How To Break In Cowboy Boots: 6 Quick and Easy Ways

If you’re trendy or have liked cowboy boots for a long time, you probably just bought a new pair or are thinking about it. If so, good for you! here giving answered about How To Break In Cowboy Boots.

But before you put on your cowboy boots to go line dancing or show off your favourite dress on a concrete runway, they should be comfortable.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots: 6 Quick and Easy Ways

Most people who don’t like their cowboy boots say that they are too tight at first. Leather can stretch which is good but it can be hard to break it in at first.

If you want your new cowboy boots to feel good and keep you from getting painful blisters, you need to learn how to “break them in” or “stretch them out.”

Why Is It Important to Break Cowboy Boots In?

Cowboy boots are made of hard leather have a high shaft and often have a big heel made of stacked leather. This isn’t exactly a way to feel better right away.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

When you’re working on a ranch or riding a horse, being uncomfortable can be dangerous because it can take your mind off what you’re doing.

I have definitely fallen off a horse while trying to fix a bothersome boot. It’s not my favourite memory.

Even if you only wear cowboy boots for style, it’s not fun to walk around town in shoes that hurt. Also don’t try to force your way through it.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

Do you have a pair of too-tight cowboy boots that hurt your toes? They should be easy to wear, but sometimes they are too tight. Luckily there is a simple answer!

Method #1: Wear your boots with two pairs of socks

Pros: If you have socks, it’s 100% free; it’s not messy.

Cons: Can be very painful, and it would take multiple sessions to get a good stretch.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

If you just need a little more room in the width and height of the toe boxes of your cowboy boots, you can wear them with two pairs of socks.

You might be able to go up half a size. As you might expect, your double socked feet put pressure on the leather Which causes it to stretch and make more room for your feet.

This method can be painful (and probably will be) So we recommend wearing no more than two socks per foot. If you wear more than two socks, your toes will be squished together which will cause blisters when you walk.

We’d suggest trying this method in the evening when it’s a little warmer and the cowboy boot material is a little more flexible.

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Method #2: Steam the inside of your boots

Pros: Inexpensive; can achieve a close-to-custom fit; not too messy

Cons: Water-soaked leather might fade a little or get a little bit drier. It can be painful and the drying process might take a while.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

This method is a great, cheap way to make something fit perfectly without making too much of a mess.

If you ask most people how to break in cowboy boots, they may tell you that this method is bad for the leather, so do it at your own risk. Follow these steps to do method number 2:

  1. Using a clothes steamer or a kettle of boiling water, direct the steam for about 20 seconds at the part of the boot you want to stretch.
  2. Keep the steamer away from you and your boots, and use your finger to press on the affected area. If the area feels solid and firm, steam it for another 15 seconds.
  3. Once it is soft, warm, and flexible (but not completely wet), you can put your feet in the boots and walk around.
    In an ideal world, you’d want to keep them on until they dry to make sure they fit your feet perfectly.
  4. If that is too uncomfortable, take the boots off once the material has cooled and let them dry on their own. Don’t use heat to speed up the process because it will hurt the material.
  5. Once your cowboy boots are dry, condition them with something like Leather Honey or mink oil, depending on the type of leather they are made of.

With this method, you can definitely get a custom fit, but you should be aware that you may lose the strength of the leather and the brightness of the dye job.

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How much depends on a lot of things, like what kind of leather it is, how good it is, what kind of dye and treatment it gets, and how wet it gets.

Method #3: Submerge them in water

Pros: Inexpensive; can achieve a custom fit; tried-and-true method

Cons: Water-soaked leather can fade and/or crack, is very messy, takes a long time to dry, and can be painful or uncomfortable. putting a brand-new pair of shoes in water can be scary.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

“Put water in my new Tony Lamas? Are you crazy?” Yes, this is a drastic way to make room in your western-style boots but it works and is popular, as boot wearers on the online forums The Chronicle of the Horse and The Horse Forum can attest.

This method gives your shoes more room in the same way that method #2 does. Water naturally loosens fibres, which makes it possible for your cowboy boots to fit your feet like a glove. To use the third method:

  1. Fill a bathtub or trough with warm water.
  2. Put as much of the cowboy boots in the water as you can without getting water inside. Press down on the boots’ soles with your hands to keep them from floating.
  3. When the inside of the boot feels a little damp, pull it out of the water.
  4. Put on a pair of socks or breeches and your boots. You can also put a plastic bag over each sock so that walking in wet boots doesn’t feel so bad.
  5. Put on the drenched cowboy boots and walk around until they are dry or almost dry. It helps a lot to start this process in the morning and when it’s warmer out.
  6. Once your cowboy boots are dry, condition them with a product made for the type of leather they are made of to keep them from cracking.

Method #4: Freeze a bag of water within the boots

Pros: Inexpensive; non-intrusive; passive stretching; stretches in small increments if you’re afraid of ruining your boots

Cons: Needs multiple sessions for big stretches (like a half-size stretch); can take a long time; boots may not fit in the freezer; only makes more room in the toe box.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

When water freezes, it gets bigger. Science is so cool, don’t you think? Even if you don’t use this to make jokes, you can use it to stretch the toe box area of your cowboy boots. Follow these steps to do method number 3:

  1. Fill a bag that can be sealed with a gallon of water. 1/2 to 3/4 full is enough.
  2. Zip up the bag. Try to keep out as much air as you can. You might need to flip it over to make sure water doesn’t leak out.
  3. Put the water bag in the toe box of your boot and make sure it is as close to the toe as possible.
  4. (optional) Put some socks or crumpled newspaper behind the water bag to keep it in place.
  5. Leave for at least 8 hours in your freezer. It will get bigger and make your boots bigger.
  6. Before carefully taking the bag of ice out, let it thaw out.

This method doesn’t hurt and is great for small stretches and getting rid of a painful corn or callus. It takes a long time But it’s better than putting your new purchase in a bathtub full of water.

Method #5: Use a western cowboy boot stretcher

Pros: Non-invasive, fast-acting, passive stretching, more control can get up to a full boot size bigger, can use spot stretching plugs to target trouble spots and you can start wearing your boots right away.

Cons: The cost of the stretcher is up front and it only stretches the toe box in width and where the plugs are inserted. You would need to use other types of stretchers to stretch the toe box in height.

How To Break In Cowboy Boots

The easiest way on this list that still works is to use a western cowboy boot stretcher. Unlike methods #2 and #3 the cowboy boot expander lets you stretch your boots without doing anything.

Instead of walking around with wet boots for hours, you just set them aside to do their job. Boot stretchers also work very quickly—it can take as little as 6 hours to go up a half size.

This saves a lot of time, since waiting for your western boots to dry with methods #2 and #3 could take days.

The only problem with this method compared to the others is that you have to buy a western boot expander.

If you have more than one pair of cowboy boots, the stretcher becomes more of an investment. Here’s how to use a western cowboy boot stretcher to give your toe box a little more room:

  1. Spray the inside of your boot with shoe stretch spray to loosen the material so it can be stretched. You can also use a shoe stretch spray soaked cloth to wipe the inside of the boot.
  2. If you need to put the plugs in the slots for the plugs on the toe block before you stretch.
  3. Place the toe block inside the boot’s toe box. Make sure to wedge it in so that the end of the toe box touches the toe block.
  4. Turning the widening handle clockwise will make the toe block wider. Once it fits well, turn it another 2–3 times to get the right stretch.
  5. Once you’ve set the stretcher to the width you want, leave it in your boot for at least 6 to 8 hours.
  6. To get rid of the stretcher, turn the widening handle counterclockwise until the block is completely pulled back. Slowly pull out.
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Even though these are great ways to loosen up tight cowboy boots, there are other things that can cause blisters and pain when breaking in cowboy boots.

Follow these tips to avoid getting blisters, sore feet and other problems that can come from wearing Western boots.

  • Take care of the leather. Yes, it’s time to get some leather conditioner even if your boots are brand new. Leather conditioner makes your boots look great and softens leather that is too stiff to wear comfortably.
  • Use it. We don’t mean your muscles, but the shoe. Take your new boots and repeatedly bend the sole to loosen it up.
  • The same goes for the heel: you’ll need to move it around to loosen it up. This will help keep you from slipping and getting sore. Lastly bend the ankles out so they are more flexible as soon as you put them on and don’t hurt you all day while you’re trying to get things done.
  • Pick socks that are made for boots. Cowboy boot socks are made to give you support where you need it most and the materials that pull moisture away from your feet keep your feet dry and comfortable.
  • Many bootmakers have come a long way when it comes to cushioning but if you need a little extra support, put cowboy boot insoles inside your boots.
  • There are options for preventing slipping and making up for low or high arches. Western-style boots can be made more comfortable with insoles so you can stay on your feet longer.

What Not to Do

▶ Submerging Your Boots in Water

Don’t use hot water to break in boots unless you’re trying to make them smaller on purpose. As part of this treatment, you have to put your boots in warm water for 30 minutes.

Cowboy boots are tougher than most shoes, but if you leave them in water for too long, the leather can get warped.

▶ Your Boots Get Blow-Dried on High

Hair dryers can get very hot which can crack the leather. Cowboy boots that haven’t been worn in yet are especially likely to do this because they are still tight and stiff.

▶ Always Putting on your boots

Don’t wear your cowboy boots every day until they’re fully broken in. If You wear them for too many days in a row, the sweat from Your feet won’t be able to dry out inside.

This extra moisture will make the boot more likely to rub against your foot and your foot will be more likely to get blisters.

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YouTube video with tips on breaking-in cowboy boots

Why do cowboy boots have big heels?

On our big trail rides, everyone Wears cowboy boots. Some have low heels While others have big two-inch heels.

My always-curious grandson loves his cowboy boots but he wanted to know Why they all have heels and what the big ones are for.

Cowboy boots are made to be worn while riding horses and the heel is there for a reason. The heel lets the rider keep control of his body while in the saddle and keeps his foot from sliding forward through the stirrup’s opening.

In the 1870s, bootmakers in Kansas made the first Cowboy boots with a stronger arch and a higher heel. Cowboys worked hard on ranches and rode hard. They spent a lot of time in the saddle and these shoes were made to protect them from the dangers they faced.

A lot of the time, cowboys couldn’t control their horses and would fall off the saddle. A heel that sticks out helps keep the rider’s foot from getting caught in the stirrup and being pulled which could cause serious or even fatal injuries.

Like the Ariat Terrains, bootmakers have started making boots that can be used for both hiking and horseback riding. They have a nice heel for riding and a short shaft that makes them comfortable for hiking long distances.

Why are cowboy boots decorative?

In the Old West, cowboys wore boots made of rough materials like cowhides and stitched together with a single row of stitches. Over time, these boots became more and more fancy.

Over time, cowpunchers started asking bootmakers to put unique designs on their tough shoes maybe to make them stand out or to help them find their shoes. When cowboys asked for boots, bootmakers were happy to make them.

They started adding more and more unique designs to boots like fancy needlework and leatherwork Which led to the use of unusual materials like snakeskin and ostrich skin to make boots. You can buy boots in many different colours, styles and materials these days.

What Type Of Cowboy Boots Can You Get?

What Type Of Cowboy Boots Can You Get?

The ‘how to break in leather cowboy boots’ is usually an afterthought for trendsetters.

First you’ll need to decide what design to buy. With hundreds of styles sold on the market, it begs the ultimate question: What are some of the trendiest cowboy boots that you can currently get?

To Keep things easy to read, We have provided a short list of iconic silhouettes for fashionistas to Consider.

  • The traditional silhouette: this cowboy boot has a pointed toe, pull tabs, paisley stitching and Spurs. It is usually made for horseback riding.
  • Sweet and short: These shoes Which are also called cowgirl boots have a lower cut and a very pointed toe. Most People wear them as fashion statements rather than as shoes.
  • Work boots: You can not line dance in these shoes. Most of the time, they have more grip and a thicker outsole to keep them from slipping.
  • The exotics: These cowboy boots are made from alligator, ostrich, deer and Other animal skins. They are meant to be shown off. This also includes kicks with intricate designs like patchwork and stitching.
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How To Choose The Best Cowboy Boots

How To Choose The Best Cowboy Boots

A pair of leather cowboy boots is the best way to show that something was made well. I mean, half of the pictures that come up on Google Images are of a tough pair of well-made wellies. These shoes have a good reputation for being strong, durable and useful for everyday use.

Because of this, it’s rare to find a badly made version. But with so many fast-fashion trends, it may be hard for new shoppers to tell the difference between quality and quack.

There are five things to look out for in a pair of cowboy boots: price, quality, material, fit and design. Comfort is another thing to think about but since these shoes take a while to break in, we thought we’d leave it out for now.

First, let’s talk about fabrics. Most high-quality cowboy boots are made of tough leather and the skins of rare animals. A brand-new pair should be able to bend a little bit. Most knockoffs are made of synthetic fabrics which are usually very thin when worn.

A good pair of cowboy boots should fit your feet like they were made for them. It’s normal for brand-new shoes to feel tight after the first time you wear them but that’s no reason to throw them away.

How To Take Care Of Cowboy Boots

How To Take Care Of Cowboy Boots

Now you know how to break in your cowboy boots. Now it’s time to start taking care of it and keeping it in good shape. If you don’t want to go to a professional in the store, we’ll show you how to clean your new kicks at home.

  • Use a microfiber cloth or a brush to remove dirt from the surface.
  • Use a damp rag or a magic eraser to get rid of stains and marks.
  • We recommend a leather conditioner and polisher to keep the shine on your cowboy boots.
  • Put a foot shaper or newspaper in your cowboy boots to help them keep their shape.
  • Stay away from mud, water and other dangerous terrain to keep your shoes from getting too worn out.

Summary: How To Break In Cowboy Boots

When you need to wear your favourite cowboy boots the most, nothing is more frustrating than not being able to get them on.

There are a number of easy and cheap ways to break in cowboy boots. Moisture can do a lot to give your shoes more room but be careful not to soak the leather too much.

By getting the right size shoes from the start, you can avoid a lot of pain and trouble. I know this can be hard because different brands fit different people’s feet in different ways.

Try out a few brands before you buy, is what I would say. You will be able to find one that makes shoes for your feet.

I hope this guide on How To Break In Cowboy Boots has been useful. Remember to care for your boots and store them properly and they will take care of you in return.

FAQs – How To Break In Cowboy Boots

FAQs - How To Break In Cowboy Boots

How long should it take to break in cowboy boots?

With regular use, it can take anywhere from 80 to 100 hours for new cowboy boots to break in. The best way to get these hours is to wear the boots for two to three hours a day.

It is normal for new cowboy boots to hurt. Cowboy boots are made to get bigger over time but when you first get them, they can be stiff and hurt your feet and ankles. But this pain should go away once your boots are broken in.
Steam them.
Steam the leather for about 20 seconds and then check to see if it’s soft. If not keep steaming for another 15 seconds. Wait until the boots are cool enough to wear, then put them on and walk around for a few hours. As the boots dry and get harder again, the leather will mould to your feet.
How do you wear in a pair of boots quickly? You can speed up the process by wearing thick socks, bending them with your hands until they break, treating the leather with a leather conditioner or taking them to a professional cobbler.

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