Are your favorite, old faithful cowboy boots coming to the end of their life? Is the thought of buying a new pair because you have had them so long a daunting task? Let us help, with our guide on how should cowboy boots fit.
It could also be that you are new to the world of western boots and are about to buy your first pair. When cowboy boots fit well, they should be comfortable right from the get-go.
We will look at some of the sizing charts from main players in the market, and how to fit cowboy boots. By the end of the guide, you will be able to confidently find the right boots for you.
Cowboy Boot Sizing
Buying the correct size when it comes to cowboy style boots is important. Not only do you need to think about the length of the boot, but also the width of the calf and the shape of the toes. Then there is the height and style of the heel.
Different brands will vary in their cowboy boot sizing. Let’s take a look at two of the major brands that produce quality western style boots, Justin Boots and Ariat.
Justin Boots has a range of cowboy boots for men and women. There are narrow, medium and wide toes, in round and square designs. There are also many different heights and styles of heel.
Having such a varied choice allows for everyone, whether they have narrow feet or wide feet, to find the ideal fit.
Justin Boots has the details of the type of toe and heel on each product. The company also offers a range of width fittings, for both men’s and women’s designs.
This video explains how to fit your Justin cowboy boots.
Ariat also has an extensive range of styles and sizes, and very detailed sizing charts. They not only give the shoe size, but also the calf height and circumference for the boots. As well as traditional style cowboy boots, Ariat also has them with steel or composite toe caps.
Again Ariat has different toe styles, heel types and heights and width fittings for men and women. This video explains how to fit their boots.
Both companies produce quality cowboy boots with built-in comfort systems.
Ariat has a wider range to choose from meaning you might find a good fit a little easier. On the other hand, although Justin doesn’t have as wide a range, it does offer more width fittings to choose from. From B through to EEE for men, and B and C for women.
I suppose it comes down to a matter of how much style comes into your decision, but comfort should always come first. It’s not worth having the trendiest pair of cowboy boots if they crush your feet each time you wear them.
To check your size, measure from the longest points of the foot for the length, and around the widest part of your calf for calf width.
You can always draw around your foot on a piece of paper while standing and then measure it to check foot size. You can then compare these to the manufacturer’s sizing charts.
It seems Ariat boots run about a half size large while Justin boots run true to size.
How Are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Fit?
These pull-on style of boots should fit your feet like a glove, snug but not tight, with some flexibility. Here are some tips to help you choose the correct size for your cowboy boots:
- When you try on your boots, wear the socks you plan to use with them. The thicker the sock, the more room it will take up inside the boot.
- Do you use an insole or an orthotic? If so, take that as well and make sure it fits your selected boots. Pop it in when you try them on.
- Feet have a tendency to swell throughout the day, as do legs. As a result, try boots on towards the end of the day.
- Either sitting down, pull the boots on, or stand up into them. Sitting is generally easier.
- It should take a little effort to push your foot in but it shouldn’t be forced. Some people report hearing a popping sound when the foot seats itself into the footbed. This is an indication of a good fit.
- Check out your toe space, you don’t want them squished in any way. Make sure they have a bit of movement and can be wiggled.
- Next look at heel slippage. These new boots have a very stiff sole so it’s usual for your heel to slip about a quarter of an inch. In fact, you want it to do that, any more and it’s too big, none at all and it’s too small.
- Take a walk around and make sure your feet feel comfortable. You shouldn’t notice any pressure points.
A good way to check for room at the toes is to remove the insole and stand on it. You should have about a thumbs width clearance at the front of the toes and the heel should be cradled. Make sure there is no overspill at the widest point of your foot.
To check the fit on the instep take your thumb and forefinger and try and pinch the leather. You should get a small wrinkle, but no more.
Once the sole of your boots becomes more flexible, the small amount of heel slip will likely stop.
Frequently Asked Questions
My Cowboy Boots Have Stretched, How Can I Make Them Fit Tighter?
There are two ways you can fill the gaps that you have in your boots after wearing for a while. One method is to buy some thicker socks suitable for cowboy boots, such as these from Wolverine. They have a cushioned sole and contain Merino wool to keep feet dry and warm.
The other way you can make your boots tighter is to add some insoles. Ariat makes these especially to fit their boots, in round or square-toed shapes. Remember to put them in over the existing insoles.
How Do I Put a Pair of Cowboy Boots on Properly?
Cowboy boots have tabs at either side of the top of the shaft. Sit down and place your foot in the boot, pointing your foot as you do. Using the pull tabs to keep the boot in place, push your foot in as far as it will go, without forcing it.
Stand up and push your foot that final bit, until it slips into the footbed. The weight of your body helps push the foot through the heel section.
How Should My New Western Boots Fit?
Your new boots should feel snug on your foot, with maybe a small amount of slip in the heel and room for your toes. The instep holds the boots on, so should not be too big or have excess leather above it. The ball of your foot should align with the widest part of the sole.
Cowboy boots have been worn for the last 200 years and many will say they are the most comfortable boots you’ll ever wear. When you have the proper fit, they should feel like a second skin from the outset.
We have given you the tools you need to make sure your next pair of cowboy boots fit in all the right places. Whether you’re line dancing, out on the range, or riding your favorite horse, these boots will hug and support your feet.
We hope you enjoyed our guide and picked up some useful tips for sizing and fitting cowboy boots. How should cowboy boots fit? They should be snug and not tight.
Please leave us a comment with your experiences and thoughts and share with other cowboy boot fans.