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7 Helpful Tips For Buying Cowboy Boots

7 Helpful Tips For Buying Cowboy Boots

Posted by Guest Post on Jun 7th 2021

You don't have to ride a horse to be able to wear cowboy boots. As many of us are well aware, this style of boot has long been a staple of Country Western culture. They're not only fashionable, but they're also practical for all different sorts of activities.

One of the biggest myths about cowboy boots is that they're supposed to be uncomfortable. This is simply untrue; if you know what to look for in a cowboy boot, then you can easily find yourself a pair that's both stylish and comfortable. Keep on reading to learn everything you need to know to find yourself the right pair of cowboy boots.

1. Make Sure The Size is Right

Most cowboy boot brand's sizes run slightly differently, meaning that you can never truly know your exact cowboy boot size. Your cowboy boots will fit slightly differently compared to your everyday loafers or sneakers. With any cowboy boot, you want to make sure that the boot is snug at the instep and ball of the foot.

Even if you get a pair of cowboy boots that fit just right, you still may have difficulty wearing them for long periods of time at first until the break-in and form to your unique foot shape  This isn't a sign that you should be returning your purchase; you can make your cowboy boots fit more comfortably by breaking them in which involves wearing them for shorter periods of time until they become completely comfortable.

2. Rubber Versus Leather Sole

What kind of sole is best for you will depend on what kinds of activities you intend to do in your cowboy boots.

For example, rubber soles are thicker and will generally last longer than leather soles. The downside to having such a durable sole is that a can't re-sole a rubber sole unless the boots are made with a Goodyear welt and most are not. Rubber soles are ideal for dangerous environments like construction sites and for people who are constantly on their feet.

Leather sole boots are better for dancing since rubber sole shoes can't glide across the dance floor. That being said, leather sole boots are slippery until the soles scuff up from use and can take getting used to walking in, so be careful and avoid falling.

3. What Kind of Toe And Heel is Right For You?

Those unfamiliar with cowboy boots might not know of all the toe and heel options available to them.

In theory the boots should fit the same since the toe box will make the pointed toes longer than the round or square toe styles. With any toe box, pointed toe, round toe, or other, you want to make sure that your toes aren't cramped. Whereas you can break in other parts of the boot to improve the fit, you can't change the size of the toe box.

When it comes to your heel options, whether it be a riding heel, walking heel, or other, you want to choose a style that is comfortable and gives the look you want.  Here is a graphic to show you the different styles available from Tim's Boots

4. Allow for Heel Slippage

It's normal for your heels to slip a little bit in a new pair of cowboy boots, especially those with a hard leather sole. This slippage will diminish as your boots break in your new cowboy boots, so don't size down if you're experiencing a little slippage. Your boots will mold to the shape of your feet over time, which in turn will cause heel slippage to happen less and less.

The rule of thumb is that you should allow for just under a half-inch (3/8 of an inch) of slippage in your cowboy boots.

5. What Kind of Leather do You Want for Your Boot?

At Tim's Boots, we carry a large array of exotic and non-exotic leather goods, including alligator boots, caiman boots, crocodile boots, ostrich boots, python boots, rattlesnake boots, pirarucu fish boots, stingray boots, elephant boots, and more.

Each of these leathers has its own unique look and qualities. Take a look at these scans of leather swatches to get a general idea and  give you a visual representation of what different leather material boots look like, different Western boot styles, and Western boot terminology.  There are so many options for your cowboy boots but don't let that overwhelm you.  You can order just as shown on the website if you want of fully customize your boots

6. "Rough-out" Versus "Smooth"

If you have a pair or two of cowboy boots, then you've likely heard the terms "rough-out" and "smooth" tossed around.

Rough-out leather simply means that the flesh side of the hide is facing outwards. As you may have guessed, smooth leather is the opposite; it has the flesh side facing inward.

You may be asking yourself, "Aren't rough-out and suede the same kind of leather?" This is untrue; rough-out leather is different than suede because they're made differently. Whereas rough-out leather is simply the animal hide with the flesh side facing outwards, suede is made by splitting the animal hide and taking only the inner part as the material.

Rough-out leather boots fair better in abrasive environments and may be the better choice if you expect to be wearing your cowboys while working or riding.

7. Look at The Lining Inside of The Boot

Something as seemingly insignificant as the lining of the inside of a pair of cowboy boots can make a difference in comfort. If the seams on the inside of the boot are covered with lining, that'll keep the seams from rubbing up against your legs and make them overall more comfortable. Additionally, cowboy boots made with leather lining are ideal especially for hot climates because the leather lining doesn't trap heat as much as cloth lining would, and synthetic leather is the worst lining since it wont breath at all.

Get Your First Pair of Cowboy Boots Today

Now that you've made it to the end of this article, you should be well on your way to getting a well-fitted pair of cowboy boots.

Come and view our selection; we have a wide variety of exotic and non-exotic handcrafted leather cowboy boots and other leather goods. We have cowboy boots for all sorts of occasions, from going out dancing to working on the job to riding horses. Check us out at and get yourself a pair of hand-tooled cowboy boots today.  Give us a call if we can help in any way 1-800-771-4214