A number of videos are out there on how to find a proper fit when you buy western boots. But this one by our longtime partners, Justin boots, is among the best, and the advice given is sound for all brands of western boots:
A partial transcript of the salesman’s comments:
“We’ll start out one size down from your regular shoe size. We can go back up or further down if we need to. So let’s go ahead and slip this on.
“Did you feel that ‘pop’ as you snapped your heel in? That’s the sign of a good fit already. If you can slide your foot in without feeling that pop, the boot is probably too wide, causing your foot to move back and forth. Yours sounded good, so let’s go on, checking the ball of your foot.
“The ball of your foot should rest in the widest part of your sole. Stand up and flex a little. Your boot should flex where you foot flexes, right along the ball.
“(Feeling for) the big toe doesn’t really tell you anything. It’s important to remember that the arch of the foot lines up with the shank of the boot, from the ball to the heel. Your toes should lie flat and move freely, and the ball of your foot should rest in the widest part of your outsole, so it flexes easily.
“Next thing you want to check is your instep, right through here (between the foot and the shaft). You don’t want to feel any pressure there, but it shouldn’t be too loose, either. It should feel snug, like a handshake. You shouldn’t be able to pinch any excess leather. If you can, the boot is too big.
“You want a little bit of slippage in the heel. If it doesn’t slip at all, that means the boot is too short.
“Just remember — flexes at the ball, snug through the instep, and a little slippage in the heel. … With the proper fit, you should be comfortable all day long.”
Two of the Justin boots you see being worn in the video: