5 Steps to Breaking In Your New Cowboy Boots

Last Updated on January 24, 2024

Breaking in new boots can be challenging whether you’re in your 20s, 30s or 40s. But it doesn’t have to be.

If you’ve never tried to break into a new pair, you’re not the only one. When it comes to breaking in new boots, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. You might get the wrong size boot. And sometimes, you’ll just run out of patience before the break-in process is done. But fear not! Because while it’s a little frustrating, breaking in a new pair of cowboy boots is much easier than you think. Let’s look at the best way to break in a new pair of boots and help you achieve the most comfortable fit possible.

We’ll show you how to break cowboy boots for the first time. There are different ways to break in, and with the correct method, you can wear them all day long.

5 Simple Proven Methods to Break In Cowboy Boots

If you’re thinking of getting into the cowboy thing or just looking to take your boots to a new level, it’s worth considering breaking in the footwear for a while first. It will help you build strength in your feet (good for preventing injuries) and ensure that your boot fits appropriately. Plus, it will help you learn what shape your boot should be in. It’s also a good idea to do this at least once a week – every time you wear your boots to get a better feel for how they fit.

We already covered how to break in regular work boots. But today we’re going to walk through my 5 methods to break into cowboy boots (in my case, my pair) and make them comfortable to wear.

Method 1: Wearing your cowboy boots regularly to break in

wear your cowboy boots regularly to break in

The first rule of breaking in your cowboy boots is to wear them regularly, no matter how hard they are. You can break them in by wearing them every day, but you should only let your boots sit in the box for a short time. As a result, the leather will dry out and eventually break down.

Test your boots by standing on them for a couple of minutes. If you feel pain, don’t wear them. It will only get worse as the day goes on. You should follow step 2 for now.

Method 2: Wearing Thick Socks

The second method to break in your best cowboy boots is to wear thick socks. Thicker socks will help prevent blisters on your feet while you’re breaking in new boots and help you expand that stiff, tight leather.

extra socks to break in cowboy boots

Wearing thick socks while breaking into cowboy boots is a good idea. By wearing thick socks, the boots will stretch to the shape of your foot. This helps you to feel comfortable wearing them. Additionally, you should use anti-blister cream. During the break-in period of new boots, this will prevent blisters. Your favourite socks must be thick and stretchable. They must be made out of material that will help them to hold your foot firmly on your foot. The material of the socks should also be soft and comfortable. It should fit snugly around your ankle & heel. They should be breathable and waterproof. 

Method 3: Using a Bag of Frozen water

There are only a couple of problems with this, the first being that it takes a lot of time and effort to break in leather shoes. The other is that if the leather gets wet, the leather may rot away and the boot becomes ruined. To prevent this, some people place a bag of frozen water in their boots before they wear them for the first time. They put the boots into the freezer until they are soft and the water has thawed. After that, they should be fine and can wear the boots without any risk of ruining the shoes.

Method 4: Using a boot stretcher

In most of the cases you can’t wear new cowboy boots until you break them in. They’re just too stiff. When you break in the leather of your boots, they soften up, and the fit becomes a little looser. In contrast, a boot stretcher gives your boots a better fit and helps them break in. A boot stretcher stretches the leather, so it doesn’t pull on the foot the same way you walk. That way, you avoid blisters and chafing.

using a boot stretcher to break in cowboy boots

They are usually made from wood or plastic and shaped to fit the boot. They stretch the leather around the foot, making the boot looser. As a result, the boot fits you better. Boot stretchers come in different shapes and sizes. Go for the one which is most suitable for your boots. You can also use boot stretch spray for stretching your boots. However, the spray method will not make it feel loose initially. It will only help you expand leather from inside the toe and calf area. 

Method 5: Conditioning and Moisturizing

Conditioning Your Leather cowboy Boots

Conditioning and moisturizing your shoes to help them break in more easily can save you a lot of trouble. If you wait until your boots are completely broken in to wear them, you’ll have to constantly readjust your foot shape, which can be pretty annoying.

Apply a small amount of boot polish to the inside of your boots. After applying this, put them on your feet and wear them around your house to help break them in. Remember that they will break in faster when they are in dry conditions. If you put your slip on work boots on wet and rub them, they will take longer to break in. 

2 Things to avoid for breaking in cowboy boots

Submerging Your Boots in Water

When breaking in new boots, don’t submerge them. It can damage the leather and cause the leather to shrink and dry out. If you’re working with leather, use wax, polish, or cream to condition the leather before you break them in and achieve comfort. Many people will tell you to submerge the boot in water to expand and stretch them. Well, you will only damage your boots. Submerging them for an extended period will not harm your western boots. Do not use this method for leather boots.

Blow Drying Your Boots

Don’t blow dry your shoes at high temperatures. It will stiffen the leather and dry it out. Instead, place your boots in a warm environment or use a heat gun. Use a hair dryer only if you’ve already conditioned your boots. Blow drying can ruin the integrity of the leather. Blow drying also changes the leather’s consistency, making it harder to break in. It also can cause boot leather to shrink and crack. Blow-drying boots at extreme temperatures is not recommended.  


How long does it take to break in cowboy boots?

It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the type of boot.

How do you break in cowboy boots fast?

It is advisable to use some conditioning treatment first. A conditioning treatment can help break in boots faster, but you shouldn’t use it as your only way to break in your boots. 

How do you soften cowboy boots?

You should add some oil to your boots, especially leather boots. The oil will help the boots get softer. Make sure you don’t over-oil the boots. The oil you apply should be just enough to get the leather soft.

How long does it take for cowboy boots to break in?

Most boots need to be broken in over time. The type of material used in the boot will affect how quickly it breaks in. Some boots can take weeks to break in, but others can take 50-100 hours. Leather cowboy boots will take longer than the usual boots.

Should cowboy boots hurt at first?

Yes, the leather on a pair of cowboy boots can be pretty stiff at first, hurting your feet. It is best to break them in slowly and carefully at first.

How do you loosen cowboy boots?

Put the boots in a steam cabinet for 22 seconds to loosen the leather and make it more pliable. After steaming your boots, take them out of the cabinet. Check to see if they feel soft and flexible. If not, steam the leather again for another 10 seconds. Do this every day until the leather feels soft.

What’s the fastest way to break in boots?

The fastest way to break in boots is to apply wax to the cowboy boots and wear them for short intervals throughout the day. Doing this will save your feet from getting hurt and soften the leather and ease the break-in process.

Why are cowboy boots so stiff?

Cowboy boots are so stiff because they are made out of leather. Leather has a natural hardness. If the leather is softened before you put it into the boot, it will be easy to break in the boots. Another benefit of making them stiff is that they will have to break in the cowboy boots whenever someone wears them. Once it is broken, the boots will adapt to the shape of your feet. Hence making them comfortable and perfect for wearing.

Should you buy cowboy boots a half size bigger?

Before you wear the boots, make sure they fit you perfectly. It would be wise to buy boots with the right instep length. Your cowboy boots should be soft to the touch and comfortable to wear. It should be easy to get on and off.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I am a cowboy boot enthusiast, and I’ve had a lot of fun breaking into my boots. I’ve also learned a few things that I thought I would share with you. I hope this article helped you to know how to break into cowboy boots. If you liked the article, please share it with your friends. Have a wonderful day!

As a child, Joey's career spanned a wide range of fields. These include farms, ranches, warehouses, construction sites, etc. Wearing good work boots was essential on all those sites to avoid distractions. As a result of his experience, he can determine which work boots are most appropriate for a particular workplace. Following Joey's work boots, his colleagues and teammates also purchased work boots based on his advice. Therefore, his friends suggested that he start a blog so that he could also help others.