How to Soften Leather Cowboy Boots

The first time I ever put on a pair of leather cowboy boots, I was in for a surprise. I had expected them to be stiff and hard to walk in, but they were quite comfortable. However, after wearing them, the leather started to get a bit too stiff. In this article, I’m going to share with you how to soften leather cowboy boots. Enjoy!

How to Soften Leather Cowboy Boots

Cowboy boots are a style of footwear that has been around for centuries. They were originally designed for functionality, but over time they have become a fashion statement. Today, cowboy boots are worn by people of all walks of life, from country music stars to city slickers.

One common issue with cowboy boots is that the leather can get stiff and uncomfortable after a while. If you’re looking to soften your leather cowboy boots, you can do a few things.

Why Do Cowboy Boots Have Big Heels?

The heel on a cowboy boot serves two purposes. First, it provides the rider with a stirrup-like device that helps keep his foot in the stirrup while riding. Second, the heel prevents the boot from slipping through the stirrup and getting lost. The height of the heel also makes it easier for the rider to dismount.

Most cowboy boots have what is known as a “roper heel,” which is relatively low and wide. This heel type offers more stability when riding and is less likely to get caught in the stirrup. Some cowboy boots also have a higher “walking heel” that is more comfortable for walking but can be more dangerous when riding.

Whether you’re an experienced cowboy or just getting started, you’ll need a good pair of cowboy boots. And once you have your boots, you’ll need to take care of them. That includes learning how to soften your leather cowboy boots.

Cowboy boots are made from various materials, but leather is most common. Leather is tough and durable, but it can also be stiff and uncomfortable. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to soften leather cowboy boots. With a bit of time and effort, you can make your shoes more comfortable and prolong their life.

How to Soften Leather Cowboy Boots – 5 Methods

Method 1. Fit Your Boots Properly

To ensure that your cowboy boots are comfortable from the get-go, buy a pair that fits you well. If your shoes are too tight, they will pinch and be uncomfortable no matter how much you break them in. Conversely, if your boots are too loose, they will slip and rub, causing blisters.

Walk around in the boots to check fitting

The best way to find out if a pair of cowboy boots fit you properly is to try them on in person. This way, you can walk around in the boots to see how they feel. However, if you’re buying cowboy boots online, do your research to find the size that will fit you best. Once you have your cowboy boots, it’s time to start breaking them in.

Method 2. Wear Them Around the House

Wearing them around the house is a great way to break in your new leather cowboy boots. You will be able to get a feel for how they fit and feel, but you’ll also start to form them to your feet.

The benefits of this method are that it’s relatively easy to do and doesn’t require any special equipment. It’s also a great way to get used to the feel of your boots before you start wearing them out in public.

The drawbacks of this method are that it can take a bit longer to break in your boots this way, and you may not get as much of a custom fit as you would with other methods. Additionally, if you have hardwood floors, you may find that your cowboy boots scuff them up.

Get a pair of thick, comfortable socks. You’ll need a pair of at least a size or two larger than your normal shoe size, so they don’t feel too tight when you put them on over your cowboy boots.

Put the socks on and pull the boots over them. Please make sure the shoes are laced up so they’re snug against your feet and ankles.

Walk around your house for an hour or two in the boots. If you have hardwood floors, carpeting will be more comfortable for your feet.

Repeat this process every day until the boots’ leather feels softer and more pliable. It may take a week or two of consistent wear to soften them up.

Once the boots are broken in, you can switch to wearing them out and about. Just be sure to take them off and give your feet a break every few hours, so they don’t get too sore.

Give Your Feet a
Break Every Few Hours

Method 3. Use a Boot Stretcher

A boot stretcher is an excellent way to stretch your cowboy boots if you find them too tight. It’s easy to use, and you can do it at home.

A boot stretcher is a tool you insert into your boots to help stretch them out. It’s long and slender and usually made of wood or plastic. There are two prongs at the top that go into the boot and a handle on the side so you can turn it.

Purchase a boot stretcher from a shoe store or online retailer. You may need to buy one made explicitly for cowboy boots, as they tend to have a slightly different shape than other types of footwear.

Insert the boot stretcher into your cowboy boots. Be sure to insert it in so that the prongs are at the top of the boot.

Insert the boot stretcher in boot

Turn the handle on the side of the boot stretcher. This will cause the two prongs to spread apart and stretch out the boot.

Leave the boot stretcher in for at least an hour or overnight. Remove the boot stretcher and try on your boots. They should be much more comfortable now!

Method 4. Use Boot Stretch Spray

If your cowboy boots feel a bit snug, you can use a boot stretch spray to help loosen them up. Boot Stretch Spray is a water-based, aerosolized formula designed to temporarily soften, lubricate and provide flexibility to all types of footwear. It is perfect for those hard-to-break-in shoes and boots!

The Boot Stretch Spray can also be used on belts, wallets, and other leather goods. The Boot Stretch Spray will not transfer or leave behind any oily residue. It is safe to use in all colors and materials, including suede.

Many different brands and formulas of boot stretch spray are available on the market. Make sure to choose one specifically designed for boots and is safe to use on all materials, including suede.

Before using the boot stretch spray on your entire pair of cowboy boots, it is essential to test it on a small, inconspicuous area first. This will help you determine if the spray will change the color or finish of your boots in any way.

Once you have determined that the boot stretch spray is safe to use, go liberally spray the inside of your boots. Make sure to get the spray into all of the nooks and crannies, as this is where the boots are likely to be tightest.

After spraying the inside of your boots, put them on and walk around for a few minutes. This will help the spray evenly distribute itself and loosen up the leather.

Once you have walked around in your boots for a few minutes, go ahead and remove them so they can dry. The boot stretch spray will usually take a few hours to fully dry and work its magic, so be patient!

If your cowboy boots still feel snug after using a boot stretch spray, you can try one of the other methods listed in this article. Or, you may need to buy a larger size!

Method 5. Apply Leather Conditioner

If your cowboy boots are smooth leather, you can use a leather conditioner to soften them. Leather conditioner is a product designed to help keep leather soft, supple, and healthy. It works by replenishing the natural oils in the leather that can be lost over time due to wear and tear.

Use a Leather Conditioner

Leather conditioners help to keep leather soft, supple, and healthy. They can help restore the natural oils lost over time due to wear and tear. Leather conditioners can help protect the leather from the elements, including sun damage and water damage. They can also help to prevent the leather from drying out and cracking. Leather conditioners can make cleaning your cowboy boots easier by helping to remove dirt and grime buildup.

When choosing the right product is essential, choosing the right product is essential. You don’t want to use just any lotion or cream, as these can actually damage the leather. Instead, look for a product that’s specifically designed for leather conditioning. You’ll also want to make sure it’s appropriate for the type of leather you’re working with.

For example, if you have delicate, vintage leather, you’ll want to use a different conditioning treatment than you would for something sturdier, like hiking boots. If you are unsure which type of conditioner to use, you can always ask a professional at a shoe or leather goods store.

Once you have your leather conditioner, it’s time to work. Begin by giving your boots a good cleaning. You can use a soft cloth or brush to remove any dirt or debris accumulated on the surface. If your boots are filthy, you may need a mild soap and water solution. Just avoid harsh chemicals or detergents, as these can ruin the leather.

Giving your boots a good cleaning

Once your boots are clean, allow them to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Now it’s time to apply the conditioner. Start by taking a small amount of product and rubbing it into the leather in a circular motion. Be sure to cover the entire surface, paying special attention to any areas that seem dry or cracked.

Once you’ve applied a thin layer of conditioner, let it sit for a few minutes so it can soak in. Then, use a clean cloth to buff the leather until it shines.

After conditioning your boots, it’s essential to store them properly to keep them looking their best. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause the leather to crack and fade. If possible, store them in a cool, dark place where they’ll be protected from the elements.

This is a crucial method in how to soften leather cowboy boots. With proper care and conditioning, your leather cowboy boots will stay soft and supple for years!

Method 6. Stuff Leather Boot With Newspapers

If you want to soften your leather cowboy boots quickly, this method is for you. All you need is some old newspapers and a hairdryer. Of course, this will work best on boots already broken in, but it can also help with stiff new boots.

Wet a stack of old newspapers and wring them out to be damp but not dripping. Stuff the wet newspapers into your cowboy boots until they’re full. Then, if you have trouble getting them all the way in, you can use a boot jack or a shoehorn.

Wet a stack of old newspapers

Turn your hairdryer onto the high setting and hold it about 6 inches (15 cm) away from the boot. Move it around so that the heat is evenly distributed. The goal is to get the boot as dry as possible without damaging the leather.

Once the boot is dry, remove the newspapers and discard them. You should notice that your shoes are much softer and pliable than before.

There you have it! These are six different methods that you can use to soften leather cowboy boots. Try out a few and see which one works best for you. With a little bit of care and effort, you can make your boots last for many years to come. Thanks for reading!

You Can Check It Out to Cowboy Boots Fit

Additional Tips to Keep Your Leather Cowboy Boots Soften

Leather cowboy boots are a great investment, but they can also be quite expensive. To keep them soft and supple for years to come, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Apply leather conditioner regularly: Leather conditioner is a must-have for maintaining the softness of your cowboy boots. Apply a small amount of conditioner to a soft, clean cloth and rub it into your boots evenly. This will help keep the leather soft and free from cracks.
  2. Avoid water damage: Leather cowboy boots can easily get damaged if they come into contact with water. Try to avoid wearing them in the rain or snow. If they do get wet, let them air dry and avoid using direct heat.
  3. Use a boot stretcher: A boot stretcher can help to keep the leather on your cowboy boots from getting too tight. This is especially important if you have wide feet. Use the stretcher to expand the leather and prevent it from becoming too stiff.
  4. Store them properly: Store them in a cool, dry place to keep your boots looking their best. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight, as this can cause the leather to fade over time.

By following these tips and taking good care of your leather cowboy boots, they will stay soft and comfortable for years to come.

What Not to Do When Softening Leather Cowboy Boots?

When it comes to softening leather cowboy boots, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do. Here are some things you should avoid to prevent damaging your boots:

  1. Don’t use heat: Direct heat, such as hair dryers or heaters, can damage the leather and cause it to crack.
  2. Don’t use harsh chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia, as they can strip the leather of its natural oils and cause it to dry out.
  3. Don’t soak the boots: While a bit of water won’t hurt, soaking your boots can cause the leather to stretch and damage the stitching.
  4. Don’t use too much oil: While it’s essential to moisturize the leather to keep it soft, using too much oil can cause the leather to become greasy and attract dirt.
  5. Don’t neglect the soles: Remember to take care of the soles too, as they can wear out faster than the leather if not properly cared for.

Keep these tips in mind when softening your leather cowboy boots to keep them looking great for years to come.

Why Are Cowboy Boots Decorative?

Cowboy boots have a long and storied history, dating back to the early days of the American West. They are still commonly associated with the cowboy lifestyle, but they have also become a popular fashion statement. While there are many reasons people choose to wear cowboy boots, one of the most common is that they are attractive footwear.

Cowboy boots can be found in various styles, from classic Western designs to more modern looks. They are also available in multiple color combinations, making it easy to find a pair that suits your style. In addition to their excellent looks, cowboy boots are also known for their durability and comfort. With proper care, a good pair of cowboy boots can last for years, making them a wise investment for anyone who wants to add a bit of Western flair to their wardrobe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Normal for Cowboy Boots to Hurt at First?

Yes, it’s common for cowboy boots to cause some discomfort at first. This is because the boots are usually made out of hard, stiff materials that are unfamiliar to the feet. Over time, the boots will soften up and become more comfortable. If you experience any pain or discomfort after wearing your cowboy boots for the first time, please do not hesitate to contact the manufacturer or a professional shoemaker for advice.

Do Cowboy Boots Loosen Up Over Time?

Cowboy boots should definitely be tight when you first get them, as this will prevent the boots from stretching. Over time, however, they may start to loosen up a bit. This is usually due to wear and tear and can usually be fixed by having the boot repurposed or replaced. However, if there are significant structural issues with the boot (e.g.

Are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Be Stiff?

When it comes to Cowboy Boots, you want them to be comfortable but also stiff enough so that they provide proper support. A good rule of thumb is to buy boots a half size larger than your normal shoe size. This will give you room for expansion and ensure that the boot fits snugly around your foot. Additionally, make sure the leather or rubber sole is thick and sturdy so that it won’t wear down easily.

Lastly, keep in mind that cowboys sometimes walk a lot and their boots should last many years without requiring much maintenance. As long as you take care of them properly by conditioning the leather every few months with a bit of oil or wax, your cowboy boots should serve you well for many years!

Should Cowboy Boots Be Tight When New?

It’s important to figure out what kind of fit you prefer when buying cowboy boots. If you like your boots tight, then they should be nearly snug from the get-go. However, if you’re more flexible and would rather have them looser until they stretch a bit, then go for a slightly looser fit instead.

Once you’ve found your perfect fit, it’s also important to remember that cowboys wear their boots loose because they are constantly on their feet and walking around.


Cowboy boots are a popular item in the US. They are often seen as a symbol of American culture. However, they can be expensive and difficult to care for. In this blog post, we have shared tips on how to soften leather cowboy boots. We hope that you will find these tips helpful and that your cowboy boots will last longer with proper care.

You may also read – How to lighten leather boots.

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Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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