Our readers support us. This post may contain affiliate links. We earn from qualifying purchases. Learn More
Getting a brand new pair of cowboy boots is always an exciting time. However, it often takes some time to break them in, which means you can get blisters and rubs the first few times you wear them.
Fortunately, there are some effective ways to break in cowboy boots that will save you aches and pain. These handy tips will help speed up the break-in process so your feet be comfortable in your new boots in no time.
How to Break in Cowboy Boots
1. Wear Your Boots With Thick Socks or Multiple Pairs of Socks
Wearing thick socks or multiple pairs of socks is a simple and effective way to break in your boots. It will likely take a couple of times of doing this method to really break in your boots.
The pressure from your added socks will help the leather stretch out while not damaging it. Ideally, you don’t want to wear more than two pairs of socks, otherwise, it can become uncomfortable for your feet. It is best to try this method when it is warmer out, as the leather will be more pliable.
For help in choosing some comfortable socks, see our guide on the best socks to wear with cowboy boots.
2. Freeze a Bag of Water in Your Boots
One of the quickest and easiest ways to break in a new pair of cowboy boots is to freeze a bag of water in them. You can do this method just once or multiple times if your boots are difficult to break in.
To do this method, fill two gallon-sized, sealable bags half or three-fourths full of water. Be sure to seal them well and get as much air as possible out of the bags. Then, place a bag in the toe of each boot and if you want, stuff some towels or newspaper in the boots to help keep the water in place.
Place your boots in the freezer overnight or for at least eight hours. As the water turns to ice it expands and gently stretches out the leather.
3. Steam the Insides
Steaming the inside of your boots is another effective way to break them in. A handheld clothing steamer will work best, but you can also use a kettle of boiling water as well.
Steam the interior of your boots for 20 seconds. If the leather still feels stiff, steam the area again for another 15 seconds until it becomes soft and flexible.
After steaming them, let them cool slightly, and then slip them on your feet and walk around in them until they dry. Doing this allows them to conform to your feet. Once dry, treat them with leather conditioner.
4. Use a Boot Stretcher
A boot stretcher is a tried and true method to help stretch out your boots. It consists of two connected pieces of wood shaped like a foot that are controlled by a mechanism that allows it to expand when placed in a boot.
As soon as six hours of using a boot stretcher you can see as much as a half-size increase. Though a boot stretcher does work faster and better than some other methods, it is more expensive. In addition, using it too much can make your boots floppy, so only use it as need be.
We recommend the HoundsBay Heavy-Duty Cowboy Boot Stretcher:
5. Condition Your Boots
Though it may seem unnecessary to condition your boots when they are brand new, it can actually help break them in. Leather conditioners, moisturizers, and oils help soften the leather, making it more pliable.
With a clean rag, apply the leather conditioner in a circular motion to your boots. Condition all parts of your boots that are leather and wipe away any excess conditioner. To keep your boots in good shape, condition them every three to six months.
Also read: 10 Most Comfortable Cowboy Boots
Blisters from new boots can be painful and irritating. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to reduce your chance of getting blisters on your feet.
- Wear the right pair of socks with your boots. Ankle socks won’t protect your legs from any chaffing. Instead, opt for socks that are crew length or taller and are moisture-wicking, cushioned, and have ribs or elasticity around the tops.
- Make sure that the cowboy boots you buy properly fit your feet. Sizes can vary by brand so it is best to try them on first before buying.
- Before putting on your boots, flex them. With your hands, flex the sole, heel, and ankle of the boots to help loosen them up.
- Though many boots already come with a cushioned insole, buying an orthopedic insole can provide additional support and comfort for your feet.