How To Make Cowboy Boots Fit Tighter

Do you want to know how to make cowboy boots fit tighter?


Leather looks and feels all tough. However, it is still very flexible.

Therefore, you can stretch it or shrink it without causing any damage. When stretching it, you just need to know the limit, you know, so that you do not break the fibers.

In most sources, you will find information for stretching leather shoes when breaking them in. What you might not know is that it is also possible to shrink shoes if they fit too large.

Because of their height, boots can slouch at the ankles if they do not fit snugly. That is why you need to reduce their size.

Thankfully, this is not too hard to do. Just keep reading:

How can I make my boots tighter?

There are ways that you can use to do this. You won’t even need to take your pair to a cobbler or anything.

You can make them fit snuggier and better right at home.

However, before, we carry on, some people ask: Should cowboy boots fit tight or loose?

Well, the answer is that your boots should not be tight or loose. They should be somewhere in between.

And that somewhere is called comfortable, or snug!

This snugness must be in all parts of the footwear. It should be in the foot area as well as in the leg area.

That aside, here are a few simple ways in which to make your cowboy footwear fit much better at home:

We will start with the simplest methods:

1.Use bigger inserts

Protalus and Superfeet make awesome inserts that you can use to make your shoes fit tighter. You can remove the stock inserts and use the custom ones and your problem will be solved.

 This method only works for shoes that were just a little loose. You can also use the new inserts on top of the stock ones.

2. Use thick socks for how to make cowboy boots fit tighter

This method does not alter the shoes at all. Actually, before you try the dunk-in-water technique, use this method.

Sometimes, the boots are not really slouchy. They just need a little boosting of sorts to make them fit snuggier.

Get a thick pair of socks, not what you would wear in winter, but the kind of socks that you would wear in summer.

Put them on and feel whether the fit of your shoes has changed. If it has, that’s the way to go! You don’t need to do anything else. Just make a point of wearing the boots with the thick socks.

Problem: Using thick socks might make the boots a bit larger, so in the end, it might never help.

3. Use a hair dryer to shrink the shoes

You can use heat to stretch shoes and now as it turns out, you can use a hair dryer to shrink boots.

This technique is best used on shoes that have leather on some parts only or on which only a few parts run larger.

You can use it to target the parts that you can shrink and leave the others intact.

First, you need a spray bottle. Fill it with water and spray the leather parts or the part of the boot that you want to enlarge.

If you do not have a spray bottle, you can use a towel or a sponge to dampen the parts that you want to shrink.

After that, take your hair dryer and blow on the wet areas with it from a distance of about 6 inches.

This is going to shrink the boots. It is almost the same as the wet-and-wear method but in this case without submerging the entire boots in water.

Assuming that you had cleaned the shoes before shrinking them (you should always start with cleaning), you can apply leather conditioner.  

Somewhat involving method:

4. Use the submersion method

Tell you what; water is good for boots when they are too large as well as when they are too small.

You see, when you need to stretch them, you just need to fill a plastic bag with water, place it in the boots and then keep them overnight in the freezer.

When water turns into ice, it expands! You can see more in this article.

Now, here, we shall look at how to use water to make the shoes smaller and snugger. When using this method, you have to wear the shoes so that they can conform to the size of your foot.

Note: It is best if you use this method on a sunny day and probably do it in the morning. You see why.  

Fill your tub with warm water

You will need a tub or a large bucket, which you can then fill with lukewarm water. Just make sure that the shoes can submerge completely in the container that you choose.

Submerge and leave the boots to soak

Immerse your shoes in the water and leave them to soak through for about an hour or so. It is very important that you ensure the boots submerge completely. No part should be left sticking out of the water.

Wear the wet boots with wet socks

After one hour, soak a pair of socks completely. Wear the socks and then remove the boots from the water and wear them.

It will be a bit of a struggle to get your foot and leg inside, but eventually you will.

Let the shoes dry on your feet

The socks are wet, your feet are wet and so are the boots. Now, you need to keep them on your feet until they are completely dry.

Image of can you shrink cowboy boots?

As the water dries up, the leather shrinks. The essence of wearing them is that they do not shrink smaller than your feet.

That is it! You are done. They will not lose shape again in a long time. It is important that you treat the boots with a leather conditioner when done.


That is it for how to make cowboy boots fit tighter. If the methods that we have given you here do not work, you can take the boots to a cobbler. This can cost you anywhere from $15.