If we were to pinpoint the most common challenge posed by cowboy boots, it undoubtedly lies in the act of putting them on.
The primary factor contributing to this challenge is the height of cowboy boots, often exceeding 11 inches. A slight snugness around the instep, calf, or heel can lead to considerable difficulties during the donning process.
Modern-day cowboy boots have undergone numerous advancements, incorporating pull straps to facilitate the task of putting them on. Despite these enhancements, many individuals still grapple with the age-old struggle.
In such instances, additional techniques come to the rescue, serving to simplify the process of slipping into these boots.
Today, we delve into the reasons behind the persistent hurdles encountered when attempting to put on cowboy boots. Moreover, we present an array of practical solutions to alleviate this very issue.
Does this sound satisfactory to you?
- You can use a shoe horn, boot slip, and boot socks as support items to put boots on easily.
- Keeping your boots dry, clean, and soft (thanks to the conditioner) and staying in shape will help.
- Cowboy boots are most difficult to put on, especially when they are new and haven’t broken in yet. So, before trying any methods, make sure they are broken in.
- If cowboy boots are too tight, then you should try some methods of stretching them, making them easier to put on.
- How to Put On Cowboy Boots?
- 10 Ways to Make Cowboy Boots Slip on Easier
- Method 1: Wear socks
- Method 2: Use Shoe Horn
- Method 3: Use Boot Hooks/Boot Puller
- Method 4: Keep your cowboy boots dry
- Method 5: Keep cowboy boots in shape
- Method 6: Use boot slip
- Method 7: Break in cowboy boots
- Method 8: Stretch cowboy boots
- Method 9: Clean and condition cowboy boots
- Method 10: Make sure your jeans have enough room to tuck the shafts of cowboy boots in and vice versa
- Before you leave
How to Put On Cowboy Boots?
There are several factors that contribute to the challenge of donning cowboy boots. One prominent issue stems from the fact that freshly purchased cowboy boots haven’t yet been broken in.
The inherent nature of leather means that new boots tend to be rigid and haven’t conformed fully to the shape of your feet.
This is where the break-in process comes into play, gradually rendering the boots softer, more pliable, and better suited to the contours of your feet. As this happens, slipping your feet into them becomes notably easier.
Another prevalent reason is ill-fitting boots, which can result in areas of tightness.
Cowboy boots typically boast a distinctive height and construction compared to other footwear. If your foot encounters resistance around the calf, ankle, or heel, the act of putting them on becomes a formidable task.
Moreover, prolonged use of cowboy boots can cause them to lose their original shape, leading to folding or wrinkling. This alteration in form presents a significant obstacle when attempting to put them on comfortably.
Additionally, the moisture factor plays a role—wet cowboy boots can develop wrinkles and a slightly adhesive sensation, adding an unwelcome layer of difficulty to wearing them.
Lastly, the practice of wearing cowboy boots without socks can contribute to the struggle in donning them.
In essence, each of these challenges has corresponding solutions or remedies, all of which we’ll explore in the course of this article.
If you’re new to the world of cowboy boots, you’ll find comprehensive instructions on how to wear them correctly just below.
However, if you’re already well-acquainted, feel free to navigate ahead to discover the practical tips that facilitate an easier process of putting on your beloved cowboy boots.
Read more: How to Remove Cowboy Boots?
3 Basic Steps to Putting on Cowboy Boots
To be able to put on cowboy boots properly, make sure you follow these 3 steps correctly!
Step 1: Pay attention to pull tabs (or pull strap, pull holes)
Usually, all cowboy boots have pull tabs (or pull holes) for easy on/off cowboy boots.
Simply put, pull tabs are a piece of leather on the top of boots for you to hold (or a hole for you to put your fingers in) to pull up the cowboy boots.
This is a very important part of boots to put on them easily, don’t ignore it.
Step 2: Put your forefoot in cowboy boots first
Don’t put your heels on the cowboy boots first. Instead, please put the forefoot first and then the heel.
Usually, you have trouble when your foot slides to the ankle part of the boot – your leg might get stuck there.
Now use your hands to hold the pull straps (or the holes) to pull up, and use your body weight to let your feet slide to the bottom of the cowboy boots.
Remember to apply a bit of pressure down on your heel.
Step 3: Pay attention to the pop sound coming from the heel
Usually, a rule of thumb for a perfect fit is that cowboy boots should fit snugly at the instep and a bit loose at the heels.
When you use your hands to pull the pull straps and use your body weight to make the foot slide into the correct position, the heel of the boot should make a pop sound.
That is the sound of perfection! Your feet now sit right in the cowboy boots!
10 Ways to Make Cowboy Boots Slip on Easier
In fact, just knowing your cowboy boots belong to any of the above issues, then you have a satisfactory answer.
But if you’re not used to wearing socks with cowboy boots, fix that. Buy a pair of boot socks and wear them, you can slip in your cowboy boots smoothly.
Or if your cowboy boots are too tight, today there are many methods to help you stretch them.
Above all, the solutions are very simple. We will guide you in detail below.
Method 1: Wear socks
If you don’t wear cowboy boots with socks, then you will definitely have a lot of trouble putting them on. So first, you need to get into that habit!
Wearing socks will limit cowboy boots from rubbing your feet, thereby avoiding skin irritation. The soft and smooth surface of socks will ensure your cowboy boots slide on your feet easier.
Our bare feet often also have an amount of moisture, which causes wetness between the feet and the leather of the boots. This way, it creates stickiness, making it more difficult to put on the boots.
Socks always come with the ability to absorb moisture, keeping your feet and boots dry and smooth. This helps your feet slip into the boots more easily.
In addition, we recommend using boot socks with a minimum height to mid-calf for best results as they can cover more leg area.
Method 2: Use Shoe Horn
Shoe horn will make it easier to slip your feet on cowboy boots, and it is more effective with narrow-heeled cowboy boots.
Don’t just think shoe horns only be used for shoes. Nowadays, shoe horns can be used for cowboy boots too.
Because they can be up to 16 inches – the perfect height for any cowboy boots!
What you need to do is put a shoehorn inside the cowboy boots at the heel, press down to secure your boots, and slip your foot in, done! Easy and quick!
If you have cowboy boots with narrow heels, it is essential to have the shoehorn in your house.
It can extend your boots’ heels and allow you to slip your feet in easily!
Oh, I love this product!
Method 3: Use Boot Hooks/Boot Puller
A boot hook is a simple yet ingenious tool designed to assist in putting on cowboy boots. Its primary purpose is to help you slide your foot into the boot without straining your fingers or damaging the boot’s structure.
The boot hook’s effectiveness lies in its design and the principles of leverage. By using a boot hook, you can easily widen the boot’s opening and slip your foot in comfortably.
The boot hook consists of a handle and a hook-shaped attachment. The hook is typically made of sturdy metal, ensuring durability and longevity.
Here’s how to use a boot hook:
- Hold the Boot Hook: Grasp the handle of the boot hook firmly in your dominant hand. Make sure you have a good grip to prevent slipping during the process.
- Position the Hook: Gently hook it into the pull tabs or pull holes located on the sides of the boot’s shaft. The hook should be secured in these tabs, facing downward.
- Leverage and Pull: Using the boot hook as a lever, apply gentle outward pressure to widen the boot’s opening. The hook’s shape allows you to create a bit of space without damaging the boot’s material.
- Slide Your Foot In: With the boot’s opening slightly widened, slide your foot into the boot. The boot hook’s leverage will help prevent the boot from collapsing in on itself, making it easier to insert your foot.
- Remove the Boot Hook: Once your foot is comfortably inside the boot, carefully remove the boot hook by unhooking it from the pull tabs or pull holes.
- Adjust and Secure: After you’ve put your foot in, you can adjust the position of the boot as needed. Ensure that your heel is properly positioned at the back of the boot and that your toes have enough room at the front.
Method 4: Keep your cowboy boots dry
Wet cowboy boots are one of the reasons why it is hard to slip your feet on them. Wetness will reduce the smoothness when putting on cowboy boots.
All you need to do is keep your cowboy boots dry. You should store them in a cool, dry place.
Besides, you need to know how to handle it when your cowboy boots get wet. We will show you how!
1. Use household powder
If cowboy boots are wet, then household powder is the number one method to deal with this situation.
Use a little baby powder or cornstarch to spread inside the boots, there are 2 effects:
- The household powder absorbs moisture and keeps cowboy boots dry, so it is easy to put on them
- The household powder makes the contact area of your feet and leather smoother to wear boots smoothly
Just sprinkle a little around where you find it rigid or difficult to put on the boots. That’s it! (no need to sprinkle too much, a little is enough)
Please note that don’t sprinkle the powder on the heel, it may lead to heel slippage, you should sprinkle the powder into areas like the ankle.
For suede cowboy boots, using household powder is a particularly popular method. Or else, you can tuck some soft toilet paper inside suede boots to keep their shape.
Suede cowboy boots are very vulnerable to water damage and loss of shape, so take good care of them!
2. Use a hair dryer
This is a classic way to dry cowboy boots, use a home hair dryer to dry around them.
After drying the cowboy boots, you can now put them on smoothly.
3. Use boot trees
Another applicable method is to use boot trees.
Boot tree works to keep the shape of cowboy boots. Also, it helps the boots stay dry by absorbing moisture. You can use it for both leather and suede.
After a long time of use, cowboy boots can be shrunk due to the effects of weather or external force, making them difficult to put on.
That’s when you need the boot trees.
4. Use a boot dryer
The above methods might work if you only have 1 or 2 pairs of cowboy boots, but what if you have 5 or 10 pairs of cowboy boots? It will take more time.
If you wear cowboy boots regularly, the rainy season (or winter) is a nightmare for your boots.
To solve this, use a boot dryer! It can dry several pairs of cowboy boots at once.
Keeping your cowboy boots dry will make them more durable and easier to put on.
5. Use newspaper or toilet paper
If you don’t want to spend money on boot trees, you can use available items in your house. It could be a newspaper or toilet paper.
This will bring 2 benefits: absorb moisture and keep the cowboy boot shape.
This method will keep the cowboy boots always dry and avoid shrinking, so you can put on them easily.
Method 5: Keep cowboy boots in shape
After a period of use, cowboy boots can completely lose shape if you don’t know how to care for them properly.
Cowboy boots are folded or wrinkled is the reason why you can’t put on them easily.
Keeping your cowboy boots upright makes it easy to slip on them. To do that, we suggest using a boot shaper and a boot rack.
There are many different types of boot shapers on the market that can maintain the shape of many cowboy boots.
Besides the boot shaper, we recommend using boot trees to keep the vamp of cowboy boots in shape.
Method 6: Use boot slip
A boot slip is one of those products to help you put on cowboy boots.
The first thing you need to do is pull the entire boot slip over your foot. Then, make sure the boot slip sits neatly and fits tight in your instep, and then tuck your foot into the boot.
The boot slip will ensure that the process of inserting your foot into the boot is smoother and easier.
Finally, tear off the boot slips and remove them from your feet! Very simple!
Method 7: Break in cowboy boots
If your cowboy boots are new, don’t be too surprised if it is hard to put on. That’s because they haven’t broken in yet.
A break-in period can be understood as the process of making your new cowboy boots softer, easier to use and more comfortable.
The cowboy boots are made from 100% leather. They can be quite stiff at first, but after wearing them continuously for 1 to 2 weeks, cowboy boots will be broken in.
At that time, the leather is softer and stretched to fit your feet more, you can now wear them easily.
There are many methods to shorten the break-in process, such as using boot stretchers, wearing them more often, steam inside cowboy boots, and using boot stretch spray.
We have a very thorough tutorial on how to break in cowboy boots here!
Method 8: Stretch cowboy boots
Cowboy boots are tight is the main reason why putting on boots can be difficult.
In this situation, stretching cowboy boots is what you need to do right now!
There are 3 common positions that make it difficult to put on your cowboy boots: the calf, instep and the ball of the foot.
There are many ways to stretch your cowboy boots, such as using a boot stretcher, steaming inside, or using ice, lotion or boot stretch spray.
Also, we provide many methods to stretch cowboy boots at home here.
Take your take and explore all of them!
Method 9: Clean and condition cowboy boots
After a long time of use, cowboy boots pile up with dirt and grime if they are not cleaned and conditioned immediately.
They will gradually become stiff and dirty, you might have trouble putting on them.
The conditioner will make the cowboy boots soft and smooth, making it easier to put on them.
Besides, the conditioner is also very popular because it can increase cowboy boot life and keep the color longer.
So if you already own cowboy boots, don’t forget to purchase a boot care kit: leather cleaner, special brush and conditioner.
Method 10: Make sure your jeans have enough room to tuck the shafts of cowboy boots in and vice versa
One of the most popular styles for men is to hide the shafts of cowboy boots under jeans. This creates a clean look that everyone will love!
However, you need to be careful because it is difficult to wear cowboy boots if the bottom legs of jeans do not have enough room to cover the boot shafts.
The legs of jeans need to be wider at the bottom and longer than usual. We have a pretty thorough article on this, you can see more here!
In addition, many people often cut the side seam of jeans to widen their bottom. You may need this method to make sure the jeans cover the entire boot shaft, making it easier to slip the boots in.
Make sure your jeans have enough room in the bottom legs to help you put on cowboy boots more easily.
On the contrary, many girls who have a hobby of tucking jeans into the shafts of cowboy boots also need to take note. If the leather around the calf has little room, it will affect the process of putting boots on.
So, you will probably need to stretch the leather around the calf of cowboy boots. Or choose tight jeans to tuck their bottom legs in the boots easily.
Once you ensure the leather around the calf has enough room, you can comfortably put the boots on!
Before you leave
In fact, there are many ways to facilitate the process of putting on cowboy boots.
Nowadays, accessories such as boot horns, boot slips or stretch tools are produced to help the wearer put on cowboy boots more easily.
It’s important to identify the cause of the problem. But if your problem is beyond our anticipations, let me know and we’ll take care of it for you.
Howdy y’all, and welcome to From The Guest Room, your ultimate guide to all things Western! I’m Jay Gatz, a lifelong cowboy boot enthusiast with over 5 years of experience in the Western style world. I’m excited to share my knowledge with you and help you discover the perfect cowboy boots and western gear to elevate your style. Let’s explore the rich history and timeless appeal of Western fashion together!