How To Shrink Cowboy Boots: The #1 Method

Written By Mahia

No matter how aesthetic or expensive your cowboy boots are, once they get stretched out, you don’t like to wear the ill-fitted boots anymore, and at the same time, you don’t even want to throw them, am I right?

Luckily, shrinking the cowboy boots can regain their fitting and make them wearable for you. However, shrinking cowboy boots is a bit crooked if you don’t follow the correct technique.

I am here to reveal all the easy yet effective ways of shrinking cowboy boots, and of course, I will bust out all the myths regarding different shrinking methods of cowboy boots.

So let’s continue reading the

How To Shrink Cowboy Boots?

Cowboy boots don’t rank in affordable boots because their price range is a bit higher. So when you invest an ample amount of money on these pricey boots, you want them to fit your feet as long as possible.

However, the fact is, as cowboy boot’s main ingredient is leather, over time, it stretches, and ultimately your perfectly fitted cowboy boots no longer fit your feet.

Thanks to the shrinking techniques, which is a savior to your loosely fitted cowboy boots. Yes, you can make stretched and loosened cowboy boots to shape your feet again by simply doing the shrinking methods.

But get this in mind, you can only shrink a pair of boots to a half or full size. If your boots have become excessively loose, then I guess the shrinking methods will not be much helpful.

Follow our guide to know Are Boot Trees Necessary For Cowboy Boots.

Here are the methods following which you can shrink cowboy boots in minutes:

Method 1: Wear socks


The most affordable, quick, and effective method of shrinking cowboy boots is the sock method. All you need is a pair or two socks, and the magic will happen itself.

The main aim of the sock method is to make your feet bigger rather than shrinking your cowboy boots. And surprisingly, this works great in making the boots fit your feet.

Wear a thick pair of socks or two thin pairs, and then put on your cowboy boots. The socks eat up the extra space in the boots and make them your feet size.

However, the only drawback about wearing thick socks is that your feet may become too hot and become sweaty, and smelly in hot weather.

Method 2: Use heat

Do you know that heating is a fantastic technique to shrink cowboy boots? If not, then surely give this method a try; moreover, the professional bootmakers use the heating method the most to shrink cowboy boots.

Here are the steps of shrinking cowboy boots with heat:

Things you’ll need:

  • Water
  • Alcohol
  • Towel or rag
  • Heat gun or hairdryer
  1. Mix equal parts of water and alcohol into a bowl and give them a good stir.
  2. Wet a towel into the solution and wring it out.
  3. Rub the water mixture into your cowboy boots.
  4. With a heat gun or hairdryer, blow hot air to the damp boots. Be careful while using heat.
  5. Dry the boots before you wear them.

Read more on Why Do Cowboy Boots Have Heels.

Method 3: Use cushion insole


There are times when your overall boots have a perfect fitting, but that one area becomes stretched out and causes boot slippage; yes, I am talking about the instep.

So if you particularly want to shrink the instep of your boots, cushion insoles work great for that.

Along with making the stretched-out 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.

Method 4: Use cotton balls

If your cowboy boots have too long toes, then cotton balls are to the rescue.

Pack the toe box with cotton balls; it will eat up extra space giving you a perfect fitting. Moreover, the soft cotton balls do not cause any discomfort.

Method 5: Use heel grip and heel cushion

One of the main reasons for boot slippage is the loose heel. If your boot is loose at the heel, then this method is undoubtedly for you.

Place heel grip into the heel of your cowboy boots, and you will see along shrinking the boots, slippage also vanishes.

Also, follow our guide to know Can Cowboy Boots Be Business Casual.

What Are The Mistakes To Avoid While Shrinking Cowboy Boots?

While ranting about the shrinking methods, most of you don’t follow the dos and don’ts and jump to conclusions, resulting in a ruined pair of cowboy boots.

Along with knowing the correct procedure of shrinking cowboy boots, you should also know the mistakes most people make while shrinking cowboy boots and try to avoid them.

Here are the mistakes that you should avoid when shrinking cowboy boots:

  1. Never soak your cowboy boots in water. Some websites claim that dipping the boots in water shrinks them; all these are a hoax! Get in mind that if anything ruins cowboy boots, then it is water. Leather cowboy boots and water are the most wrong thing. Water is the biggest enemy of leather; rather than doing good, it completely ruins your boots. The fact is, water works great for stretching the leather. So if you are using water to shrink your cowboy boots, you are actually making them looser.
  1. Using heat to shrink the boots works, but that to an extent. But if you apply high heat to the boots, it affects the leather’s quality by making them too dry, and some boots also get burned due to excessive heat. You can use heat on your cowboy boots, but that heat cannot be very high in temperature. So be very careful while using heat, or else you will end up with a pair of burnt boots.
  1. Another most absurd myth is that conditioners can shrink cowboy boots; this is nothing but clickbait. The conditioner doesn’t have the ability to shrink boots. Instead, it is a good way of keeping your boots shiny, waterproof, and moisturized; nothing more than this.
  1. If you use a heating source like a hairdryer to shrink or dry your boots, always make sure you hold the dryer at least 7-8 inches away from the boots. Additionally, don’t hold the dryer too close to the boots.

You may also like to read: Can You Wear Cowboy Boots With A Suit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do leather cowboy boots shrink over time?

Of course not. Leather cowboy boots don’t shrink over time. Instead, leather boots stretch upon frequent use.

How can I make my cowboy boots tighter?

With a hairdryer, heat your cowboy boots and immediately wear the boots with a pair of thick socks. Walk in the boots until they have cooled down.

Should cowboy boots be tight at first?

No, cowboy boots shouldn’t be tight at first; instead, they should be snugly fitted.


Cowboy boots are a lifetime investment, don’t let water ruin its beauty. And it is very natural that gradually your cowboy boots will stretch; no need to panic. Follow any of the shrinking methods that I have explained above and make sure you avoid the main mistakes.

If this article was helpful to you, then do share your experience with us in the comment box. We love to hear from our readers.

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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