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How are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Fit? | The 6 Secrets

How are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Fit? | The 6 Secrets

There’s a popular concern when it comes to cowboy boots: How are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Fit?

Every time a cowboy boot was returned to the manufacturer due to not fitting your feet, you wear unsatisfied, we were sad, and of course, cowboy boot makers also were unhappy at all.

The fact that 80% – 90% of cowboy boots are returned is because they don’t fit your foot size.

So, how are cowboy boots supposed to fit? Let’s find out with us!

Shall we?

How are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Fit?

In general, to choose the cowboy boots that fit your feet best, you must pay attention to the following factors:

  • Instep
  • Heel
  • Width
  • Leather around calf
  • Toe box
  • Insole and outsole
  • Overall

We have several tips for you to successfully choose the best cowboy boots!


The instep of a cowboy boot is the most important part to determine whether cowboy boots fit your foot.

Once the instep of your foot fits snugly with cowboy boots, it will keep your feet from moving or slipping off the cowboy boots.

As long as the instep of the cowboy boot fits perfectly with your foot, even if the other positions are loose, your foot will be kept neatly in the cowboy boot.

If the instep is too loose, it will lead to heel slippage, cowboy boots slipping off when walking …

If the instep is too tight, you will feel uncomfortable, losing the necessary flexibility.

Click image for more information


When putting on cowboy boots on your feet, listen for the “pop” sound coming from your heels. It is the sound of perfect fit.

Unlike instep, the heel can be a little loose. Just don’t let the heel be too tight or it can cause heel blisters.

When you buy new cowboy boots, heel slippage usually happens, this isn’t a bad thing. 1/4″ – 3/8″ of slippage is normal in newly purchased cowboy boots.

However, if the slippage is greater than 3/8″ from the beginning, it is likely that you should consider returning cowboy boots. Because heel slippage will adversely affect your gait.

There are many ways to overcome heel slippage in cowboy boots, you can read more here!

Another thing to note is that you should buy cowboy boots with the height of the heel based on your purpose.

If you buy to work outdoors, you should choose western work boots with heels less than 2″.

But if you buy cowboy boots for outings, parties… then choose cowboy boots with heels higher than 2″.

Read more: Different Types Of Heels On Cowboy Boots


The maximum width of a normal foot lies in the ball of the foot (forefoot). However, it is not necessary that cowboy boots fit snugly in this position.

At the width of cowboy boots, you should leave a certain room for your feet to feel comfortable and flexible.

Cowboy boots should not be snugly fit at the ball of your feet, and must not be too tight.

Do not worry if you leave room for the width of cowboy boots, if the instep and heel of the cowboy boots fit as mentioned above, your feet still stay neatly in the cowboy boots.

Leather around calf

Like the width of cowboy boots, leather around the calf should be a bit loose.

If you are a man, the leather around the calf should be a bit wide (not too wide) to tuck the cowboy boots into your jeans.

If you are a woman, then leather around the calf should be more loose to easily tuck your skinny jeans into cowboy boots.

Noticeably, too tight leather around the calf will make you look fatter and lose your aesthetics.

Again, don’t worry if the leather around the calf is loose, as long as the heel and instep fit well, your foot won’t slip anywhere!

Toe box

3/4” to 1 1/2” is the number you need to remember, this range represents the distance between the end of your toe and the tip of a cowboy boot.

Don’t put this distance too far, it may lead to heel slippage. And don’t let this distance too close, your toes will get sore.

You should determine what kind of foot you are, if it’s flat and wide, you should choose square toe or round toe instead of the pointed toe. This will make your feet as comfortable and flexible as possible.

You should be careful at this, if cowboy boots are tight in the instep, leather around the calf, or in the boot width, there are many ways to overcome this problem.

But if the cowboy boots are too short, there is no way to remedy them.

Read more: Most Popular Cowboy Boot Toe Types

Insole and outsole

Tip: When wearing newly purchased cowboy boots, keep the forefoot on the ground and lift the heel up to 3/8″ to 1/2″.

If you do this easily, then these boots are flexible and comfortable for you to travel. But if it’s too difficult, you know what to do.

  • Insole

You should choose insole cowboy boots that make you comfortable from the beginning.

The feet come in a variety of styles, but for people with flat feet or high arches, you should consider using cowboy work boots or using an additional insole to support the arch.

Besides, using socks with good arch support cowboys is not a bad idea.

In general, for people with normal feet, cowboy boots insoles are good enough to comfort you, but not good enough to serve people with flat feet or high arches.

If cowboy boots emitted a squeak sound from the beginning, which means the insole design is not good enough. You should choose other cowboy boots instead.

  • Outsole

Personally, I like cowboy boots with rubber or leather outsoles, they offer great smoothness for walking.

When wearing a newly purchased cowboy boot, you should run around your house to determine whether the outsole has enough balance and stability or not?


You should buy cowboy boots that you feel comfortable from the first time you wear them.

Leather cowboy boots are usually firm and stiff, so it will take time for them to stretch during use.

Don’t buy cowboy boots that are too wide, there are few ways to shrink them.

Before buying cowboy boots, you should refer to the reviews of those who have bought them before, those reviews are very valuable.

Not all cowboy boots fit true to size, some boots may have to be half size up and some cowboy boots must be half size down. So please read reviews from previous customers.

You need to know that the size charts are very different from each brand, you cannot buy Ariat boots but use Dan Post’s size chart.

Luckily, we have an article on how to choose cowboy boot size here!

Will cowboy boots loosen up?

Yes, cowboy boots will loosen up pretty much after a couple of times of wearing, but reach to a certain extent.

The materials of cowboy boots are usually quite hard, durable and strong to protect cowboys on large farms.

Cowboy boots are only stretched until they fit your feet, but not too much. If it’s a new cowboy boot, we call it a break-in process.

Unlike other boots or shoes, cowboy boots don’t have shoelaces, if your cowboy boots are tight, you may need some methods to help them stretch.

Do cowboy boots hurt at first?

Cowboy boots can hurt your foot in the beginning.

Not only cowboy boots, in the beginning, all shoes and boots can cause pain because they have not broken in yet.

To overcome this, you need to break in cowboy boots, either you wear them more, or you use our methods to break in cowboy boots!

However, as we said before, you should choose boots that make you comfortable from the first time you wear them, so if they hurt you, then exchange them during the return time of cowboy boot markers.

To reduce pain when wearing cowboy boots, let’s use support products such as:

  • Cowboy boot socks

Socks for cowboy boots are thick, padded, support the arch of the foot well, so during break in cowboy boots, you should use socks.

Read more: Best Socks for Cowboy Boots

Wrangler Men's Western Boot Socks (Pack of 3),Black,Sock Size:Large(10-13)/Shoe Size: 9-13
  • Moisture-wicking socks each featuring ribbed leg and half-cushioned foot with arch support
  • Smooth toe seam reduces bulk and irritation for a seamless feel
  • Half cushion foot for added comfort and arch support to reduce foot fatigue

Last update on 2023-03-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Heel grip

If the heel of cowboy boots is tight, this may lead to heel pain and blisters. In this case, use heel grips to solve the problem. Heel grips can handle heel blisters very well.

Read more: Best Cowboy Boot Heel Inserts

Leather Heel Grips Liner Cushion Inserts for Shoes Too Big,Shoe Pads for Shoes Too Big, Improved Shoe Fit and Comfort,8 Pairs 0.2 inch Thick (Khaki)
  • Optimal Protection Pack:2 pair of cowhide heel grips
  • Material: Natural Softly cowhide softly padded
  • Strong self-adhesive:Suitable for leather shoes, high heels, canvas shoes, casual shoes, etc.

Last update on 2023-03-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • Extra cushion insole

The cowboy boots insole was hard and not flexible in the beginning, you could use an extra cushion insole to cradle your feet better.

Ariat Power Support Insole Wide Square Toe No Color 7 D (M)
  • Durable, moisture-wicking liner with Agion technology for intense odor defense
  • Rebound foam layer cradles the foot and dissipates pressure for superior comfort
  • Open-cell foam regulates temperature to keep feet cool and comfortable

Last update on 2023-03-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Before you leave

Hopefully, the above information is useful for you to choose the right cowboy boots.

With cowboy boots costing a few hundred dollars, it would be very annoying if you had to exchange them over and over. You should choose cowboy boots carefully according to the instructions above.

Once again, try to choose cowboy boots that make you comfortable from the first time you put them on.

Cowboy boots have a long life, so you should spend time researching and buying cowboy boots. You will find comfortable cowboy boots from the start for you.

Both of you and your beloved boots will have a happy love story up to over… 10 years.