Cowboy boots have remained a strong symbol in American culture, especially for the folks in the west. Almost everyone in the world has become so familiar with American cowboys who wear brim-wide hats, wide-legged jeans, side guns, and ride horses. But that outfit is incomplete without our special cowboy boots.
With that said, have you been thinking of getting cowboy boots, but you want to know if they won’t cause your ankles no harm? Well, luckily for you, you’re just at the right place.
Before we go into all the details, let’s answer your burning question. Are cowboy boots good for your ankles?
Cowboy boots are good for ankles because they have a tall leather shaft that protects your foot, ankle, and lower leg. Cowboy boots with a lower heel cup tend to support the ankle and reduce pressure on the ankle when walking and working on the ground.
An extended study reported in the American Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that cowboy boots protected rodeo participants from an ankle injury. (Source)
Traditional cowboy boots have a special and unique shape that’s not found on any other type of boots. One of these so-called differences is in the boot collar. Cowboy boots collars have deep cuts that create an impressive V-shape. Another unique feature of the Cowboy boot is its extremely pointed round toe and the famous cowboy heel.
The heel is perhaps one of the most unique things about cowboy boots. Because ask yourself, how often do you see men wear heels?
This design was created many centuries ago for equestrian purposes. The heel especially was added to the design specifically to help secure the cowboy’s foot in the stirrups and minimize the risk of slipping out of the stirrup while riding. Cowboys often ride young, unpredictable horses. So, the heels help protect our dear Cowboys.
That’s a very tricky question, and the reason is that it’s hard to tell what exactly causes ankle pain or weakness since it varies from one person to another. Surgically trained foot and ankle surgeon Dr Geller says, “some people have weak ankles as a by-product of loose ligaments from birth.” He also explains that injuries or ankle sprains can lead to pain and weakness in the ankles.
First things first, if you’re feeling any pain in your ankle, or perhaps you have ankle issues or injuries, your best bet is to consult your doctor to know what shoes are best suited for you. Nevertheless, the best shoes for your ankle are shoes with a stable wide, platform and a deep heel cup. These features help stabilize the foot and ankle better.
Over the years, Cowboy boots have continuously improved. Today, they are more user-friendly and serve multi-purposes as work boots. Most of these improvements mainly focused on changing the outsole design (toe, heel, and tread patterns) to allow movements on different terrain instead of just sitting on the saddle.
These changes resulted in crucial positive changes which provide better arch and heel support to users today more than traditional cowboy boots.
Cowboy boots can provide good ankle support provided your cowboy boots fit properly. The boot should be snug and your foot should fit firmly into the cowboy boots without slipping in and out.
Let’s talk a little more about your ankle and how it works to clarify things.. Your ankle is the intersection of points between the lower leg and foot..
The ankle plays a crucial role in affecting performing many actions and movements. Some of these movements and actions include walking, running, climbing, or jumping.
Weak ankles can cause a lot of foot problems. Therefore, the design of whatever boot or shoe you’re wearing plays a significant role in determining the fate of your ankle.
So, when getting a boot, you must get a boot that provides good ankle support.
In most cases, the ankle support has three features; they are:
- Heel design,
- Fit, and
- Heel cushion.
Now, let’s quickly take a look if Cowboy boots have these features.
The cowboy boots we made today have a lower heel cup which creates a larger contact area between the heel and the ground. That helps reduce the pressure on the ankles when moving while the arch still receives the proper support.
Unlike most traditional cowboy boots, modern cowboy boots are slightly a tight fit on the wearer’s feet. Traditional cowboy boots usually have a relatively wide shaft and just don’t fit your leg in any way. If you doubt that, you can pick a cowboy boot used way back in the 1800s.
However, most cowboy boots do not fit properly, so your ankles end up having to exercise more; especially, because there’s a lot of pressure on your ankle to prevent the boots from slipping while walking. That ends up weakening your ankle and causing you pain.
Unlike tactical boots or military boots, cowboy boots do not exactly hug the ankle tightly. Therefore, cowboy boots fall short of other boots in terms of ankle support.
Cowboy boots can protect your ankles from sand, small snakes, scorpions, diet, and ambient temperature. But when it comes to providing ample ankle support, cowboy boots fall short of this.
Cushioning plays a significant role in foot support and ankle support. For example, which feels better? Sitting on a hard wooden chair or sitting on a thick, cushioned sofa? The sofa, right? Of course, it does.
If a cowboy boot is well-cushioned in the heel and arch, it will create an excellent shock-absorbent liner that’s good enough to prevent sudden injuries to the foot and foot bones when you’re stepping on rocks or when you’re running or jumping. Cowboy boots today provide excellent cushioning, and that means better ankle and arch support.
Keep in mind that most Cowboy boots are often larger than your regular shoes. Besides, they don’t really allow as many adjustments as your regular sneakers. You can’t just tie the shoelace up until it’s firm on your feet. So, you want to pay a lot of attention to the boot size you pick.
Having ankle pain, or weakness is the worst because no matter what you wear, you can’t just be comfortable. So, when buying your cowboy boots, make sure you get one that’s the right boot size; especially one that fits your foot so well that you feel most comfortable and productive while wearing it.