Are Cowboy Boots Good or Bad for your feet?

Cowboy boots are more than just any type of footwear; they are a way of life. They are one of the most comfortable pieces of footwear you’ll get around. Whether you need something to go get a drink with or something, to go with your favorite pair of jeans; a boot for that special occasion with your partner; or something to go horse riding on. Whatever it is, cowboy boots will not let you down.

Still, one question that often gets asked is if cowboy boots are a wise choice for your feet or not. Let’s quickly address that and then get into other details.

Cowboy boots are not bad for your feet if you get the right fit, and they are as comfortable as any pair of boots in the market. However, it’s important to choose the right cowboy boot for you. Choose a low heel if you are doing a lot of walking. Choose a wide toe box if you wear them for an extended period.

To judge whether cowboy boots are great for your feet or not depends on these things:

  • Height of the heel,
  • Arch Support,
  • Toe shape, and
  • Fitting

Cowboy Boot Heel Height

The human foot is built in such a way to ensure weight control and balance, and our feet play a crucial role in doing that. But what you might not know is that most of our weight is heavily concentrated on the foot, especially at the rearfoot and the front foot.

When you wear high-heeled shoes or boots, that weight is deflected away from there, and that will lead to pain and discomfort. Rather than put your weight on your rearfoot and forefoot, these heels move your weight to the balls of your feet which can cause some pressure.

If you have pointed-toe cowboy boots, your feet can be pushed toward the narrower part of the boot, therefore squishing them. This can lead to bunions.

So, the height of your cowboy boot’s heel should be between 1 inch to 1.5 inches; anything more than that will cause discomfort to your feet.

Cowboy Boot Arch Support

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about arch support, but what exactly is Arch support, and why do you need arch support?

The arch is of the most important structural elements of the feet. Your foot has three arches that make up the arch of your foot, and every one of them is supported by various tendons and ligaments within the feet.

You can think of the arch as a spring that helps the body bear the weight of your body. It also acts as shock absorption, absorbing all the shock that comes with walking. So, with every step you take, the arches of your feet bear a thousand pounds of stress

So, arch supports are in-built support inserts in your shoe to help provide support for the arches of your foot. They help protect the arches of your feet from the impact of walking on hard/rough surfaces every day. They also help to eliminate foot pain.

Cowboy boots have a durable sole and quality upper that protects the foot. However, cowboy boots do not have a midsole between the sole and the foot –which is where the arch support is often placed.

Cowboy Boot Toe Shape

Cowboy boy boots have five different types of toe shapes. They are

  • Pointed,
  • Round,
  • Snip,
  • Square, and,
  • Wide squared toe.

Cowboy boots with pointed toes can most definitely hurt your foot. That’s because these pointed boots have little or no room for your feet to breathe. They can also restrict blood circulation in your feet. Many boot Makers have tried to correct this with little or no success, but pointed boots are not the best choice for a hard day’s work.

If you want to spend the day wearing your cowboy boots… working, walking, standing… then choose a boot with a round or a square toe. These types of boots give your foot more room and will most certainly make you feel more comfortable.

Fitting Tips for Your Cowboy Boots

The right fit matters a lot in deciding the health of your feet. But this relies more on yourself than your cowboy boots.

Here is a tip:

To get the right fit, your cowboy boots need to have room in the ball of your feet, fit snugly in the instep, and finally, it needs to be at least three or four inches from the toe to the end of your boots. Once you get all that correct, your feet will sit comfortably in your new boots. But if you miss any one of those steps, and it doesn’t fit well, your feet will end up suffering for it. I’d want to jot that down if I were you

Why Cowboy Boots are Great For Your Feet

Let’s start with the benefits of having cowboy boots before we get down to the ugly parts.

So, traditional cowboy boots don’t have laces, and that’s good news if you hate tying shoelaces. Instead, they have a tall shaft that barely reaches the top of your shin. Cowboy boots will protect you from thorns, pointy rocks, and even poisonous snakes.

Cowboy boots have become a fashion statement today, but if you just want something comfortable to wear while you do your cowboy stuff, then look no further. Cowboy boots are just the thing to have. After all, one of the reasons cowboy boots don’t have laces is to avoid your footwear from getting caught up in the saddle. God forbid that happens; your foot and ankle could sustain some serious damage.

Podiatrists across the world all agree that the insertional Achilles tendon is one of the most common foot problems across the globe. One treatment for this pain is heel lifts. Heel lifts are basically inserts that are put in your shoes to raise your heel slightly up.

With cowboy boots, you don’t have to go through the stress of getting heel lifts or maybe getting an insertional Achilles tendon in the first place. That’s because cowboy boots are already made with elevated heels which helps to shorten your Achilles tendon, thereby reducing the strain on it.

Another reason why cowboy boots are great for your foot health is their soles. The design of cowboy boots is so unique that they are second to none. Their rigid sole helps create a solid foundation of the boot which in turn support the overall foot.

Why Cowboy Boots are Bad For Your Feet

Now that we have gotten the obvious benefits of cowboy boots out of the way, we can deal with the not-so-great parts.

Remember when I was praising the sole cowboy boots for having a solid and sturdy construction? Well, that same sturdy sole can be terrible for your feet because it has zero arch support. So, if you have arch problems already, you might want to walk away from cowboy boots.

Apart from the lack of arch support, cowboy boots are also quite notorious for causing heel pain, and why not? Imagine stomping around in a hard sole all day; what you’ve done is boost your chances of causing yourself corns, calluses, and blisters. And with no arch support to absorb all the pressure that comes with walking around the whole day, there’s nothing to cushion the blow.

Cowboy boots don’t have laces, which is a great thing for a lot of people. It’s a fantastic thing when you’re sitting in the saddle and not walking about a lot. The problem with the “no lace” thing is it causes heel slippage. Heel slippage is when your whole foot keeps slipping from the front to the back of the boot. Heel slippage can lead to blisters on the back of the heel and painful irritation. 

Now don’t start thinking you need smaller boots so that your feet or heels don’t slip. You don’t want to do that. You actually need this heel slippage to get a proper fit. Otherwise, it may lead to nerve irritation and compression pain throughout both your feet. And if you try squeezing your toes into a small toe box, you’ll get forefoot compression and pain, which is otherwise known as Morton’s Neuroma.

Morton’s Neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of the feet. It mostly occurs between the second and third toes.

You definitely don’t want to have that!

The best advice you can get is to have any custom pads in hand when trying a new pair of cowboy boots. That way, you can be sure to get the proper fit you need.

Are cowboy boots good or bad for your feet? Final Thoughts:

Cowboy boots could be the most comfortable boots that you own.  Make sure you choose the right boot for the right activity.  If you are riding a horse, then you should have a 2-inch heel.  If you are mostly walking in your boots, then you should choose a 1-inch heel.

A pointed toe is perfect if you are horseback riding.  Although your feet will feel tight in your boots, you aren’t placing all your weight on the balls of your feet.  However, if you are standing and walking all day while wearing your cowboy boots, then you are going to want a pair of cowboy boots with a nice wide toebox.  Potentially a square toe would work better.

Your choice of boot based on your activity is the key to success here!

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