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Why Do My Cowboy Boots Hurt My Ankles? 6 Possible Causes

Why Do My Cowboy Boots Hurt My Ankles? 6 Possible Causes

Although cowboy boots have a high shaft and can protect your ankles quite well against external forces, in reality, they are not footwear that can support your ankle well.

Therefore, many people feel pain in the ankle after using cowboy boots.

However, that is just one of many reasons. Today, this article will be the answer for you.

In addition to the causes, some solutions will also be given to you. Hope they help!

Cowboy boots Hurt my Ankles: What are the Causes?

There are many causes of ankle pain, and sometimes the main reason doesn’t come from cowboy boots. You should clearly identify the right causes.

Some of the main causes are that cowboy boots may not provide enough support in the heel and arch, or boots are tight and rub against the ankle.

Here are the causes and solutions!

1. Cowboy boots have not been broken in

If your cowboy boots are new, they tend to be pretty stiff, both in the leather and sole. A variety of problems can arise in the ankle such as blisters (due to hard leather rubbing against your skin), joint pain (the soles are not really soft and flexible), etc.

When encountering this situation, you need to be patient to break in them. After the break-in process, cowboy boots will be softer and the pain will disappear.

new glossy brown cowboy boots

Normally, to break in your boots, you will need a pair of thick socks with thick padding and walk in them more often. Your cowboy boots will take about 10 days to completely break-in.

However, you can also use some methods like steaming or using a leather conditioner to speed up the break-in process.

Luckily, we have a very detailed article on how to break in cowboy boots here!

2. Cowboy boots are too tight

Cowboy boots that are too tight can cause blisters as your ankles constantly rub with leather.

This usually does not happen immediately, but the blister will gradually appear with time.

To prevent this, you will probably need a pair of thick socks as a shield to protect your ankles. And the good news for you is that the leather will stretch over time and this condition will disappear.

Tecovas boot socks

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

Alternatively, you can also use some methods like steaming, using boot stretch spray, or a boot stretcher to speed up the stretching time of cowboy boots at the ankle.

You can check out our article on some hacks to stretch cowboys here!

Another way is to put some vaseline or lotion on the inside of your boots (right at the ankle) to reduce friction between your skin and the leather there. This is also a good way to limit blisters.

3. Cowboy boots have a poor sole construction

Here’s the truth, many of the traditional cowboy boots don’t actually have good sole construction. Therefore, the pressure on your joints is great. In the long run, they will be painful.

As a footballer who uses both good and bad cleats, I understand this well.

Poor cleats often don’t absorb shock and don’t provide good arch or heel support, so I always feel sore muscles and joints (including my ankles) when I return home. But that doesn’t happen with good cleats.

So are cowboy boots, some boots of the “older generation” do not really have an insole, their bottom is flat and almost does not support your foot well.

the flat sole of old cowboy boots

And when cowboy boots don’t provide good arch or heel support, especially not enough cushion in every step, you’ll quickly feel pain in your ankles.

People who work outdoors will often understand this problem better than anyone!

This can be minimized if you invest in a suitable pair of insoles. Insoles should absorb force, and support the arch and heel well.

Or you can switch to cowboy boots from famous brands like Tecovas, or Ariat. They apply modern technologies to cowboy boots so their soles are as comfortable as sneakers.

Usually, if you want to use cowboy boots for outdoor work, besides paying attention to the insole, you should also care about the sole. Rubber outsoles are a better choice as they absorb shock better.

4. Your foot structure is not normal

Many people have unusual foot structures that can make your ankle uncomfortable when wearing cowboy boots.

For example, if you have a high arch, your ankle might lose stability, leading to an ankle flip. This can be painful for you.

doctor is choosing a suitable insole for his patient

There are a lot of extra insoles on the market these days that can support your unusual foot. You should consult your doctor for good advice to choose the right insole for your foot.

Put that insole into your cowboy boots, and you’ll feel better.

5. Cowboy boots have too high heels

Unlike some other types of work boots that often have no heels or an adequate heel height, cowboy boots have quite high heels.

This can completely add pressure and stress to your ankle and cause pain, especially with cowboy boots with heels higher than 2 inches.

the high heel of black cowboy boot

You’ll probably need to find a good cobbler to change the heels of your cowboy boots. The heel of cowboy boots should not be more than 1 1/2 inches high, especially for people who are often active.

6. Use cowboy boots like hiking boots

It is a fact that despite the high construction, cowboy boots can only protect you against external forces, not hug your ankles as closely as hiking boots.

So don’t use cowboy boots for long-distance running or mountain climbing, which can cause your ankles to hurt due to a lack of good support.

A woman wears jeans with cowboy boots on the ranch


There are many reasons why cowboy boots are causing your ankle pain. They may not be broken in properly, be too tight, or have poor sole construction. Identify your main problem, and solve it following my suggestions above.

What are the problems with your cowboy boots? Let me know in the comments! I will help you deal with them!

Despite being a highly structured boot, cowboy boots don’t really support the ankle as well as hiking boots. So don’t use them as you do with hiking boots.

Good luck!

Emma Walker

Friday 15th of July 2022

My women cowboy boots are to tight, when I bought them I could get into them but now I can’t, they were tight then but now and I have only wore them once


Sunday 17th of July 2022

Well, maybe you should learn some ways to stretch cowboy boots like steaming, using boot stretch spray or boot stretcher. Or trying to break in your cowboy boots will make you feel better.

We have 2 articles about breaking in boots and stretching boots in the following 2 links:

How To Break In Cowboy Boots?

How to Stretch Cowboy Boots at Home?