How Should Cowboy Boots Fit?

How Should Cowboy Boots Fit

If your trusty cowboy boots are getting old, then you’ve probably contemplated buying a new pair of boots for everyday use. Regardless of whether you have always worn cowboy boots or are about to invest in your first pair, you will want your cowboy boots to be comfortable and fit well.

Cowboy Boot Sizing

Just like with buying any other type of footwear, getting the right size cowboy boots is going to be important. When it comes to buying cowboy boots, the length of the boot will vary depending on the brand. There are also going to be variations in the width of the calf and the shape of the toes as well, which is why you need to be certain you buy the right size.

Since cowboy boots do not have laces, getting a snug fit depends mostly on getting the instep right. Boots should always fit comfortably without being tight. If the instep is too loose, the boot will tend to slip too much which will make for an uncomfortable gait.

Trying on the Boots

To make sure you get cowboy boots that are the right fit you need to first sit down comfortably, which will make it easier to pull on the boots. Place the boot in front with the heel on the ground. Now, holding on to the two pull tabs, slide your foot into the boot.

Once both your feet are in the boots take a few steps on a smooth surface to find out if the boots are a snug fit or are biting your toes while you walk. Since new boots are a snug fit, it is important for the boots to have a comfy fit just like a glove, but not too tight.

Factors to Consider

Cowboy boots can feel great if the boots fit correctly. It is important to remember that certain factors such as the leather, heel styles, and toe all make a difference in how the boot fits.

Another factor to consider is that most cowboy boots are still handmade which means there can be a slight difference in size even between two identical cowboy boots. The thickness of the socks you wear also makes a difference in the fitting process.

It is important to note that different manufacturers use different lasts to construct the boot on. This is the reason why oftentimes the same size boots from two different manufacturers may fit differently.

This is why it is always best to try out each pair of the cowboy boots you are about to purchase to make sure you get the right fit. If you’re wondering what factors to consider when getting boots, then here are a few tips to help you choose a comfortable pair of cowboy boots.

Read Also: Best Insoles for Cowboy Boots


Every cowboy boot has an area at the front which is known as the toe box. Within this toe box is a thin piece of cloth that’s been soaked in resin and resembles fiberglass which has been hardened to help the boot maintain its shape.

The hardness of the fabric makes it impossible to stretch this area of the boot which is why there should be enough room for toes to remain comfortable. In other words, your toes should be pushing against the front of the toe box or squeezed against the walls of the toe box.

While at first, it might be difficult to wiggle your toes in the toe box, but once the boot has been broken in, the area tends to become large enough to give your toes little wiggle room. It is also important to note that the ball of the cowboy boots should always be the widest part of the boot.

If your toes are pushing against the sides and the front of the toe box while you’re standing, then you should look for one size larger.


The widest part of the cowboy boots is known as the ball. This is the area where the foot bends while walking or running. To ensure a comfortable fit, it is crucial to make sure that the ball of the cowboy boots is in line with your foot or closest to where the steel shank ends.

The boot should hold the ball and the instep of the foot just like a firm grip of a handshake, but not too tight. This is an important factor when it comes to the fit of the cowboy boots, simply because this is going to be the only part of the boot that holds onto your feet while you walk or run.

Again, this area in particular along with the overall fit of the boot should not be tight as it could easily result in pain and discomfort.

Read Also: Best Socks for Cowboy Boots


The break between the heel and the ball of the cowboy boots needs to line up with the arch of your foot. It if does not then you are going to feel a pressure across the bottom of your feet, which can be compared to the same discomfort you experience while standing on a ledge. If the break between the heel and ball of the boot does not lineup with the arch of the foot it may also result in the sensation of something pushing on the side of your foot.

Since wearing other types of footwear such as loafers or tennis shoes offers a different kind of support as compared to cowboy boots, only the wearer is able to tell whether the pressure they are feeling is due to the support of the cowboy boots or the lack thereof.

It is important to keep on trying different cowboy boots until you find one where the arch lines up for a more comfortable fit. Since manufacturers often use their own customized molds to construct the cowboy boots on, it is easy to find one that will fit you perfectly.


Unlike other kinds of footwear, cowboy boots only have an instep that holds the boot securely to your foot. While you shouldn’t find it difficult to put on your boots for the first time, it shouldn’t be too easy either. In an ideal situation, you would want both the instep and the width of the boot to have a snug fit after making you do a little work to get the boot on.

The reason for this is that your cowboy boots do not need to be too lose the first time you try them on because once the boots break-in, the leather will stretch which will loosen up the boots for you. If you select cowboy boots that are loose for you from the get-go, you might end up with boots that are too loose later on after your boots break-in.

The width in cowboy boots is identified with the use of a lettering system. Men’s boots come in B (narrow), D (average), and EE (wide) widths, while the width of women’s boots are labeled with A (narrow), B (average), and C (wide). Since not all boots are available in varying widths, you might have to size up or down to get a size that fits.

Read Also: Best Cowboy Boot Brands


In cowboy boots a slight slip in the heel anywhere between ¼ and ½ of an inch is normal. While this might sound strange to some people, but this is because the boot is new, which means the sole is still quite stiff with nothing preventing your heel from rising up or down. Once you break in the boot and the sole starts to loosen up, this slippage usually disappears.

Heel slippage is also a good indicator of how the boot is going to fit you once you break in the boot. For instance, not having any heel slippage in a new boot usually means that the boot is going to be too tight for you, which could result in sores and blisters.

Heel slippage is a normal occurrence when purchasing cowboy boots and is in no way an indicator that the boots do not fit properly. Once the boots have been worn and the outsole of the boots have been flexed, the heel slippage will go away and you will be left with a cowboy boot that has got a snug fit.

Sometimes, the use of an insole might be required to help with the fit of the cowboy boots. To find out the amount of heel slippage a boot has it is important to try them out on a soft surface such as, on a carpet.

The Sound

Out of all of the factors that need to be considered when purchasing cowboy boots, one factor that is oftentimes missed out is the sound. Yes, the sound. This is the sound that a boot makes when you first try it on. While trying on your cowboy boots for the very first time, try to notice the “pop” or “thud” the boot makes when your heel makes its way in the boot.

More often than not, this sound is a good indicator that you have found yourself the right size cowboy boot. However, if you pass your foot through the boot and there’s no sound, this is an indicator that the boot is too big for your feet.

Other Factors to Consider

Our feet are not 100% symmetrical. This means one foot is larger, longer or wider than the other which is normal. Keeping that in mind, it is normal for one of your feet to slip a bit more in the heel of the cowboy boot while you are trying it on. If the boot is a bit loose or has an extra room, that can be solved with the use of a thicker sock or an orthotic. That being said, if the boot you purchase happens to be too tight, there’s very little that you can do about it.

Read Also: Top Cowboy Work Boots

Measuring Your Feet

To make sure you get the right size boot you will first need to measure your feet correctly. To measure your foot’s size, start from the longest point of the foot to get the length and around the widest part of the calf to get a good measurement of the width.

A popular way of measuring feet is to simply place your foot on a piece of paper and then draw around your foot while standing to measure the foot size. This measurement can then be double-checked with the sizing chart that’s provided by the manufacturer of the cowboy boots.

Pro Tips:

  1. Always try your boots on with the socks you plan on wearing. Thicker socks will take up more space inside the boot and can result in you choosing a boot size that’s too loose.
  2. If you use an insole or an orthotic, take that along with you and fit it into the boot you plan on purchasing to make sure it fits.
  3. Our feet tend to swell throughout the day which is why it is a good idea to try on your boots towards the end of the day.
  4. It’s okay to put a little effort into pushing your foot in the boot for the first time, but you shouldn’t have to force your foot into the boots.
  5. The popping sound that’s heard when your foot is on the footbed of the boot is a good indicator that you’ve found the perfect size cowboy boots.

Ending Note

The new cowboy boots you buy should feel snug on your feet and also have a small amount of heel slippage initially. Cowboy boots have been worn for over 200 years because of the safety and functionality they offer.

While the first cowboy boots weren’t designed for comfort, to make the boots appealing to the modern consumer, there have been many additions and tweaks to the design of the cowboy boot to enhance its comfort. Once you get the size right, a sleek and stylish cowboy boot can be a welcome addition to any wardrobe.