How Should Cowboy Boots Fit? Find Your Size and Your Look, to Boot!
Whether you're looking for your first or fiftieth pair of cowboy boots, you might have some questions about how to find the perfect fit across brands — not to mention the perfect fit for your wardrobe. The experts at NRS are here to help you figure out how to wear cowboy boots with any outfit and find the measurements that will guide you toward the right fit every time.
How to Fit Cowboy Boots
Cowboy boots fit a bit differently than your standard pair of sneakers or sandals. So, how are cowboy boots supposed to fit? Ideally, your boots will be snug, yet comfortable — a very practical fit made to support lots of time on foot or in the saddle. Cowboy boots also tend to run slightly large, so don't be surprised if your boot size is smaller than your shoe size.
We recommend consulting an international conversions chart to help determine your size when ordering online. Take the time to measure your foot (in inches and meters) and see how it corresponds with standard boot sizes. If you fall between two sizes, order the larger size to be safe. As a general tip, it's a good idea to confirm your size with a shoe or boot expert every few years — it's not uncommon for the size and shape of our feet to change over time.
Another important note on the question of "how should cowboy boots fit" is that they have a unique width system for both men and women's styles.
Ladies boots are normally sized from A-C:
- A = Narrow
- B = Average/Medium
- C = Wide
Men's boots are sized in B, D and EE widths:
- B = Narrow
- D = Average/Medium
- EE = Wide
A rule of thumb for both styles is that the further you get from "A," the wider the boot will be. Aside from width, however, there are many other factors that determine cowboy boot fit.
The instep on a boot covers the top of your foot and is a big part in determining whether or not the boot fits. If the instep is too tight, try a wider width. If it's too loose, try a narrower width.
The ball of your foot sits at the widest section of the boot; it's the area where the boot bends when you take a step. When the boot is too short, the ball of your foot will sit too far forward, which will cause discomfort. The ball of your foot should sit securely within the widest part of the boot.
When you get a new pair of cowboy boots, they will initially slip a bit at the heel (around ¼ to ½ inch). This extra space is necessary for a proper fit, so don't size down too far thinking you've chosen a pair that's too big. Over time, the boots' leather will form to the shape of your foot and the slippage will lessen.
The toe box on a boot surrounds the toes and the front part of your foot. You might be tempted to use the old toe-press trick to determine if you have a good amount of room, but this only works for sneakers — not boots. In fact, that type of pressure could permanently damage the toe box of your boots.
Instead of pressing, wiggle your toes to test the toe box for a proper fit. They should be able to move easily inside the boot without any discomfort.
What to Wear With Cowboy Boots
Now that you understand how to fit cowboy boots, you need to learn how to wear them. We have tips for how to style cowboy boots for both men and women, so whether you're heading to a competition or a night out on the town, you'll know exactly how to put yourself together.
How to Wear Cowgirl Boots
From rodeos and dance halls to weddings and business meetings, cowgirl boots have become a staple in nearly every arena. With their explosion in popularity, the variety of boots and boot accessories has grown to meet demand. Now, there are nearly limitless options for what to wear with cowgirl boots, no matter your lifestyle or fashion preference.
Wondering how to wear cowboy boots with jeans? Many women wear cowgirl boots with jeans to go to work at the office or the barn. Skinny jeans are especially great with cowgirl boots — pair them with a fashionable top and you're all set! The most popular styles include tucking your jeans into your boots (best with skinny jeans and leggings), or wearing your jeans over your boots (best with bootcut or flare leg jeans).
But what about how to wear cowboy boots with dresses? This is the ultimate option for blending femininity with practicality. Cowboy boots go great with any dress or skirt since there are so many styles. From taller tops to short booties, you'll have no trouble finding a pair that goes with any of your favorite dresses!
While it's easy to figure out how to wear cowgirl boots for general daily use, you'll have to be a bit more discerning if you're picking out a pair for arena or ranch work. For both purposes, solid leather is preferable. Riding boots should have a 1 to 1½ inch heel to help them stay in the stirrups. If you're really going to be getting down and dirty in the muck, you might want to stick with a rubber pair that can easily be hosed down. Ultimately, what you choose for work or fashion wear is based on your preference — just remember that certain options will last longer based on their construction.
What to Wear With Cowboy Boots for Guys
Don't worry, fellas — you have just as many styling options for cowboy boots as the ladies! The most common way for men to wear cowboy boots is with a pair of jeans; that goes whether they're working the ranch or heading out to watch the game with friends. If you're wondering what jeans to wear with cowboy boots, the answer is obvious: bootcut! A good pair of bootcut jeans, or even straight leg, will give your legs and boots plenty of room while still giving you a good fit and showing off the detailing on the toe and instep of your boots.
While jeans are definitely the most popular clothing item for men to pair with cowboy boots, khakis or chinos also look great, and are a step up in terms of dressiness. As for up top, t-shirts and collared shirts are always a good choice. Solid collared shirts are better for a dressed-up look, while plaids and flannels are perfect for something more casual.