If you find yourself with a pair of boots that hurt your heels, toes, ankles, or knees, try these simple tricks!
1. Give ‘Em a Chance
If your cowboy boots are still new, give them a couple of outings before you decide they need to be altered. With wear, your feet will warm the leather, making it softer and more flexible, conforming to your foot wherever pressure is applied.
2. Resole Your Boots
If your boots are old and you are having problems with pain, you may want to resole your boots. Resoling a pair of cowboy boots can have a lot of advantages, especially if your boots are secondhand or vintage boots. A previously-worn boot’s sole has conformed to the foot of its first owner, so wearing those boots can cause serious fit and comfort problems for the new wearer. (If you live in the Austin area, we recommend Texas Custom Boots.)
3. Stretch Your Boots
If you find that your boot is too small around certain parts of your foot, you can consider stretching the boot. There are a few ways to do this, but it’s best to let a professional stretch your cowboy boots. Doing it the wrong way can actually damage them. If you are intent on doing it yourself, however, these are 4 of the most popular options:
Boot Stretchers: If you need room in the front or back of your boot, consider boot stretchers. These shoe forms fit into the foot of the boot to provide a little more room in the foot. Keep in mind though that you can’t un-stretch leather, so start small and go slow.
Boot Stretch Spray: This spray is meant to stretch the leather across the top and sides of the boot, as well as the shaft. Read the label carefully, however; these sprays aren’t safe for all types of leather.
Soaking Boots in Water: Does this work? Yes, but only to an extent, and it’s very risky. With this method of boot stretching, you put on your boots and dunk ‘em in hot water for a bit, then let them air dry. While this can stretch them, it can also leave bad stains on the leather, shrink the boots, or cause them to lose their form altogether.
Rubbing Alcohol: Like soaking your boots in water, using rubbing alcohol to stretch boots can be tricky and is not a method we generally recommend. While it might do the trick for stretching your boots, it can also damage the leather. If you do use rubbing alcohol, be sure to condition your boots afterwards.
Boot Stretching | Style: N7315-7/4
4. Add Cushioning to the Soles
If you think you need some extra support, consider insoles for your cowboy boots. Boot insoles can add support and cushioning so you can stay on your feet longer and more comfortably. If you are planning to wear insoles with your cowboy boots, we suggest taking the insoles with you when you are shopping for your boots. This way you can try on the boots with the insoles to ensure a good fit. (You may have to purchase an insole half a size smaller than your boots, or buy boots a half size bigger than your actual size to accommodate the extra space needed for the insole.)
Boot Insoles & Socks
5. Get Better Cowboy Boot Socks
If your cowboy boots give you blisters or rub your feet, you might not need different boots…just different socks! When it comes to choosing the best cowboy boot socks, opt for something thick and cushy. (We love these.) They’ll protect your feet and ankles from the leather until it softens up.
6. Ditch Your Boots and Buy New Ones
There are plenty of fish in the sea! We understand it’s hard to let a good pair of boots go…but movin’ on may be what’s best for both of you. The trick with comfortable cowboy boots is to choose the correct fit from the start. (Use our Boot Fitting Guide to find the perfect fit.) Try on lots of different pairs when shopping for boots so you know how different brands fit, which size is right for you, and which boot style is most comfortable.