|The majority of western boots run large. If there’s one thing to remember when buying a western, let it be this...
Buy 1/2 size smaller than your normal tennis shoe size.
Western boots will stretch out as you wear them. If you buy your regular shoe size, your boots will become “floppy”, guaranteed.
Choose your size. Remember, a good starting point is 1/2 size smaller than your regular shoe size.
Socks? It’s not rocket science - just wear the socks you plan to wear with your boots.
Feel the “pop”. A well fitting boot will “pop” when you slide it on. If your foot doesn’t “pop” in, the boot is too large.
Is it tight? A well fitting boot will be snug around the top of your foot. Remember, there aren’t any laces. The instep (top of your foot) is what holds your boot on. Snug is good. Cold, blue toes are bad.
My heal slips. Good! That’s what you’re looking for. As long as it only slips about a finger’s width, this slipping will stop as the boot gets broken in.
What do you want your boot for? While a quality work boot could be worn all day and still look good out on the town, it's still important to purchase a boot that's made for what you want to use it for. Western boots are fashioned for different purposes. The major categories are as follows:
1. Work Boots
Western style work boots are made for hard wear and tear. A quality pair will feel comfortable all day. Work boots typically have low roper heels and treaded soles for traction. They can also be built with special features, like waterproof and shock-protective materials. They usually don't display a lot of detailed styling.
2. Cowboy Boots
Cowboy boots are all-around boots perfect for riding, walking, grocery shopping, and wearing to work (if you have such a privilege). They have a heel that is usually of medium height. They're built to be comfortable, last a long time. A good pair will be versatile enough to wear through work and play.
3. Western Riding Boots
Riding boots are for....riding! They're built to help you perform your best in the saddle. If you're going to perform in shows, you'll need a pair. Riding boots feature tapered toes that help you easily get into the stirrup, and high heels to make sure your foot doesn't slide back. The soles are smooth to avoid catching in the stirrup. Higher shafts protect your legs from pinching or catching on anything you ride by. Most do not have laces just in case you take a tumble.
Unlike typical riding shoes, roper boots have features that allow the rider to slip out of the saddle easily, which is essential in the sport. They have very low heels and are very flexible for more comfort when you need to maneuver. They also have low shaft heights for less restraint on your leg.
5. Fashion Boots
There are no rules to fashion, and there's none for fashion boots either. These are boots designed to look good and be comfortable. Everything else is up for interpretation! This category will include exotic leathers, crazy colors, and exquisite styling. Heel height, shaft height, and toe type are all varied according to the overall look of the boot. While these boots are not designed for riding or working, they're perfect for dancing, shopping, and dentist's appointments.
Western boots have a variety of different toe shapes. If you're looking for a riding boot, you'll want a narrow, pointed toe for easily slipping into the stirrup. Manufacturers can differ in what they name their toe shapes, so as usual, we've simplified the process with our Boot Selector tool. You can narrow down our selection by toe shape (Round or Square) and width (Wide, Medium, Narrow).