Having sold boots for years we've become accustomed to the questions we get from first time boot buyers. Here are a few:
What size should I go with?
- We say start with the shoe size you typically wear and then size up or down. Coming into our store is advantageous, as we will patiently work with you and make sure that you are comfortable.
What is D versus EE?
- In men's boots the sizing is typically D or EE. D = Regular Width EE = Wide Width. You will also see M for Medium and W or EW for Wide widths. This depends on the manufacturer.
How do I know if I need a D or EE?
-Typically you'd know if you have wide feet but surprisingly a lot of people don't know they have a wide foot and have been wearing a longer boot or shoe to make up for the width not being wide enough.
What should a proper fitting boot feel like?
- A boot should feel comfortably snug in the forefoot. There should be a slight bit of a struggle to get them on and an audible pop or thud as your foot lands inside the boot. The heel will slip up and down as you walk. Leather boots will stretch with repeated use.
Why does the heel slip?
-Think of a new boot as if it were a flip flop. It is not built to flex with your ankle and leg initially. Therefore it will feel like the heel of the boot is slipping up and down as the boot "catches up" with your leg. The more your boot breaks in the more it will mold to your leg and the less you will notice the slipping.
What is that pinching on the sides?
-With many boots the break-in period includes a feeling like the leather of the boot on the sides is biting the ankles. This will go a way after time because your boot will soften as it breaks in. If this is really bothering you there are options...first when you are not wearing your boots put rolled up magazines or a large ball in the base of the boot where the ankle goes. Secondly, you can wear Band-Aids, or put a soft piece of fabric on the inside of your sock where the rubbing is irritating your ankle.
How long does it take to break in a pair of boots?
-That depends on how much you're wearing them and what they're made of. If you wear them a lot it will go faster. The heat of your foot molds the boot to your exact foot. If you are concerned that you can't "take" the break in period make sure you have a back up pair if you get too sore. Boots made of soft leather are easy to break in whereas some exotic skins like caiman can be more difficult to break in because they are not a pliable.
Why does it seem like one boot fits and the other doesn't?
-Most people are not completely symmetrical! It is very common to have one foot slightly larger than the other. As your boots break in you will not notice that as much as your foot will mold your boots.
Do I have to wear boot socks?
- No, however many of us love that extra tall sock that keeps the top of your boot from rubbing on the skin of your calves. Boot socks are more padded on the forefoot area also.
If I have a wide foot can I wear pointed toe styles?
-Absolutely! That's why they make wide widths. Don't be afraid to try a pointed toe style if you have a wider foot.
Why do I slide on carpets with my new boots?
-Brand new leather soled boots are slippery. We suggest roughing them up on concrete to avoid that issue.
I have large calves. Can I wear cowboy boots?
- Certainly you can! We have many styles that will accommodate an athletic calf. A lot of our brands have a "Full Calf" option that give you extra space in the calves. Another option is to consider a bootie- which is a shorter boot. They are perfect for a wider calf- and really cute!
If my boots still feel like they don't fit what are my options?
-If the boot is too big you can try an extra insole. We love the Ariat insole but you can easily get one just about anywhere. You can try extra socks too.
-If the boot is too tight elsewhere we can help you by stretching the boot. In our store we can stretch the toe area, the instep (the boney part on the top of your foot), as well as the calf area. Many people need just a right or left boot stretched.
Hopefully this helps you find your perfect pair of cowboy boots. We are always happy to answer your questions. In -store you can expect to be fully fitted to the very best fitting boots out there! Hope to see you soon!