Skip to Content
From The Guest Room is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Should Cowboy Boots Be Tight At First?

Should Cowboy Boots Be Tight At First?

There are a hundred problems every time you decide to buy a new pair of cowboy boots. Are they made of lizards or ostriches, should they have round toes or square toes, or should I simply ask my wife first?

Well, it’s a headache, but the questions above don’t come up as often as inquiries about the fit of cowboy boots.

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions as to whether cowboy boots should be tight at first. That’s a good question!

The truth is that you can experience cowboy boots a little tight in the beginning, but there are many things you need to keep in mind.

Cowboy boots are tight at first: Is it normal?

It is acceptable that cowboy boots are a little tight at first.

Most cowboy boots are made from 100% leather so they will expand over time and mold your feet better, especially after the break-in process.

a pair of cowboy boots on concrete floor

As a soccer player and a lover of cowboy boots, I understand the stretchability of materials more than anyone. Football boots made from leather usually stretch much more than shoes made from synthetic fabric.

Football shoes made from slightly tight leather will usually expand after 2 to 3 games.

Likewise, cowboy boots made from 100% leather will stretch, so it’ll be fine if they’re a little tight at first. However, don’t expect them to expand as quickly as soccer cleats.

The reason is that the leather that makes up cowboy boots is much thicker and stiffer than football boots, so their stretching time will also be longer. Besides, your exercise intensity is not as high as football players, so the break-in period boots will take longer.

For that reason, cowboy boots that are initially a bit stiff and tight may be ok, but if they’re so tight that your feet and toes go numb, return them.

In case your cowboy boots just arrived, but if you haven’t bought them yet (maybe you experience a “try before you buy” program), my advice is that your cowboy boots should be comfortable from the start.

woman wearing new and stiff cowboy boots

The simple thing is that cowboy boots don’t come cheap and you’ll want them to be as perfect as possible. Trying to break in a new pair of cowboy boots may not be necessary when you can exchange them with the manufacturer.

There are many methods to speed up the stretch or break-in cowboy boots. If your cowboy boots were previously purchased from someone else and cannot be returned, you can use the methods below.

What needs to be done to make cowboy boots stretch faster at first?

There are many ways to make cowboy boots stretch quickly without damaging them. The most common way is to steam, or spray water mixed with alcohol.

Boiling a pot of water and steaming your cowboy boots is a good way to relax the leather and make your boots mold your feet more properly.

Another method is to mix water with a little alcohol in a spray bottle.

leather stretch spray on shaft of Tecovas boot

Spray your cowboy boots. Then put them on and walk until they dry. Your cowboy boots will break in quickly and have the right stretch for your feet.

Or you can also use a hair dryer, its heat can ensure cowboy boots expand. However, this method will need a lot of attention.

Besides, another effective product is the boot stretcher, which is a great product to help cowboy boots expand faster no matter how stubborn they are.

There are also many products that can be applied directly to make the leather softer and more comfortable like boot stretch spray or leather conditioner. The downside, however, is that they can darken your boots.

We have a very thorough post on how to stretch cowboy boots at home here!

Leather Care Kit includes Leather Cleaner and Conditioner with Cloth from Tecovas

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


The answer is pretty obvious, you can have cowboy boots that are a bit tight at first. Because over time, leather tends to stretch and mold your feet better.

However, if your cowboy boots are so tight that your toes are numb and the ball of your foot is painful, you should exchange them if possible. Or apply the methods of stretching cowboy boots as I mentioned above.

Cowboy boots are stretchable but they will take longer to expand than dress shoes or soccer cleats because cowboy boots are way thicker and stiffer. Trying to stretch a new pair of cowboy boots that are too tight isn’t really necessary.

I didn’t ask too much from you, did I?

Anyway, good luck!