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Do Cowboy Boots Cause Bunions?

Do Cowboy Boots Cause Bunions?

Although there are many different causes of bunions, such as genetics or age, another cause that directly influences your foot is tight-fitting footwear.

Some people who wear cowboy boots have some complaints that their boots have shown signs of bunions since wearing them.

Is that true? Why is this and how to avoid it?

Today’s article will clear all those issues!

Can Cowboy Boots Cause Bunions For Your Feet?

According to Very Well Health, the types of footwear that can cause bunions are those with high heels and narrow toe boxes.

The construction of such footwear results in the footbed sloping forward so the feet will also slide forward so that the toes will hit the narrow toe box. And under that pressure, the toes will be squeezed together uncomfortably.

Over time, the toes will gradually adapt to the new position and lead to bunions, as we all know.

Unfortunately, some traditional cowboy boots have such construction, high heels, and narrow-toe boxes.

In the past, cowboy boots were born to support farmers when riding horses, so they got this structure:

  • High heel: To ensure the cowboy’s foot does not slip out of the saddle stirrup (the heel will hook into the stirrup when needed)
  • Narrow toe box: Cowboy boots have a pointed toe to easily get in (out) the saddle stirrup. Cowboys will be more convenient to climb on/off horseback.
  • 100% leather: Leather is a durable, cheap, and easy-to-find material in the wild west.

Man wearing cowboy boots and are riding the horse

An element like a high heel can help develop bunions because the structure causes the footbed to slope down forward so the foot tends to slide down toward the toes.

The toes will hit the narrow toe box (pointed toe) and change their natural position. Leather is hard and takes time to stretch or soften, in the long run, you will likely get bunions as your toes get used to those unnatural positions.

In fact, you can completely avoid the problem of bunions caused by cowboy boots, and it is quite simple. We will guide you right below.

How do I prevent bunions caused by cowboy boots?

The easiest and most recommended way is to choose the right cowboy boots for you.

As analyzed above, traditional cowboy boots are only really suitable for cowboys on horseback, not really for people who are on their feet all day.

The good news is that there is a wide variety of cowboy boots these days, and the type of cowboy boots I want to talk about here are those boots for people who often walk or stand all day.

Today, cowboy boots are used not only by cowboys or ranchers but also by construction workers, office workers, or simply for casual wear thanks to the diversity of construction.

Here are my tips when picking cowboy boots to prevent bunions!

Choose cowboy boots with low or standard heels, preferably no more than 1 1/2 inches. These types of heels usually have a wide and flat base.

Also, choose cowboy boots with round toes or square toes to ensure your feet have enough room to breathe. Stay away from pointed toes.

The above criteria are the two most important things that make sure you won’t be bothered by bunions. These cowboy boots are very easy to find on the market today.

The Doc cowboy boot from Tecovas

The Doc Cowboy Boot | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned

Don’t worry those boots will make you lose your classic style and beauty. Because a round toe is still a traditional toe shape, and a 1 1/2-inch heel is still high enough to make you look tall and confident.

But what if you bought a pair of boots with too narrow toe room? You may need to know more about some methods to stretch cowboy boots!

In order to prevent the toes from being squeezed because the toe box is too narrow, some products such as boot stretch spray or boot stretcher can help the boots stretch.

In addition, to soften the toe box thereby reducing stress on your toes, you can also steam them or use a leather conditioner.

Changing the heels of cowboy boots may not be as simple, you will probably need a good cobbler to do it. Find him and request a lower heel.

We have a very thorough post on how to stretch cowboy boots here!

Also, make sure you break in cowboy boots fully before hard use. Because after break-in, cowboy boots will be softer and fit your feet better, limiting bunions.


Man wear cowboy boots with jeans and sitting down

In short, the traditional cowboy boots with pointed toes and high heels can totally get you bunions.

However, modern cowboy boots have more variations with diverse construction, and they have acquired a low heel and toe shape with plenty of room (round toe or square toe). You should choose them.

If you already own cowboy boots that can cause bunions, you can use several methods to stretch your toe box or find a good cobbler to change the heels to lower ones.

Good luck!