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How to Fix Heel Slippage in Cowboy Boots? Tried and Succeeded

How to Fix Heel Slippage in Cowboy Boots? Tried and Succeeded

One of the common situations, when you put on a new cowboy boot, is the “Heel Slippage” problem when you move.

This will cause discomfort, lessen your confidence in walking and affect your gait. Besides, heel slippage can also cause your heel to blister because it is constantly rubbing against the leather.

Have you encountered this situation with one of the shoes you wear? Do you know how to fix this?

From The Guest Room will give you some tips to improve this situation.

Let’s check it out – What causes heel slippage in cowboy boots and how to overcome it?

What is Heel Slippage?

Heel slippage is the phenomenon that your heel slips off a cowboy boot.

Heel slippage usually occurs:

  • In newly purchased cowboy boots
  • Cowboy boots are too wide on the heel or instep
  • The tip of the boot is too long for the foot
  • Cowboy boots are wet
  • Cowboy boots have not been broken in

This will adversely affect gait, comfort and flexibility when wearing cowboy boots.

How to Fix Heel Slippage in Cowboy Boots?

In fact, there is more than one reason why heel slippage occurs in cowboy boots.

Among them, the three most prominent reasons are:

  • Cowboy boots have heels that are too wide
  • The instep of cowboy boots doesn’t fit good
  • Cowboy boots are too long for your feet

Besides, there are some other causes of heel slippage in cowboy boots such as boots that have not been broken in, or you have not really chosen the right size of boots.

Keep scrolling until you find the solution to your problem! We’ve listed them all below!

A woman wears jeans with cowboy boots on the ranch

1. The heel of a cowboy boot doesn’t fit your heel

Cowboy boots have a design unlike other boots or shoes, usually, they don’t have shoelaces.

So if you have a heel of cowboy boots that don’t fit your heel, you can’t tie your shoelaces to solve this problem.

We have 2 solutions to this problem:

Method 1: Use heel grips, heel pads, heel cushions, etc.

Heel pads

This product will create a cushion at the point of contact between your heel and the heel of the cowboy boot.

The wide part in the heel of the cowboy boot will be covered by heel grips.

Besides, the advantage of this method is that you can use heel cushion products for people with heel pain.

When you use the Heel Pads Cushion products, they will support your heel pain relief, support the treatment of heel pain, heal dry cracked heels, tendon heel inflammation, etc.

With this method, you kill two birds with one stone, right?

Method 2: Use thick socks

There is also a very easy and common method, which is to use a pair of thick socks.

This method will also work very well, a thick pair of socks will help your heels fit into the heels of cowboy boots and not slip out.

Just like method 1, thick socks will increase the area of your heel contact with the heel of cowboy boots.

Tecovas boot socks

Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click the image for more info

Method 3: Put something soft like fabric, cotton, or leather on the heel of cowboy boots

In fact, you don’t necessarily have to use a heel grip or anything bought at the market. You can make use of items available in your home.

For example, it’s a good idea to use paper or soft fabric to tuck into your cowboy boots, or you can wrap a soft cloth around the heels to make them fit better there.

Or you can also go to a leather worker and have him sewn a small piece of leather into cowboy boots to make them fit your heels better.

2. The tip of cowboy boots is too long for your feet

This happens very often. People with short feet often choose cowboy boots with pointed toes and long insoles. That helps them conceal their short feet subtly.

However, the downside is that if you choose cowboy boots with too long insoles, you will encounter heel slippage.

We have 3 methods to solve this problem:

Method 1: Use soft objects inserted into the cowboy boots toe box

You can use soft objects such as cloth, toilet paper … to insert into the tip of cowboy boots.

This will help your feet fit better with the boots, and won’t slip your heels off cowboy boots.

Remember that only soft objects should be used. If you use hard objects, your toes will be damaged and cowboy boots will be damaged, too.

Two people are line dancing with their cowboy boots.

Method 2: Use heel grips, heel cushions, heel pads, etc.

In fact, in this case, you should consider carefully when using heel grips.

Because it can make the heels of cowboy boots so tight that your heels feel constrained.

Still, when it works, it can shorten the distance from your toes to the tip of a cowboy boot.

Thus the instep of your foot will snugly fit with cowboy boots. There will be no heel slippage anymore.

Read more: How to Make Cowboy Boots Fit Tighter?

3. Cowboy boots are loose at the instep

When choosing cowboy boots, it’s important to pay attention to the instep.

You must not leave room on the instep of cowboy boots, nor can you choose cowboy boots with the too-tight instep.

You have to choose cowboy boots with instep fit snugly – that’s the secret of choosing cowboy boots.

However, when we buy cowboy boots on the internet, it is difficult to find the best-fit boots. Ultimately, the wrong boot easily leads to heel slippage.

How to avoid this mistake (especially when cowboy boots don’t have shoelaces)?

Check out the methods below.

Ron’s Method:

We just received a method by Ron Friedson to fix heel slippage on cowboy boots.

He sold plenty of different cowboy boots, and Ron shared with us an extremely practical and effective method.

By the way, we would like to thank Ron for this helpful advice.

You can scroll down the comment section of the page and read his advice verbatim.

For those who are not patient enough to finish the article (I know that 80% to 90% of readers will never scroll down to the bottom of the page).

We summarize Ron Friedson’s approach below:

This method focuses on making the instep area fit tighter by inserting a half-length insole or long heel pad under your heel or the ball of the foot.

To do this, come to a leather worker and ask him to skive the edges of the leather insole to 4-5 ounces.

Note that the arch position of that half-insole should be wider than yours a little bit.

You can increase the thickness of the leather to find the right fit for your feet.

Method 1: Use extra footbeds

If the instep of the cowboy boot is loose, then together we find a way to “lift” your foot up. That’s when we need extra footbeds.

Just like the heel support products we’ve listed above, in addition to helping lift your foot to fit the instep of a cowboy boot, footbeds are also good for your foot health.

They support the arch for people with flat feet, reduce heel pain, and increase the comfort of the sole of boots and shoes.

FORM cushioned insole 2

Image copyright FORM Company | #CommissionEarned | Click the image for more info

There are many different types of footbeds for cowboy boots: from cowboy boots with pointed toe, round toe, and square toe to broad square toe.

The Ariat brand has developed some excellent footbeds with ATS technology. which keeps your feet flexible all day long.

How To Make Cowboy Boots Fit Tighter

Method 2: Use a Ball of Foot Cushions

This is also a great way to “lift” your foot up. You should identify the loose part of the instep clearly. Does that part belong to the forefoot or midfoot?

If you are loose on the forefoot, you should use Ball of Foot Cushions products – it will be very effective.

Ball of the foot cushioned

Like the foot support products above, Ball of Foot Cushions is also good for foot health.

They support the ball of the feet to feel comfortable while wearing high-heeled cowboy boots all day long. And of course, in this case, get rid of heel slippage.

Method 3: Use thick socks

There is no need to talk too much about this method since this is a very basic step you are familiar with.

Wearing thick socks is very convenient and effective to fit your foot snugly with the instep of a cowboy boot.

However, this method has one weakness: it will make your feet uncomfortable on hot summer days.

Some other methods to avoid heel slippage when wearing cowboy boots

There are many reasons that result in heel slippage of cowboy boots such as:

  • Cowboy boots have not been broken in
  • Cowboy boots are not the right size for your feet
  • Cowboy boots get wet

We’ll give you the full answer!

Method 1: Break in cowboy boots

If your cowboy boots are not broken in yet, they may slip off your heels. This is something that happens very often, so don’t worry too much.

Normally, cowboy boots will take around 1 to 3 weeks to completely break in and fit well with your feet.

During this time, you may experience heel slippage in cowboy boots. Your heels usually slide from 1/4 inch – 3/8 inch.

You can apply some methods of breaking in cowboy boots here to speed up the break-in process. The heel slippage would disappear within a week.

Method 2: Use Non-Slip Socks

A very unique and interesting idea is to use non-slip socks (yoga practitioners often use).

Non slip socks

You will be very surprised by trying this way, your feet will cling firmly to the soles of cowboy boots like glue. No more worry about heel slippage.

Besides, this type of sock is also thinner. It isn’t as hot as wearing thick socks, so you can wear it in the summer.

Method 3: Use cowboy boots made from genuine leather

Cowboy boots made from faux leather will stretch over time and get further away from your feet (loose), resulting in heel slippage. In contrast, cowboy boots made from genuine leather will mold your feet better over time.

Cowboy boot fans will know that the more you wear them, the more comfortable they become over time. And the heel slippage at the beginning will completely disappear.

So my advice is to use real cowboy boots, made of real leather! Just that.

Man wear cowboy boots and put his leg on the table

Method 4: Choose the correct boot size

Perhaps this method is a bit redundant. Since you click on this article, it looks like you’ve got a problem with your cowboy boots.

So I hope you don’t make the mistake of buying the next cowboy boots after reading this method.

When buying cowboy boots, we should pay attention to 5 parts of cowboy boots:

1. Instep

A woman wears red cowboy boots with jeans

As mentioned above, you need to choose a cowboy boot that the instep of your foot perfectly fits into the cowboy boot.

Do not leave room at the instep or let it get too tight there.

2. Heel

A woman wears red cowboy boots with skinny jeans

You should determine which cowboy boots you want to buy next since different types of cowboy boots have different heel heights.

  • Cowboy boots with high heels are usually riding boots, fashion boots, etc.
  • Cowboy boots with standard heel height are usually walking boots, western boots, work boots, etc.
  • Cowboy boots with low heels are usually Roper boots, stockman, etc.

And the most important thing when choosing a cowboy boot is, when you put on the boot, you have to hear the “Pop” sound that your heel and cowboy boot make.

It is the sound of a perfect fit!

Read more: Are Cowboy Boots Bad For Your Feet?

How to Fit Your Justin Cowboy Boots

3. Toe shape of cowboy boots

There are 3 basic types of toe shapes: pointed toe, round toe and square toe. (Actually, there are also many new improved toe shapes of cowboy boots)

If you have normal feet, it doesn’t matter if cowboy boots have any toe shapes. What if you have “special” feet such as wide feet…?

We explain the characteristics as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each type of toe shape here.

Besides, when choosing cowboy boots, you should not let your toes touch the tip of cowboy boots, the distance from the longest toe to the tip of boots is 3/4″ to 1 1/2″ is reasonable.

4. Sole

A tip for you to try the flexibility and comfort of the soles of cowboy boots:

  • Put on a pair of cowboy boots, keep your forefoot on the ground, and lift the heel of the cowboy boot to a height above 3/8″ to 1/2″ above the ground.

If you do that easily, congratulations on getting a pair of boots with a very flexible and comfortable sole.

I think this is a very important step to test the heel slippage of cowboy boots.

In fact, there is always a heel slippage, it can be just a little or a lot of slip. If the heel slippage is only about 1/4″-3/8″ at first, you don’t need to worry too much.

But if the heel slippage is more than that number you will have to consider it.

Read more: Leather Sole Cowboy Boots vs Rubber

5. Size of your feet and your boots

You should know your foot size and the size chart of the cowboy boots brand you are about to buy.

For shoes and boots with a brand, you can use the same size chart of that brand.

But for two boots from two distinct brands, you have to see the size chart for each brand.

We have great guides on how to choose cowboy boots and tips for choosing a suitable cowboy boot here.

Method 5: Keep your cowboy boots dry to avoid heel slippage

One of the other big reasons why you may experience heel slippage in your cowboy boots is that your cowboy boots get wet.

To solve this problem, you should know the basic methods of making cowboy boots dry, inside and out.

For those with few cowboy boots, boot trees are a good choice, these products absorb moisture and keep the inside of cowboy boots dry perfectly.

Mens boot tree from Tecovas

Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click the image for more info

But if you wear cowboy boots during the rain or snow season, and you have plenty of cowboy boots, you probably need a boot dryer.

Boot dryer

Make sure your cowboy boots are always dry, as they may become loose and worsen the heel slippage if getting wet for a long time.

Method 6: Keep your heels dry

One of the other causes of heel slippage in your feet may come from your heels rather than your boots.

If your heels are always wet from sweat, put on moisture-wicking socks. Or if you don’t like western socks (because they’re too high), at least put on a pair of heel socks to ensure your heels stay dry.

boot sock and regular socks

Method 7: Make sure you take good care of your cowboy boots

Taking good care of your cowboy boots is always the best advice! That will keep them fresh, hold up well, and prevent heel slippage from appearing over time.

Use a leather cleaner to clean cowboy boots, and condition them to keep them at the right moisture level. Then store them in a cool and dry place.

Those things will ensure your cowboy boots are in good condition. Once cowboy boots are of good quality, you won’t have to worry about heel slippage.

A pair of cowboy boots

Method 8: Keep cowboy boots in shape

Cowboy boots with an average height of 11 inches to 14 inches will have a hard time keeping the shape themselves. Use boot shapers, boot stand boot trees to make sure your boots don’t wrinkle.

Wrinkled cowboy boots will affect the ability to hold up your heel, which leads to heel slippage.

How Do I Keep My Cowboy Boots in Shape

Method 9: Make your cowboy boots fit tighter

Many people after a long time using cowboy boots have to face heel slippage. Yes, it could be that they dilate over time.

If you regularly use cowboy boots for farm work and often face harsh sun, rain or mud, then cowboy boots are very prone to overstretch, leading to heel slippage.

That’s why you should learn methods to make cowboy boots fit tighter like using thick socks, adding extra insoles, and using leather string to tighten the leather around the calf…

If you need a detailed guide, here’s the gift for you!

Method 10: Make your cowboy boots less stiff

Cowboy boots that are too stiff and lack flexibility are also common causes of heel slippage.

The reason is that not all leather boots have good softness and flexibility. You can totally feel it!

So, use some methods like using leather oil, lotion, alcohol, taking advantage of the heat from a hairdryer or steam inside boots to make them softer and more flexible.

Making cowboy boots more flexible will ensure the heel slippage won’t show up!

steam cowboy boots

Is it better for heels to be tight or loose?

In fact, you should choose cowboy boots that fit well in the heel, ie neither tight nor loose.

From my personal experience, I like cowboy boots with a snug (or just slightly loose) fit in the heel.

When tucking your feet into cowboy boots, make sure you hear a “Pop” in the heel, that’s the sound of a perfect fit. If cowboy boots are too tight in the heel, your heels will be scratched, making you uncomfortable when moving and feel constrained, etc.

But if cowboy boots are loose in the heel, heel slippage will happen. So, heels that fit snugly or are slightly loose heels are a great choice!

men wear jeans with cowboy boots put his leg on the wood fence

The bottom line

If you’ve tried all of the above methods but they don’t work, it seems you should take your boots to a professional shoe and boot repair shop, maybe they’ll have a way to fix them.

Besides, you should also prepare for the worst situation – sell your boots to buy a new pair.

Actually, 1/4″-3/8″ of slippage is normal at the beginning!

Heel slippage happens in new cowboy boots. It will disappear after a week wearing them (as the boots are broken in). You might not need to add much padding or your boots will be wrong size.

We hope you can overcome the heel slippage by applying the above ways because we have tried and succeeded with these methods.

Do not let Heel Slippage affect your gait. The most important thing when wearing cowboy boots is the confidence and swagger of a true wild cowboy.

Ron Friedson

Saturday 11th of April 2020

As someone who has sold thousands of pairs of cowboy boots ( the way to deal with to much heel slip is to snug the instep with a half length insole or long heel pad.

This is based on everything else fitting correctly

Ideally go to a leather worker and have them first cut you a pair from 4-5 ounce gauge leather - make sure they skive the edges so there are no lumps or high spots

The half insole should be slightly wider than the built in insole at the arch area

If that doesn’t quite do it have them use a thicker gauge leather until you find the right thickness


Saturday 11th of April 2020

Thanks for your comments Ron. This is a great way to overcome heel slippage! Hope you can contribute more ideas on other topics.