Some last words

Personally, I consider extra insoles more than just a piece of cloth accessories. It’s like my feet-saver when I’m on my feet wearing cowboy boots and walking more than 7 hours a day.

So, I highly recommend you guys store some best-fit types of insoles for your boots in your closet. You would definitely need them someday. That way, you won’t have to deal with corns and foot sores at the end of the day.


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