Buying cowboy boots online can be a risky move. There are different fits for different brands and you may not even know what is the best size to order. Hopefully I can help clear some of that up with these tips for buying cowboy boots online.
Make Sure You Know Your Boot Size
Cowboy boots sizes are different than most shoe sizes. They have a regular size for length like what you may be used to seeing in shoes and sneakers. Size 11, size 9, etc. Another important aspect to finding the best fit in cowboy boots online is knowing your width too.
Width is notated by letters. Narrow width sizes for men are A, B, and C. Average width sizes are D and sometimes E. Wide width sizes are EE and EEE.
Knowing both your boot size and width is crucial to ordering the right size online.
To find out your US size, sit down in a chair in the afternoon when you have been on your feet for awhile and trace your foot on a piece of cardboard or paper.
Then take a ruler or measuring tape and measure length from heel to toe to find your boot size. Use the table below to match the inches with US boot size.
|Length of Foot in Inches||Men US Size||Women US Size|
|8 5/6||4 1/2||5 1/2|
|9 1/6||5 1/2||6 1/2|
|9 1/2||6 1/2||7 1/2|
|9 5/6||7 1/2||8 1/2|
|10 1/6||8 1/2||9 1/2|
|10 1/2||9 1/2||10 1/2|
|10 5/6||10 1/2||11 1/2|
|11 1/6||11 1/2||12 1/2|
|11 1/2||12 1/2||13 1/2|
|11 5/6||13 1/2||14 1/2|
|12 1/6||14 1/12||15 1/2|
After you have your boot size length, it’s time to find the measurement for the width of your foot. Take your ruler or tape measure and find how many inches is the widest part of your foot. From the the ball of you foot to just below your pinkie toe.
Find your length boot size on the table below and move through the columns until you find the measurement for your width. Follow that column back up to see what the notated letter is for your boot width.
Since my foot measures about 11 1/3 inches long. I am around a size 12. My foot width is just under 4 inches, so looked at size 12 on the width table and went over until I found 3.9 inches. I traced that back up and I can see that I am a B width. So my true size for cowboy boots is a 12B.
Here are the women’s width measurements in inches below (chart sourced from WesterBootSales.com)
What To Do When Your Boots Arrive
Try them on in a carpeted area
Many online boot companies offer free or discounted returns but they will only take them back if they are still in perfect condition.
Trying your boots on in wood, tile, or linoleum floor area can leave scratches on the sole of your boot and companies will not allow for returns if there are any scratches.
Carpets are the only way to lower the chance of scratches when trying on boots.
How Your Cowboy Boots Should Fit
When you try on your boots, they should be a little hard to get on. There is a whoosh sound of air cowboy boot enthusiasts call the “pop” which hint towards a good fit.
After your foot is in the boot, it should be very snug but not overly tight. Some people don’t like the snug fit but remember that the leather will stretch and form to your foot.
The boot should be snug at the widest part of your foot but not in the toes. It should be snug at the instep and you should have a little bit of heel slip. Anywhere from just under an inch to just over an inch and a half of slip.
Heel slip is a very important factor to how a cowboy boot should fit.
If your boots are not snug around the widest part of your foot, snug around the instep and you have no heel slip or too much heel slip, you should return the boots and try a different size.
When You Keep the Boots You Ordered Online
If you decide to keep the boots you ordered, use a leather conditioner to keep the leather healthy. You can’t be sure how long the boots have been sitting in the box in warehouse somewhere. Condition them right away and the leather will last longer.
I hope this post helps you in your cowboy boot online search! Good luck and feel free to join my Facebook boot group and share what your new boots!