How to Get the Perfect Cowboy Boot Fit

"How should my cowboy boots fit?" Use these tips and tricks to get the perfect cowboy boot fit for you!

Steps to fit cowboy boots:

  • 0:15 — Before You Buy
  • 1:00 — Will It Stretch?
  • 2:22 — Leather Matters
  • 3:18 — Toe Shape Nuance
  • 4:07 — The Break In
  • 4:45 — Fixing a Tight Boot
  • 6:00 — Different Sized Feet

When to try on boots for the best fit

Cowboy boot fit can be affected by the time of day and the socks you wear. Your feet swell as the day goes on, so best to try boots on in the afternoon. Also you might be surprised how much difference a milometer in sock thickness can make in fit! So wear the socks to try the boots on that you plan on wearing with them.

Should a cowboy boot stretch?

When buying boots, these key parts of the boot will adjust to your foot in slightly different ways:

    1. The vamp, or the part of the boot that covers the top of your foot, has the most leather and will stretch about a quarter of a size.
    2. The toe box is reinforced and won't stretch much, so consider going up a half size if your toes feel cramped.
    3. The heel counter is the structural focal point of the boot and will mold to your heel for a tighter fit over time. Up to a half inch of vertical slip is normal, though!

    Overall the boot should fit snugly across the top, have room for your toes, and have a bit of vertical slip in the back (but you should not be slipping front-to-back).

      Cowboy boot leathers explained

      There are lots of different types of animal hides (and some plant-based ones) used to build cowboy boots. Each has its own unique characteristics. Here are guidelines that will cover the typical cowboy boot leathers:

      • Cowhide is the most common and can stretch up to a quarter size over time. It's middle of the road in terms of pliability and has a nice firm, yet supple texture.
      • Reptile hides like alligator and lizard don't stretch very much, so the fit needs to be right for you at the start.
      • Ostrich hides have a lot of give to them over time Some people even complain that their ostrich boots can get sloppy if they over-stretch. At Chisos, we use the highest grade South African ostrich to solve for this problem. Our ostrich is thicker and stronger than most and stretches similar to a cowhide.

      The type of hide can affect how the boot will break in, so keep this in mind when making your selection!

      Different toe styles for Chisos boots

      Chisos offers a variety of toe shapes for you to pick from:

      • The unique Chisos refined square toe has a little extra room in the toe box. If you've got a wide forefoot, then this might be a good place to start.
      • Our cowboy round toe is a medium shape. Not super narrow, but not big and wide either.
      • And our snip toe looks like the end of clipped off. Despite its more narrow shape, the toes don't get squished, because we elongate the boot to compensate. It first very similar to the round toe.

      The unique shape of your foot may affect which boot you chose. But generally speaking, the fit will be consistent across all toe shapes at Chisos.

      Do you have to break in cowboy boots?

      In the past, buying boots meant dealing with pain for months! But no more. At Chisos, we strive for a good fit right out of the box with our proprietary comfort insole system. However, there may still be a short break-in period of a few weeks as the leather components adjust to your feet. Under the comfort insole we have a very thick leather insole that molds to your feet the more you wear them. the full-leather sole also gains flex over time. And finally full leather heel counter adjusts to give you a custom-fit—all which mean your Chisos get even more comfortable over time.

      How to fix a tight cowboy boot

      Sometimes a boot fits great front-to-back and in the heel, but is a bit too tight over the instep. Here are some quick tips to fix a tight leather boot:

      1. Wear them around the house on carpet to break them in and mold to your feet. Your body heat and movement will help the boot begin to loosen and mold to your feet without scuffing the soles (in case you need to exchange for a larger size).
      2. Put on two pairs of socks, then wear your boots for an hour or so. This may be uncomfortable at first, but once you remove the extra socks, even a few millimeters of stretch could be all you need for the right fit.
      3. Stuff a baseball or similar object into the area of the vamp that feels tight and leave it overnight. This will stretch out the instep and save your feet the pressure of pressing back on the leather to stretch it.

      Remember, leather can stretch a lot and adjust over time. And for the right fit, the goal is to have them snug, but not so painfully tight that your feet go numb or hurt.

      What about cowboy boots for different sized feet?

      For those with feet of different sizes, we suggest you buy the size of boots that fits the larger foot. Chisos uses a removable comfort insole system that allows you to make some easy modifications in order to make the other boot fit more snug.

      • Remove the Chisos comfort insole from the boot of the smaller foot. It will easily slide right out.
      • Insert a piece of material, such as a very thin shoe insole, into to the boot. Then reinsert the Chisos comfort insole on top of the thinner one. Stacking the two has the effect of making the boot slightly tighter.

      If you still have questions, feel free to contact us for help! Another great resource is the Chisos Facebook Community. The folks there offer great advice and tips on getting the perfect boot fit. Part of what makes the Chisos community so dang special. Cheers!

      complete line up of Chisos cowboy boots in their store in Austin Texas

      Chisos logo

      Our love for the great state of Texas—and enthusiasm for cowboy boots—motivates just about all that we do. On this blog, we write about community stories, local news and what goes into making the best damn comfortable cowboy boots money can buy. Y'all make it possible for our little boot shop to exist. Don't hesitate to reach out! Call or text 512-866-7222 or