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Do Cowboy Boots Stretch or Shrink?

Do Cowboy Boots Stretch or Shrink?

Nowadays, you can find a lot of articles online telling you that cowboy boots can shrink, while some other articles say that cowboy boots can stretch. The funny thing is, some methods of shrinking cowboy boots are the same as those for stretching them. Which is the truth?

It might sound unreliable, but it indeed leads to many misunderstandings for the users, especially those who are new to this type of boots. That’s why many wonder whether cowboy boots will stretch or shrink.

And that is the main content of today’s article, we bring you to the truth. Since only when you understand the right causes of this matter, can you avoid a bundle of common mistakes!

Let’s dive in!

Can Cowboy Boots Stretch or Shrink: What Is The Truth?

In fact, if you wear cowboy boots in the rainy or snowy season, they can shrink a bit due to the influence of the ambient temperature. But this contraction is not much, cowboy boots will stretch in the long run.

Maybe when you try on cowboy boots at the store for a short time, you can’t really feel them completely. And when you bring them home, your comfortable boots suddenly become a little tight.

man wears jeans and roper cowboy boots

One of the reasons why you think cowboy boots shrink is that new cowboy boots haven’t broken in yet. When you actually put them on for hard use, they begin to show stiffness due to the new leather. The tightness you feel is just a common thing. It will disappear after the boots have completely broken in.

Meanwhile, according to Harvard Health Publishing, you should wait until the afternoon till night to buy cowboy boots. The reason is that at that time, your feet expand due to the high temperature of the daytime weather. Your bones are lax due to your activities throughout the day and your blood flows to your feet more.

Suppose that you buy cowboy boots in the morning. And when you try them on again at home, it’s noon. Arg! Why do your boots become smaller when you feel it is a real fit at the store?

Hold on, they don’t shrink! It’s just a tight feeling coming from your feet. They get wider and bigger in the afternoon till night. That explains everything, don’t blame your brand-new cowboy boots.

Or another case is when you wear cowboy boots at the store and you only put on your right foot. You bring them home and find out that the other boot is tight on your left foot. That’s because many of us have different foot sizes.

The left foot is larger than the right foot so you may feel tight, not because the boots shrink. So, remember to try on a pair and walk lightly around the store to make sure they both fit.

a man wears alligator cowboy boots

In fact, in the process of wearing cowboy boots, they often get damp or wet due to many reasons (environment, sweat, etc.). This makes cowboy boots softer, and under the pressure of your body’s weight, they continue to stretch over time.

Cowboy boots shrink very little and there is almost no method to do it. Methods found on the internet are often ineffective, like dipping cowboy boots in water can only expand them, not shrink them at all.

Therefore, if your boots are loose, you can try to stuff them with insoles, leather pads, or heel inserts to make them fit tighter. Now, you can free yourself from an attempt to make them shrink.

Maxinmum Form Insole

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On the flip side, if you want to stretch cowboy boots, there are plenty of practical methods to do so, such as using a boot stretcher, boot stretch spray or steaming them.

FootFitter Premium Professional Western Cowboy Boot Stretcher

In fact, leather tends to stretch over time after a period of exposure to environmental changes such as rain, sun, or snow.


In short, cowboy boots don’t really shrink much, they can shrink a bit at first due to the effect of environmental temperatures (cold), but the boots will eventually stretch more over time.

Most of the methods that you find online on shrinking cowboy boots are useless and only make them stretch more quickly. It all goes down the drain!

On the contrary, these methods to stretch cowboy boots are highly effective.

If your cowboy boots are a bit loose, find ways to fill them with things like insoles, leather pads or heel inserts, etc.

But if they are tight, you can steam or use boot stretch spray or boot stretcher to stretch them.