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Should You Size Up or Down in Cowboy Boots?

Should You Size Up or Down in Cowboy Boots?

There are quite a few different questions about how to choose the size of cowboy boots. This is inevitable, because with the laceless construction, you can’t make them tight if you buy a pair of boots that are too big.

One of the most frequently asked questions is whether you should size up or down in cowboy boots.

Well, this depends on many other factors, possibly in the construction of the boots, the shape of your feet and your calves.

Today’s article will tell you what you need to know!

Should I Go Up or Down Size When Choosing Cowboy Boots?

Cowboy boots come in many different varieties. To determine if you should size up or down, you need to look at their construction, or your foot and calf.

The toe box of cowboy boots often greatly affects how you choose the size. For boots with a narrow toe box (pointed toe or snip toe), people tend to size up to make sure their toes have enough room to breathe.

Whereas, for cowboy boots with roomy toe boxes like square toe or broad square toe, sizing down is the best way to go to fit your narrow foot.

As for the cowboy boots that many people consider fit true to size, you should still pay attention if you have wide feet. For a really good fit, go for a big size.

Also, many people usually have a high instep, so you’ll probably need to size up as well.

Another case to pick a bigger size is when you have special foot types like flat feet, as they are more prone to spreading out over time compared to normal feet.

Next, high arched feet also often lead to a higher instep than usual while walking, sizing up is a wise choice in this case.

Man and women wear cowboy boots

In addition to feet, your calves need to be cared for, as they can also affect the size of cowboy boots.

If you have big, muscular calves, of course, you need to size up so that the shaft of the boot does not rub against yours to avoid any discomfort.

Meanwhile, some people with fairly narrow calves may need to down a size to ensure a better fit in the calf area.

Your calves should be almost completely filled by the leather around the calf of your cowboy boots for a nice look.

The fit of the foot is still more important, though. So if your foot is fully fit, you may want to consider not changing the size of your boot.

Some cowboy boots still have the construction and style to fit narrow or big calves perfectly, but there’s no harm in taking your time to research more.

In case your left and right foot sizes are not the same, choose larger size boots.

For example, if your left foot is size 11.5 while your right foot is 12, pick the boots with size 12. That will make sure both feet are more comfortable.

Man wear straight leg jeans with snake cowboy boots

In case you buy boots online, for cowboy boots that do not fit true to size, some bootmakers will clearly state whether you should go up size or down size in the description.

If they don’t, you should read through the customer reviews, they will have good advice on the size of those cowboy boots.

Or to be safer, call the customer service directly to ask about sizing, some brands like Tecovas have very quick support teams.

Women wear bootcut jeans with cowboy boots

In case your cowboy boots fit perfectly but you still feel uncomfortable, this can come from the boots not yet broken in, don’t rush to exchange the boots.

Cowboy boots are made from 100% leather, so they are often stiff and uncomfortable at first. But they will soften and stretch a bit after they have been broken in. You will feel comfortable after about 10 days.


In general, whether you go up or down depends a lot on the type of foot, calf you have and the boots you plan to wear.

The key is to determine the shape of your foot, is it flat, narrow, or normal? Is your calf small or big? Does your cowboy boot have a toe box with little or more room?

By identifying these characteristics, you will be able to make your own decisions.

To be safer, you should also call bootmakers directly to ask or read reviews from people who have bought before you. Those are good tips to avoid making any mistakes in choosing cowboy boot size.

Good luck!