A well-broken in pair of cowboy boots that fits right can easily be one of the most comfortable things you’ll ever wear.
A not-so-well-fitting pair is another story entirely.
If your boots are way too big, you won’t saunter or strut when you walk – you’ll awkwardly flail around like Woody from Toy Story. If your boots are too small, your feet will feel intense, vice-grip like pressure at the widest part. Your legs, knees, hips, and feet will be in pain even after you’ve taken the boots off..and it won’t just ache. You will HURT.
For many people who try to order cowboy boots online, finding the right width can be problematic. Buying a pair of boots that have a little extra room in the toe is one thing, but buying boots that are a quarter of an inch too small across the ball of the foot? OUCH!
The width sizing system in the U.S. look like this
Most Narrow:AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, and EEE: Most Wide
For women’s boots, a “B” width is standard. ”A” is a narrow width, and “C” is a wide width.
For men, a “D” width is standard. ”B” is narrow, and “EE” or “EW” is wide.
Basically, it’s a sliding scale. Move to the left and the boot width narrows. Move to the right, and it widens.
Most people who would require a “narrow” or “wide” size already know that they’ll require a specific width. If you aren’t sure if your feet are narrow or wide, you’ll need to look at the sizing chart for the specific brand of boot you are buying. Width will vary by boot-maker. Justin boots will have a higher arch support than Dan Post boots. Tony Lama boots tend to run a little more narrow. Also keep in mind that each type of handmade cowboy boots (like Lucchese) will fit a little different than the big name brands like Ariat and Justin. Because custom boots truly are hand made, they will also vary slightly in fit with each individual pair.
When in doubt, bigger is better. You can always slip an insole in your boot and wear thick boot socks to customize the fit of your boots. Buying too small and then taking the boot to a cobbler to be stretched may not work. The type of leather used to make the boot also plays in with the fit. Ostrich, which is particularly tough, won’t stretch out enough to compromise for ordering a pair that is half a size too small.