How Should Cowboy Boots Fit

When you are buying new cowboy boots, you want to buy ones that fit properly. This might be a daunting task, especially if you are coming to the end of an old pair that has been your old-faithful for several years.

When cowboy boots fit well, they should be comfortable as soon as you take them home, but with so many styles and shapes to choose from, this can prove to be tricky.

Luckily, we have written this article to help you out and point you in the right direction when you are searching for the perfect pair of cowboy boots.

We look at the main players and styles in the market, as well as sizing and measurements which should guide you towards the perfect fit each time you buy a new pair. What are you waiting for? Let’s dive right in.

Cowboy Boots Sizing

Cowboy boots are not like other shoes such as your average pair of sneakers or flip flops. They need to be fitted properly and when this is the case, they should be snug, comfortable, and supportive for all those hours on your feet or in the saddle.

When you think about the sizing of cowboy boots, you need to not only think about comfort however but also the length of the boot, the width of the calf, and the shape of the toes. This is before you even begin to consider the height and style of the heel.

We recommend always using an international conversions chart to work out your size if you are ordering cowboy boots online but bear in mind, cowboy boots run slightly larger and you might end up with a show that is smaller than your regular shoe size.

Take time to measure your foot in inches and see how it lines up to standard boot sizes. If your measurements lie between two sizes, although they sometimes run large, we would always recommend the larger size to be safe.

We also recommend you confirm your size with a shoe expert every few years as it is common for our feet to change shape and size. 

Cowboy boots also have their own width system for men’s and women’s styles and women’s boots are usually sized from A-C, with A being the narrowest and C being the widest, whereas men’s boots are sized between B- EE, with B being the narrowest and EE being the widest. The further away you get from A, in both styles of boots, the wider the shoe will be. 


The instep of a cowboy boot covers the top of your foot and can help you work out whether the boot fits or not. If the instep is too tight, try a wider width boot but if it is too loose, opt for a narrower width.


The ball of your foot is located at the widest part of the cowboy boot and is the area where the boot bends as you step forward. If the boot is too short, the ball of your foot may sit too far forward and this will cause some discomfort. The ball of your foot should sit within the widest part of your foot.

Toe Box

The tow box on a cowboy boot is the area on the boot that surrounds the toes and the front of your foot. Do not be tempted to simply use the old toe-press trick to work out if you have enough room as this is only a technique that works with other types of shoes such as sneakers.

This type of pressure could damage the toe box of your boots and therefore instead of pressing, wiggle your toes around and test the toe box to see if you have a proper fit. Your toes should be able to move inside the boot without you experiencing discomfort.


When you buy a new pair of cowboy boots, they might slip slightly at the heel (roughly around ¼ to half an inch). However, do not worry about this as the extra space is necessary and is needed for your shoes to fit properly.

You should avoid downsizing if you think you’ve chosen a pair of boots that are too big as over time, the leather on the boots will shape your foot and the slippage will get less and less.

How Do I Fit Cowboy Boots?

1. Pull The Boot On Your Foot And Listen For A Pop As Your Foot Settles Down Into Place.

When putting on a new pair of boots, you need to insert your foot into the shaft and grasp the tabs or pull holes. Once you have pulled them past the resistance point at the arch, this is when you will hear the pop.

2. Confirm The Heel Lift (There Should Not Be Too Much).

The heel lift is the gap between the insole of the cowboy boot and your heel. There should be room from the arch to the toe area and this room should not be more than 1/8th of an inch. It is necessary for a perfect fit.

3. Stand Up And Place A Sideways Thumb In Between The End Of Your Boot And The Tips Of Your Toes. This Is The Amount Of Space You Need Between The End Of The Boot And Your Toes.

Before this step, ensure the widest part of the ball of your foot rests on the widest part of the outsole. You then need to use your sideways thumb and judge the distance between the tips of your toes and the end of the boot. Do not press too hard and wiggle your toes to check this properly.

4. Walk Around A Bit To Confirm Your Boots Fit Comfortably And Securely.

Once you have your boots on, walk around in the store, or at home if you ordered them online to make sure they fit properly and you have an appropriate heel lift. A heel lift that is too big will feel large and clunky and too small means they will be too tight.

Always use a high-quality boot sock when fitting boots and this should be the same type of socks you plan on wearing with your boots. Thicker socks may cause you to upsize and thinner socks may make you feel like you need a tighter fit.

Final Thoughts

We hope by reading this article, you now have a better understanding of the different parts of a cowboy boot and how they should fit on your feet, whether you are buying cowboy boots for the tenth time or are brand new to the western world.

A proper fit will offer comfort, support and allow you to ride in the saddle all day long. As a result of this, we recommend you follow this guide and find the perfect fit for you.