How Long Does It Take To Break In Cowboy Boots?

How Long Does It Take To Break In Cowboy Boots

The break-in time of the cowboy boots depends on the number of times you wear them in a week. Say if you wear them for 5 days a week and follow our tips to break-in the boots fast, it will break-in within a week. But if you wear them for 2 to 3 days a week without any effort to break them faster, they will take around 2 weeks to break-in.

You need to buy cowboy boots that comply with your feet size; otherwise, it will just be painful. 

If your feet hurt from wearing the cowboy boots for too long, then you need to comprehend that you have bought the wrong-sized boots.

You might pat yourself in the back after purchasing the right pair, but your job is not over. The next step is to break in your cowboy boots so that you can wear them without grimacing.

In this guide we will discuss in detail how long does it take to break in cowboy boots and you wouldn’t feel any pain after you follow these steps.

6 Methods to Break In Cowboy Boots Fast

The time taken to break in a new pair of cowboy boots depends on the method that you select.

1.) Wear it in your House

Pros: Completely Free Cons: Painful and Long Process

We agree that this process is lengthy and painful, but this is the best way to make sure that your boots get broken in completely. But we can suggest something that will make it a little less painful: wear socks that you feel are thick. Now let us discuss the reasons that make this method the best.

Take Rest While Walking– Wearing the newly bought boots around the house will help you because you can take rest in between the strides. Whenever you feel tired, just sit for a while, and then continue pacing around in the boots.

Socks will Stretch– The socks that we are telling you to wear will not only protect your feet but also help to stretch the tight leather of the boot. Your feet will feel constriction in the boot but do not feel worried as the pressure that you will be imposing on the boots will eventually free up the space that is desirable for your feet without feeling any discomfort.

It happens because the socks that you wear warm-up and produce the right amount of heat to make the leather a bit lose.

Take Precaution– Even though you wear your new cowboy boots with socks your feet will show the result of it by developing blisters. Do not give in, just cover the area with band-aid or cotton and power through.

2.) Give it A Water Bath!

Cleaning the Boots

Pros: Doesn’t Cost Money Cons: Can Damage the Leather

No, we are not crazy for suggesting this method to you because numerous people have tried it and they have found the information credible. It gets said that the water slackens the leather allowing the boots to become more flexible and makes it easier to walk. If you wish to use this process, follow the below-mentioned steps.

Prepare the Bath– Fill up your tub or a bucket with water, but it must not be scalding hot.

Place the Boots– Place the boots inside water but make sure it doesn’t enter inside the boots. Just keep an eye on the boots that while they spend time submerged.

Pull Out quickly– You do not keep to the boot inside water for too long. Once it starts to get wet, pull it out.

Now put it on– Yes, you will have to wear the wet boots with socks and walk around till it starts to dry up because it will aid the process of boot break-in quicker.

Use a Conditioner– This final step is what will help your boots to remain unharmed. Because of its exposure to water, the leather will become dry, and to make sure that it does not crack, apply any product that will help improve the condition of the leather.

3.) Try using Oil or Conditioner!

Cowboy Boot Oil or Conditioner

Pros: Maintains the condition of the leather and helps to break in properly Cons: Expensive, and takes too long to attain results

Of all the methods that you try, this is the easiest one to try. Leather conditioner is easily available and so is mink oil. You can go to any shopping site and place your order. You do not have to use both just select one. So let’s find out how to use the conditioner or oil.

Application- Keep the product ready, and once you bring home the new boots, apply a generous amount of oil or conditioner on the surface after you are done admiring it, of course!

For How Long– You have to apply this every week until you the results satisfy you. After that, you have to use it once a month. Oh, not for the break-in! But for keeping the quality of leather better.

The True Motive– Most people do not want the quality of boots to get damaged, and there is nothing wrong with that. The products, although a little expensive, allows them to follow a process that will work well without the nagging thought of damaging the boots pounding in their mind.

4.) Feeling Brave to Apply Heat?

Cowboy Boot Hair Dryer

Pros: Doesn’t cost anything, and allows to have a desirable fit Cons: Leather can get damaged by water, and be painful to walk in

This method can get performed with the use of everyday utensils or technology that is available in your house. A streamer for garments, kettle, or hairdryer can be used to get the kind of fit that you want. But be warned! This is can be harmful to your boots as heat can damage leather.

Applying Heat– You can take any one of the above-mentioned items and slowly apply the heat inside the boots. But we suggest that you use a hairdryer as it will be easier to handle and you can moderate the heat.

Duration of Hot Air Blast– Hold the hair dryer at a distance of 10 inches from the targeted area of your boots and use it for twenty seconds. Feel if the boot has loosened; if not, then use heat for another fifteen seconds.

Wear the boots- You will have to slip on your boots and walk around until it cools down. You will find the warm leather easy to wear, and it will become flexible assuming the shape of your feet.

Apply Conditioner– It can be conditioner or it can be oil, use the product as soon as you take your foot out of the boots. It will help to restore the quality of the leather that has suffered some damage from the hot air application.

5.) Boot Stretchers Will Do Just Fine!

Cowboy Boot Stretchers

Pros: Will act fast and not damage the material of the boots, boots will be ready to wear Cons: Will have to spend money to buy it, only helps to loosen the area around the toe box

It is the best and quickest way to ensure that your boots are ready to wear within a few days of purchase. You cannot harm the boots in any way as it will stretch the leather slowly and tenderly; it is very easy to use these stretchers. Study the simple steps of using the stretchers.

Application– Place the stretchers in the boots and twirl the knob as it will help to widen the toe area. You will know the method is working when you hear a creaking sound in the boots.

Extra Care– Just so you do not damage the leather of the boots, using a bit of conditioner to the boots is advisable. It will make the leather soft and ideal for stretching.

Little Advice– Instead of using the stretchers to widen the boots in one night, you can use for brief periods over consecutive nights. That way you can achieve better results.

6.) Can Freezing Become An Option?

Freeze water bags inside to stretch boots

Pros: Zero expenditure, slow and tender way of stretching the boots, risk of damaging boots is minimum Cons: Takes time to loosen the boots, can only widen toe box

We have all learned that water expands when frozen; you will have to use this scientifically proven fact to your advantage. You cannot go wrong while using ice to widen your boots.

Preparation- Fill half a zip-lock bag of water; after removing the airlock the bag.

Execution– Place the water bag at the toe box of the boots; ensure that it will not get displaced. Put the entire thing inside the freezer and leave it there for a minimum of 8 hours.

Completion– Remove the bag once ice turns into water, otherwise, the boot can get damaged. Repeat the process if you are not satisfied with the result.

Dos and Don’ts while Breaking-in Cowboy Boots

1. Insert a water bag in the boots and put it in the freezer overnight. 1. Do not immerse your cowboy boots in water.
2. Stretch the boots using boot trees. 2. Do not try to size up while buying because it will only give you an improper fitting.
3. Use steam to heat inside out of the boots using cloth steamer or the regular electric kettle. 3. Do not wear them to the bed as it will have bad health effects.
4. Spray boot stretching spray to loosen the leather fibers.
5. Apply rubbing alcohol to loosen the leather fibers.
6. You can use coconut oil or mink oil to soften the leather fibers and condition the boots.
7. You can as well use a good leather conditioner as well.
8. Use hair dryer to loosen the leather and free up some space to the tight parts.
9. Use boot stretchers or boots shapers for a quick fix.
10. Just wear them with thick pairs of socks.
11. Allow them some time to breathe and relax naturally in between wears.

Will cowboy boots loosen up?

Cowboy boots will never loosen up on their own if you do not use any of the above mentioned methods to stretch them. 

If you feel that your toes are cramped inside the toe box, you can just insert a water bag in the toe box area of the boots and stuff some newspaper to keep the water bags intact and then put the boots in the freezer overnight. This will help you to loosen up the cowboy boots for a comfortable fit.

How tight should new cowboy boots be?

Your new cowboy boots should just fit snug to your feet and it should as well be snug fitted over the instep as there are usually no laces for that purpose in cowboy boots.

Your toes should have a little room inside the toe box so that you can move them a bit and they don’t feel cramped.

Also, the ball of your feet should set right on the widest part of the boots (the ball of the boots) which would indicate an adequate arch length.

Do cowboy boots hurt at first?

If the cowboy boots are made of genuine leather, then it’s going to hurt on the sides of the feet, the toes and the heel area as the leather will be quite hard in the new state.

Gradually, when you break-in the boots, condition and oil them regularly, only then they will give you a comfortable feel.

Let’s Talk A Little About Cowboy Boots

Cowboy standing next to horseWhen you hear the term cowboy, you immediately form a picture in your head of a person astride a horse, wearing a hat, hay stick hanging from the corner of his mouth, leather pants with frills, holster in his belt, and cowboy boots with spikes on the heel. Hollywood has glorified cowboys and their entire attire from their hats right down to their spiky shoes.

Cowboy boots are commonly used for horse riding as they get made thinking about the comfort of the equestrian in mind. The kind of cowboy boots that fascinates us is a modified version of the original boots and only came into existence after the eighteen hundreds.

The original version of the boots had tall tops and distinguishable heels and was suited to protect the feet of the wearer from the unforgiving climate of the western part of America. The modern version of the cowboy boots has maintained some original features like the heel and the shaft although the heel that we now find is a Cuban heel.

The boots generally get made with pointy or round toe, and even though the original version did not have lace, some modern version has included them in their design. The leather that is used to make the boots generally comes from cow’s hide, but other animal skin also gets used to make these boots. Such as-

Some shoemakers also use faux skin and you can buy them if you do not want to wear shoes made from the skin of a dead animal.

Check out the video on the best cowboy boot

Did You Know There Are Five Types of Cowboy Boots?

Yes, you have read that right! There are five types of design available for cowboy boots.

1.) Catch Eyes with a pair of Colorful Buckaroo

Colorful Buckaroo Boots

With a 14 inch stitched shaft, Buckaroo is the perfect boots that you can choose for riding. The heel size of the shoe is around two inches, and if you do not have experience walking around in heels, you will find it most uncomfortable.

2.) Feel Like a Real Cowboy with Classic Western Boots

Classic Western Boots

This is the classic design that everyone thinks of while mentioning cowboy boots. Its heel size is half an inch which makes it comfortable to walk around and while riding place the heels on the saddle. It has a mid-calf shaft with no laces.

3.) Stockman is best for Walking Around

Stockman Cowboy boot

Well, it is the truth! It has heels that are wide and short and thus will not give you any pain when you choose to wear it for walking around. The way the boots get stitched gives them a classic look.

4.) Lasso a Pair of Ropers

Lasso Cowboy Boot

It is the pair you should buy if you are competing to rope a calf. It has short heels, and the shaft rises to mid-calf, which makes it easier to dismount the horse and run at the roped target.

5.) Affordable Regular Wear with Western Wear

It is made from the inexpensive cowhide and has a short heel length, which means that it is an economical purchase for everyday use.

Take a look at some of the Cowboy Boot Brands

Lucchese Boots

Lucchese Boots Company

Available in western classic and ropers for both men and women, these boots get made from leather. The shaft in men’s boots measures from 11.25 to 12.75 inches while women’s shaft is around 12 inches. The 1.5-inch heel is uniform for both men and women.

Justin Boots

Justin boots logo

These western-styled boots are available for men as well as women. For men, the leather shaft is 11 inches; and for women, it is 13 inches. The heel in men’s boot is slightly lower (measuring 1.25 inch) than the women’s boots, which are 1.5 inches.

Tony Lama Boots


It is available in western-style and gets made from leather. Men’s boot and women’s boot, both, has 1.5-inch heel and 11-inch high shaft.

Ariat Boots

Ariat Boots logo

It is created in a western-style which means that the boots look elegant and feel comfortable and get generally made from leather. Men’s western boots have an 11-inch shaft with the 1.62-inch heel while Ariat men’s Roper boots have a 10-inch shaft and 1.37-inch heel. It provides only western boots for women, which has an 8-inch shaft and 2-inch heel.

Do Your Boots fit you properly?

There are a few things that you have to stay aware of if you wish to find out whether your boot is fitting you properly.

Are you feeling pressure?

Almost every cowboy boots are known to have a toe box at the front end of the boot. Beneath the leather of the boots, there is a cloth that gets hardened after being soaked in the resin so that the shape of the boot never gets destroyed.

cowboy boots feeling pressure

You need to check whether you can move your toes. Your toes should not feel compressed on all sides inside the toe box because if it is, then it is the wrong fit for you.

Are you feeling supported?

The boots must complement the arch on your feet because if it doesn’t, then you will feel a searing pain in the bottom side of your feet.

boots must complement the arch on your feet

Every person is different and so are their feet, which mean that not everyone will find popular brands suitable. You will have to keep looking for the brand that makes boots that supports your feet and make you feel comfortable.

Are you slipping?

When you start to walk in cowboy boots you will feel that your heel is rising a little bit every time the motion gets repeated.


However, the rise must be of few centimetres; if it is more than that, then your boots might have an issue with breadth or length.

Are your feet placed firmly?

You cannot walk around if your feet are not snug inside the boots. It means that your instep and ball of the feet have to rest comfortably inside the boots.

Are your feet placed firmly

If it is too tight, there will be welts on your feet, and the entire boot wearing experience will turn sour. So do not settle for boots that feel too constricted around this area.

It’s time to bid Adieu!

We hope that you find the methods relevant when looking for the answer to the question of what is the time required to break-in your cowboy boots. Select the boot of your size and then gently break in the boots.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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