How To Fit Cowboy Boots: Find Your Accurate Size

Written By Mahia

When you invest a hefty amount of money on a pair of cowboy boots, you surely want them to fit as precisely as possible.

However, due to a lack of knowledge about the fitting of cowboy boots, most of you end up buying the wrong size cowboy boots. An ill-fitted cowboy boot is equal to the loss of money.

So if you are someone who is planning to buy cowboy boots and want a full-proof guide about their fitting, then this article will be your ultimate savior.

Here I have disclosed all the tips and tricks in detail that will help you to achieve an absolutely perfect fit of cowboy boots.

Let’s check it

How Should Cowboy Boots Fit?

Firstly, get this in mind, cowboy boots fit differently, unlike regular shoes and sandals. So if you buy cowboy boots according to your standard shoe size, you are actually purchasing the wrong size cowboy boots.

However, you can ignore this hassle and get boots that fit your feet perfectly by simply following the guidelines of how cowboy boots fit.

So let’s discuss the things you should focus on to get the absolute perfect fit of cowboy boots:

Instep: To get the best fit of cowboy boots, the proper fit at the instep(top of the foot, between ankle and toes) is essential.

As cowboy boots don’t have any shoelaces, the instep is the only place that holds the boot securely to the feet.


Follow our guide on how to Clean Cowboy Boots: The Step by Step Guide

When your boot’s instep is too loose, you will see the boot will slip in the heel excessively. Additionally, too tight an instep will make your feet feel very uncomfortable to walk.

The fit in the instep should neither be too tight nor too loose; it should fit you snugly so that you can walk comfortably.

So what will you do if the instep is too tight or too loose? Go for a wider width if the instep is too tight and narrower if the instep is too loose.

Ball: What is the ball of the foot? It is the area of the foot between your arch and toes. Similarly, the widest part of the boot is the ball of the boot.

When you buy small-sized cowboy boots, you will notice the ball of the foot will rest too far forward and force your toes into the toe box, which causes excessive discomfort.

The key rule is, the ball of the foot must sit in the ball of the boot; only then you will have the best fit of cowboy boots.

Heel: Naturally, your boots will have a slight slip at the heel when they are new. So don’t try to buy a small size down, thinking you have purchased a pair that is too loose because this additional space is very important for a proper fit of cowboy boots.

Gradually, this slippage will disappear as the leather will be flexible, and the boots will mold to the shape of your feet.

Toe Box: The toe box is the section that surrounds the toe and front area of the foot.

The ancient technique we all use to check the size of the boots is to press the toe with the thumb to determine there is enough space in the front.

However, cowboy boots have very stiff leather around the toe, so doing the thumb test will not be of much use.

Instead, check that there is enough room in the toe box; your toes should move easily without any discomfort; this is when you will get perfectly fitted cowboy boots.

Follow our epic guide on how to Stretch Cowboy Boots.

How To Make Cowboy Boots Tighter?

There are times when you mistakenly buy a large size of cowboy boots from your feet, and as there is no return option, these exotic pairs of cowboy boots end up in the cupboard that is too unused.

Luckily, some fantastic hacks can make cowboy boots tighter and make them wearable.

Here, I have talked about the methods that will make your large-sized cowboy boots or stretched out boots tighter:

Wear socks: The most effective yet affordable technique of making your cowboy boots tighter is wearing socks.

Wear a pair of thick socks and put on the boots. The socks will eat up the extra space and give you a proper fit.

The only disadvantage is, the thickness can make your feet sweaty and smelly in summer.

Use cushion insole: If you particularly want to tighten the instep of your boots, cushion insoles work great for that.

Along with making the loose boots fit your feet, cushion insoles add an extra lift to your feet, give excellent support to the arch, and most importantly it makes your feet comfortable.

There are different types of cushion insoles available in the market; you can choose according to your boot’s style.

Use a hairdryer: Using heat is a fantastic way to shrink cowboy boots. A heating source like a hairdryer is a perfect option for this method.

Fill a spray bottle with clean water and spray it to the areas of the boot where you want them to shrink. If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also damp the boots with a cloth.

Now, hold your hairdryer about 6-8 inches away from boots and blow the hot air to the wet areas.

The heat will shrink your boots; however, if your boots are exceptionally loose, then I guess these methods will not work for your boots.

Use heel insert: If your boots are loose at the heel, heel insert can be the savior.

Buy heel inserts of good quality and place them between the boot’s heel. Heel inserts not only tighten the loose heels but also prevent blistering, swelling, heel slippage, and most importantly, your feet will not at all feel tired despite wearing the boots all day long.

How Should Cowboy Boots Fit On The Calf?

Not too tight nor too wide, the cowboy boots should fit a bit lose in the claves. Too large calves cause difficulties tucking them inside the jeans, while too tight calves cause discomfort.

While buying cowboy boots, make sure the boots have half to two inches of space around the calf. Just ensure the boots should wrap around your calf comfortably.

Also, check out our separate guide to know Can Snakes Bite Through Cowboy Boots.

Frequently Asked Question

Do you size up or down for cowboy boots?

No, you shouldn’t size up or down for cowboy boots. Just check if the instep has a proper fitting. If the instep and toes have the right fit, your overall boots will fit your feet perfectly.

How do you want cowboy boots to fit?

The boots should have a snug fit. Check if the ball of the foot rests on the ball of the boot, the instep should be snug, and lastly, your toe should have enough space around the toe box.

Is boot size the same as your shoe size?

No, the boot size is not the same as your shoe size. Boot size tends to run larger than shoe size. For example, if you wear 10 size shoes, in boots, you will see the size goes from 11 to 12. So never buy boots according to your shoe size.


Cowboy boots are solely enough to make your outfit classy and attractive. And when you are spending your hard-earned money on these expensive cowboy boots, you must get the perfect fit.

I tried to include all the tips and tricks to help you get a proper fit of cowboy boots. However, if your boots are excessively large, I would say immediately return them and get boots of your size.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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