Fit and care is an important part of owning and wearing western boots. We’ve put together this guide for you to get the best fit and wear out of a pair of western boots.
Part I – Boot Fit
You want a pair of Rocky Western Boots, but you’re just not sure how they are going to fit compared to a lace up boot or sneaker. Pull-on boots do have a unique fit so here’s what you need to know:
· The instep (vamp) of the boot should fit snuggly over the top of your foot’s arch. This will be more snug of a fit than a normal shoe or sneaker, so you may have difficulty getting your foot all the way in especially if you have a higher instep.
· If this is the case, be sure to first make sure your socks and feet are dry, as dampness will hinder this process.
· Next, try applying a light application of talcum powder or silicone spray inside the boots. As you slip on the boot, wiggle your toes and pull up on the tops of the boots firmly. That should do the trick!
Other Fit Tips
· The ball of your foot (which is the widest part) should sit at the widest part of the boot. Unlike feeling for a good fit at your toes (as you would with a shoe), the proper location of the ball of your foot will ensure a good fit through the rest of your boot.
· Take note that it is perfectly normal to experience a slight heel slippage at first with pull-on boots. After the sole flexes a few times and the boot is broken in, it will then fit snuggly and comfortably.
· Make sure you try on both boots in a pair. It is very common for people’s feet to vary in size from one to the other.
· When trying on boots, wear the socks you would typically when wearing your boots.
· Always stand up and walk around when trying on your new boots.
Part II – Boot Care
Now that you’ve decided to get a brand new pair of Rocky Western boots, you want to do everything you possibly can to make sure they stay looking as good as the first day you pulled them out of the box.
One way you can do this is by properly taking care of the leather.
Periodic cleanings add longevity, comfort and keep your boots looking good.
Step 1: Wipe Them Off
You can use an old towel or damp rag. Wiping them down after heavy use removes dust and mud to allow the leather to breathe and stay flexible. This will keep them looking their best!
Furthermore, you can use a boot brush or old toothbrush to clean out the welt (around the edge of the boots) and seams to ensure the stitching doesn’t break down.
Step 2: Let Dry for 24 Hours
Moisture from your feet can stain the leather and cause odor. Drying your boots with heat may cause the leather to crack, so let them dry naturally for 24 hours before wearing again.
Step 3: Condition Your Boots
Leather, just like your skin, dries out. A leather conditioner can keep the leather supple and soft. Make sure to test your leather conditioner in an inconspicuous spot to ensure you’re okay with the way it looks before conditioning the whole boot.
Step 4: Storing your Boots
Keep your boots in a clean and dry location with regulated temperatures. If the boots are in moist or damp conditions like a garage or basement for extended time periods, moisture build-up from inactivity can negatively affect certain outsole compounds lending them to break down.