Cowboy boots are a necessity! From winning to losing, roping and cowboying, running barrels and boot scootin’, they are with us every step of the way. Knowing we cannot function without them, it is important that your cowboy boots not only look good, but fit right as well. With the new year comes new boot investments, spring fashions and a plethora of reasons to stomp the new year. And as you begin to shop for your next perfect pair, consider these tips and tricks in buying the cowboy boots that are right for you.

When cowboy boots are fitted properly, your feet should feel good. All cowboy boots fit differently. Things like leather, brand and style can all affect the way a boot fits. Don’t forget that leather forms and stretches as you wear them. Brand sizes fluctuate so just because you wear a size 9 in Lucchese, doesn’t mean you will wear a size 9 in Ariat. 

Let’s start with socks. Some say they make a difference and some say, “it’s not rocket science, just throw on some socks.” I think its preference; however, if you go try on a pair of boots with thick wool socks and then choose not to wear them every day with your boots, you may notice a difference.  I’d recommend being aware of sock thickness and try on boots with socks you would wear with your boots every day. 

I know when I find my perfect pair of Lucchese, my foot “pops” into place. Keep in mind a well-fitted boot will “pop” when your foot slips in. If your foot doesn’t “pop” it may be too large. After your foot has popped into place, you should find the widest part of your foot or better yet, the ball of your foot.  It is important that the ball of your foot is at the widest part of the boot in order to alleviate any stress on your feet. If your foot is too far forward or too far back, you may need to try on a different size.

The arch is very important in comfort and fit and as some cowboys and cowgirls may have a higher, lower or no arch at all. Make sure that the boot shank and the arch are formed and curving to your arch, hitting your foot where it feels comfy.  Just remember, if you are already feeling discomfort, chances are you will continue to.  A quarter to a half of an inch of heel slippage is acceptable. This is because the boots are not worn and the outsole of the boot is still stiff and not broken in. After your boots are broken in, the outsole will flex and heel slippage should stop. 

Next, you should inspect if the boots have ample toe room. Everyone’s foot is different and some people have toes a little longer or shorter than others. A good rule of thumb is if you have at least a thumbs width between your toes and the end of the boot, this will give you enough toe room. If the boot has a toe cap, which is a stiff extra reinforcement, and is bothering you in any way, you may need a larger boot. Your boot should be snug but you should be able to observe the stitching on the outsole of the boot on both sides – if you do not see the stitching, you may need a wider width. This is important in avoiding discomfort. 

As we have so many options from brand, toe style, leather, color and height, just find a boot that speaks to you and expresses who you are. Outside of taste, ultimately you and your feet will know if the pair you slipped on is right for you!

The author of the blog, California Dreamin’ (www.calidreamin.com), Amy Witt’s articles have appeared in magazines and newspapers around the world. A fashionista, cowgirl and journalist, Amy strives to motivate and inspire people around the world.

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