Cowboy Boots and Western Boots Fit Guide – Tips to Tricks to Finding the Right Cowboy Boots for Your Feet

Below you will find several tips and tricks to buying the perfect cowboy boots for your feet. Each tip will help you make sure the cowboy boots you're trying on will be good to you and your feet for the long term. While each tip should be considered when trying on your new cowboy boots, in the end, what matters most is how they feel. There is no exact formula for trying on cowboy boots. Ultimately, your feet will let you know almost whether the cowboy boots you just slipped on are right for them.

When cowboy boots are fitted properly, your feet should feel good. All cowboy boots fit differently, you can buy with confidence, knowing that if the boots don't work for you, you can return them for up to 90 days.

Differences in brand, leather, and style, all can affect the way a boot fits. For example, a cowboy boot from Tony Lama in size 9 will fit differently than a Justin in the same size. This is also true when trying different styles, a Justin Roper will fit differently than a Justin Pointy Toe" style cowboy boot.

Getting Started:

Socks Matter:

One of the most over looked aspects of trying on new cowboy boots is the socks that are worn when you try them on. When determining whether a cowboy boot fits, take an assessment as to the thickness of the socks you normally wear and if possible try on the boots with socks in the correct thickness. If this is not possible please allow for the socks' thickness in the fitting process. Also if this will be your first pair of cowboy boots, you may want to buy boot socks or calf high athletic socks.

Trying On:

Normally it is easiest to sit down and try on a cowboy boot while seated. However sometimes certain brands are made to fit snuggly around the arch for better support and it may be necessary to stand while trying on. Note: when you pull on the cowboy boots you should hear a soft “pop" when your foot drops into the boot.


Finding the Ball of the Foot:

You might need assistance with this step. You should stand with normal weight distribution on each foot to determine a proper fit. First, you will need to find the widest part of your foot. We will call it the ball of your foot. The most important thing when fitting a boot is to make sure the ball of your foot is at the widest part of the boot. This will alleviate any undue stress on your feet. If you find that it is too far forward or too far back, you may need to try a different size.

Toe Room:

Next, evaluate if the boots have ample toe room. Everyone foot is different and some people have toes a little longer or shorter than others. Usually if you have at least a thumbs width between your toes and the end of the boot, this will give you enough toe room. Most boot companies put extra reinforcement in the toe area called the “toe cap". This extra reinforcement is stiff and if the toe cap is bothering you in any way, you may need a larger size.


To determine if the width you have is correct, you will need to look straight down at your foot while standing. The boot should be a little snug, but you should be able to see the stitching on the outsole of the cowboy boot on either side. If you do not, you may need a wider width. Selecting the width is very important in getting the right cowboy boots for your feet. If you do not select the correct width, the leather may become too loose and cause the boot to feel sloppy or if the boot is too snug it may cause discomfort and also weaken the leather causing it to come unstitched or become worn down by the outsole.


Also, make sure that the boot shank and the arch of your foot have matching curves, this means that the arch is hitting your foot where it feels comfortable. Some people have higher or lower arches or no arches at all, so what might feel comfortable to one person may not be to another person. Keep in mind that if something is causing discomfort now, the chances are that it will not go away. So, if the boots do not feel right, they might not be the boots for you.


You can determine if your boots fit across the instep by taking the leather between your thumb and index finger and rubbing your thumb across the instep. If the boots are too loose a large wrinkle will appear. A very slight wrinkle means the boots fit properly.

Heel Slippage:

While it may feel funny that your heel slips in the back of the boot, a little heel slippage is normal. Usually about a quarter to a half of an inch is fine. The reason for this slippage is, since the boots have not been worn, the outsole of the boot is still stiff and needs to be “broken in". After the boots have been worn and the outsole of the boot has been flexed a few times, heel slippage should stop and give you a comfortable wearing boot.