In order to know how to fit for western boots properly
you need to consider these 3 things.
If you want to know how to fit for western boots or for fitting
cowboy boots, you must be aware that the instep is the most important
part. This is followed in importance by the toe and heel. Together
these make for proper western boot fit.
The instep is most important because it holds the foot in the
boot. This is not like a western lacer boot where there is some
flexibility due to the laces. The instep determines the snugness
of the boot. If you can’t get your foot past the throat
of the boot, you must go either wider in size or longer in size.
(The latter being the Lucchese theory of fitting western boots.
They believe sizing up gives better balance than going wide.)
I personally try a size wider first if available and have had
luck with that. However, going wider can cause the heel to slip
too much. If this is the case, stay to the narrow size and size
up rather than go wider. I’ll discuss this more below.
Toes should sit flat and free. They should not be crowded. You
don’t want your big toe to put a bump in the leather where
it rests. That will end up hurting because the boot is too short.
If you stand and stamp your foot, your toes should not squish.
You should be able to wiggle them. If not, size up. Note too if
you have flatter, wider or boxy toes, it might be wise to look
at boots that have more of a rounded toe. A pointy toe can be
rough on wider toes.
You should feel a slight lift in the heel of about a ½
inch when the boots are new and not worn in. This lift goes away
as the shank in the sole wears in. If you have a big lift in your
heel, you’ll get too much slip and the boot is too big.
Size down. Trust me too much slip will drive you nuts unless you
wear super thick socks.
I suggest that when you first get your boots delivered to you
from an online dealer try them out ON CARPET. Don’t scuff
the soles until you are sure you are going to keep them. Stores
won’t take them back with scuffed soles. Try them on and
test your fitting.
Again make sure your foot goes past the boot throat without
too much trouble. I’ve had boots where I couldn’t
even get past the throat. I’ve sent them back and I sized
wider or up. The new size usually arrives in a short period of
time. Whenever I’ve done this, the boots end up fitting
perfect. Test the toes and make sure they don’t crunch together
and scream for mercy. Again size up and get a rounded toe if they
are squished. Check your heel for too much lift and size down
if you have more the ½ an inch.
Other things that will matter to get proper cowboy boot fit are:
1) Your sock choice. Remember to fit your boots with the kind
of socks you plan to wear. I fit my boots to very thin dress socks.
Some people like thick athletic socks. So remember that when you
order your boot size.
2) The type of leather you get. Also different types of leather
or skins stretch more than others. I had a bull skin pair that
stretched out perfectly to my feet. I know that lizard and some
of the other reptile leathers don’t stretch as much.
My last suggestion is get a boot remover or boot puller. I often
work late at night and am very tried when I get home. The last
thing I want to do is use a lot of energy trying to get my boots
off. A boot puller was the best $15 or so I spent because I can
get them off now effortlessly.