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Is It Hard To Walk in Cowboy Boots?

Is It Hard To Walk in Cowboy Boots?

In fact, cowboy boots were specialized riding boots in the past, so they didn’t really support the wearer for walking.

When you ask newbies about the experience of walking with cowboy boots, you will get many different answers. Some will rate them comfortable, while others will not.

Actually, the structure of cowboy boots largely determines if you can use them for walking!

Today’s article will tell you everything about walking in cowboy boots, is it difficult to do so?

Let’s check it out!

Key Takeaways

  • Some cowboy boots are suitable for walking, while others seem difficult or not appropriate to do so.
  • The difference in cowboy boot structure will determine whether you can use cowboy boots for walking or not.
  • In order to choose cowboy boots that are great for walking, you will need to pay attention to their heel structure, toe shape and sole.
  • Other factors can also affect your walking experience with cowboy boots such as whether the break in process of cowboy boots is completed, whether they fit well, etc. You will also need to take note!

Walking in cowboy boots is difficult: Is it true?

In fact, there are many factors to determine whether cowboy boots are difficult to walk in. However, the best answer depends on what type of cowboy boots you plan to wear.

Cowboy boots in the past were born to aid ranchers in riding, so they may be difficult for wearers to walk, especially for long distances.

However, cowboy boots today have many structural changes to approach the mass market, so you can easily walk in them.

Once choosing the right type of cowboy boots, you will absolutely have no trouble walking in them.

Let’s briefly examine the difference in the structure between the two boots mentioned above (in the past and present).

Traditional cowboy boots – not good for walking

This type of boot is mainly characterized by a narrow toe shape, high heel, slippery leather outsole, and especially not much support at the arch or cushion.

The reason is that traditional cowboy boots are used to serve horsemen as this special construction is very convenient for their jobs.

man wearing cowboy boots sitting on the horse

More specifically, the narrow toe shape (pointed toe or round toe) and slippery outsole make it easier for the boot to get into the saddle stirrup. Besides, the cowboy heel will ensure that the foot doesn’t slide excessively forward (or slip out of the stirrup) and cause loss of balance.

However, this type of structure is not ideal for walkers at all. You will have a hard time walking in them. Their high heel (more than 2 inches, often called a riding heel), small heel base, the slippery bottom will cause loss of balance and narrow toe shape can make your toes numb.

On the other hand, female models will like this structure. The high heels will make them look more confident, while the narrow toe shape will help their legs look slimmer and taller. The leather outsoles are also thinner and more refined than rubber ones.

cowboy boots with pointed toe and stacked heel

However, this structure is completely not suitable for those who walk a lot or want to wear cowboy boots casually.

Not to mention, traditional cowboy boots often don’t have a good cushion or arch support – the features that ensure a high level of comfort while walking. But you can rely on modern cowboy boots, they offer these features!

Traditional cowboy boots are also commonly known as riding boots. And in short, it’s not easy to walk in them!

Modern cowboy boots – great for walking

The good news for you is that today, thanks to the creation of bootmakers, cowboy boots have various versions to serve the mass market. And for those who like to use them for walking, modern cowboy boots are a good choice.

The modern cowboy boots I’m talking about usually have a short heel (with a wide base), lots of room in the toe box ((broad) square toe or round toe), and a non-slip outsole (made of rubber).

The Jason black version by Tecovas

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

And more than that, they also possess both arch support and cushion.

They retain the unique and characteristic features of regular cowboy boots such as tall structure, 100% leather and stitch pattern. But with the new heel, toe shape, and sole constructions as mentioned above, they reshape the new client files – everyone.

Modern cowboy boots almost overcome all the disadvantages of traditional ones when intended for pedestrians.

Their short heel will put less stress on your joints and muscles, allowing you to balance easily while walking. This heel is often referred to as a walking heel.

Meanwhile, your toes have room to breathe with the wide toe box without causing bunions to the feet. The non-slip rubber outsole also ensures you stay stable while walking.

The Jake caremel version by Tecovas

The Jake | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned

And more than that, arch support and cushion ensure you stay comfortable throughout the journey. Besides, this structure is also suitable for people with high arches or flat feet.

It’s great, isn’t it?

If you want to look for this construction, you can find cowboy boots with roper, stockman, or work style.

What to do if you have trouble walking in cowboy boots?

So the answer is very simple, you will not have much trouble buying the right cowboy boots for walking. However, life is not always so easy, and I know a few people who made some mistakes.

In case you can’t get used to walking in cowboy boots, here are some tips!

If cowboy boots have smooth leather outsoles that are too slippery, you should scuff them. Rub that surface over the concrete to give the soles a rough finish. This will increase traction and allow you to balance more easily.

A woman wears round to boots with standard heel height

Or, you can also buy some anti-slip pads and stick them on the outsoles of your cowboy boots. This is also a popular option.

We have quite a few tips listed in this article for this!

If cowboy boots have too high heels that are difficult for you to walk, you can replace their heels.

What you should do is go to the cobbler, they will find a way. Since the heel replacement isn’t easy, I don’t recommend doing it at home.

Cobbler is attacking rubber heel cap

Or you can apply the heel-to-toe walking method. This can even reduce the risk of high heels and slippery leather outsoles.

walking in cowboy boots

Also, if you feel pain in your feet because your heels are too high, you can buy some heel inserts or insoles with soft cushions for support.

In case cowboy boots have a narrow toe shape, making it difficult for your toes to breathe and not flexible to walk, you can stretch them.

There are many methods to stretch cowboy boots at home, including using boot stretch spray, boot stretcher, or utilizing heat from steam, etc.

How To Stretch Western Cowboy Boots with FootFitter's Western Boot Stretcher

We have a pretty thorough post on how to stretch cowboy boots here! It’s very simple.

A few small notes

In fact, there are quite a few reasons other than the construction of cowboy boots that explain why you might have a hard time walking in them.

The most common are cowboy boots that do not fit well or have not been broken in yet.

Cowboy boots need to fit well, especially snugly on the top of the foot, almost snugly in the heel, and have room in the toe box and the ball of your foot.

A woman wears sweater with skinny jeans and tight fit round toe cowboy boots

These standards will ensure your comfort when wearing cowboy boots.

In case you don’t know how to find the right fit of cowboy boots for your feet, here’s the ultimate guide.

In addition to the fitting factor, breaking in cowboy boots is also an important cause. Cowboy boots that have not been broken in will still be stiff and very inflexible.

You will need to break in them. Usually, you should try to walk as much as possible in your boots, they will mold to your feet within 10 days to 2 weeks.

In fact, we also have an article on how to break in cowboy boots here, you should check it out!

Once completely broken in, cowboy boots will be softer, mold to the feet better and you will be able to enjoy a comfortable feeling when walking in them.

Before you leave

The truth is some traditional riding boots are not a good choice for walkers as their construction doesn’t support that purpose.

Meanwhile, modern cowboy boots (western work boots, roper boots, stockman) have a comfortable structure to help you walk in them.

Choose the appropriate type of boots like the ones mentioned above, they will satisfy you.

Good luck!