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Boot Sizing

Sizing cowboy boots can be tricky. Some people find that they need to buy boots a size or half a size larger than their shoe size for the boots to fit correctly.  It helps to know how each shoe size translates to inches to make accurate sizing decisions.

It is important to note that with cowboy boots, the heel slides forward about an inch as the wearer walks. That is different from many other types of shoes. Those new to cowboy boots may find it disconcerting at first.  Boots with a higher heel (typically ladies) may require going up 1/2 size, since your foot will slide down as you are wearing the boot. 

Men’s Size (US)

Inches

Women’s Size (US)

Inches

6

9.25

5

8.5

6.5

9.5

5.5

8.75

7

9.63

6

8.88

7.5

9.75

6.5

9.06

8

9.94

7

9.25

8.5

10.13

7.5

9.38

9

10.25

8

9.5

9.5

10.44

8.5

9.69

10

10.56

9

9.88

10.5

10.75

9.5

10

11

10.94

10

10.18

11.5

11.13

10.5

10.31

12

11.13

11

10.5

12.5

11.25

11.5

10.69

 

Shaft Width

The shaft in cowboy boots is the sleeve of the boot that extends up the leg. Most cowboy boots have shafts that run at least halfway up the calf. The length of the shaft matters little when it comes to sizing, but the width of the shaft matters quite a bit. Shafts that are too narrow are impossible to put on, and wide shafts tend to flap around in an irritating and uncomfortable way.

 

For Women

For women, it is especially important to be aware of shaft width; women tend to have wider calves in proportion to their feet. Some boots tend to run narrow in the shaft, so it is important for women to measure the widest part of their calf and compare it with the boots before making a purchase. It is also important to establish whether the wearer wishes to wear pants inside or outside the boot. In addition, boots with a higher heel may require you to go up 1/2 size due to your foot sliding a bit more forward. 

Ankle Boots

Some boots have a shaft that only comes up to the level of the ankle. These boots are gaining in popularity. When the shaft is short, measuring the calf is unnecessary.

Breaking in Boots

Cowboy boots, like many other handmade shoes made from real leather, gradually conform to the shape of the foot after the wearer walks around in them for a while. When a shoe or boot finally takes the shape of the wearer’s foot, it is “broken-in.” Typically, breaking-in is a process that requires that the wearer spends some time each day in the boots.

Do So Gradually

Long hikes or hours on foot in a new pair of boots that are not broken in can result in blisters and raw skin. Even boots worn for brief periods might cause blisters during the breaking-in process and is not a cause for alarm. Boots made of stiffer leather will take more time to break in than softer leathers such as goat hide. 

Stretching Leather

Leather stretches over time, and boots that initially feel tight eventually feel loose and comfortable. This is part of the break-in process and allows the boot to conform to the shape of the foot, instead of the other way around.  There are many different DIY methods that are used for breaking them in.  If you search on the internet you will find many suggestions. However, make sure the method you choose is OK to use on the type of leather you are working with. 

 

Each boot company’s boots may have a different “feel” due to variations in the boot making process. Most boots we sell are what is called "true to size". Meaning you can typically wear the same size in the boots as you would wear in a typical walking shoe. We are happy to try to assist you in your size selection, but cannot be help responsible for the fit of the boot, as the final decision is yours.