How Your Boots Should Fit...

Advice from Gregory Dickson

A tenure employee of Space Cowboy NYC and Planet Cowboy

   We all have our preferences, and when it comes to cowboy boots, I have heard them over and over. “I like the round toe and the square toe because my foot doesn't feel squashed." Well, friends, it is time to myth bust. An accurate and well-made boot is going to form around the foot, leaving about an eighth of an inch of wiggle room for your foot to move around in the shoe. Another interesting fact? Your heel should always pop up an inch from the moment you take your first steps in a cowboy boot. Always, always, always! It is comparable to how a sandals insole taps the bottom of your heel when you walk. That is exactly what a cowboy boot feels like and most shoes should fit.

   The widest part of the foot will be at the ball of your foot, and you should never, ever wear a tight-fitting shoe of any kind. Any expert cobbler, shoemaker, and bootmaker will tell you as I have said: you want room in your shoes and you will be an inch to an inch-and-a-half back from the toe box (which is about 4 to 5 centimeters for my metric system folks). 

   Now, back to boots. The shape of the toe box is all style and preference. It relies on what you want to look like, and what look you want to pull off. Pointy, snip, snub, round, pointy round, and the Roper (and the style of the toe shapes do not end there). The styles are many and the terms change demographically throughout the United States. 

   Personally, my preference is the pointy toe, which appeared sometime around the early ’40s. This was when, oddly enough, Hollywood introduced the western film genre which popularized cowboy boots once again.

   Truthfully, I don’t look like a cowboy. But when I wear a cowboy boot, I want them to look western, and for me the pointy toe is the definitive style of western cowboy boots. I also like the snip pointy toe, which is a half-inch flat and slanted back into the boot, and the snub nose which is a one-inch snip toe.

   Toe shapes do not affect the fit -- your foot should be a full inch to an inch-and-a-half back from the toe box and it is all up to your personal style preference whether you like a pointy, round, or any toe shape in between for your stylistic comfort.

   Tell me what your favorite toe shapes are and why, and when you started wearing cowboy boots. I’ll be happy to exchange stories!

You can tag me @rude.and.snooty on Instagram.


September 25, 2020
Tags: boot care