Help - Boot Guide

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

 

1. What are the different parts of a boot?       2. What do the letters in cowboy boot sizes mean?

3. Do different boot brands fit differently?    4. How are kids' boot sizes determined?

5. How do I know what size I need?                  6. How do I know that my new boots fit?

 

 

1. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF A BOOT?  <<CLICK HERE FOR A BOOT PART CHART>>

 

COWBOY BOOT - PARTS OF A BOOT

 

Knowing cowboy boot terminology is important when you are trying on and choosing a pair of cowboy boots. Each part of the boot serves a distinct purpose, and each style has its own traits that affect fit and aesthetic. Care goes into the construction and assembly of each part of a cowboy boot.

 

Read our glossary below so you can learn the cowboy boots parts’ names, and try on your cowboy boots with confidence.

 

Back quarter: The back half of the shaft, separated by the side seams.

Collar: Decorative strip or layer of leather around the top of the boot.

Counter: The piece of the leather that covers the heel of the upper.

Front quarter: The front half of the shaft, separated by the side seams.

Heel base: The outside, elevated part of the heel that fits against the rear, or seat, of the outsole. The heel base may be made in a number of styles.

Heel cap: A layer on the bottom of the heel for traction. Also called a “heel lift.”

Inlay: Decorative features with contrasting layers of leather. Also called a “cutout.”

Insole: Layer of leather between the upper and the welt. The insole is the surface inside the boot on which the foot rests.

Instep: The section of the boot surrounding the arch of the foot.

Mule tabs: Extra-long pull straps.

Outsole: Outermost sole of the boot that protects the wearer’s foot from the ground. Outsoles may be made with leather, rubber, or a synthetic material.

Outsole stitching: One or two rows of stitching that help hold the welt and the outsole together.

Overlay: Decorative pattern(s) sewn on top of the boot leather.

Pegs: Very small stakes hammered around the edges of the outsoles of some boots. Pegs are used to help secure the outsole, insole, and upper, and are generally found in higher-quality boots. May be made of lemonwood or maple.

Piping: Small decorative tubes of leather used to finish the look of a boot. Maybe be found along side seams or collar.

Pull holes: Two holes on either side of the boot used in place of pull straps to put the boot on.

Pull straps: Loops of leather attached to the side seams of the boot. Used to pull the boot onto the foot. Also called “pulls tabs” or “mule tabs.”

Scallop: The V-shape at the top of the shaft. Also called a “dip.”

Shaft: The part of the boot that covers the wearer’s leg. Includes the front quarter and back quarter.

Side seam: Seams conjoining the front quarter and back quarter. Sometimes covered with decorative piping and pull tabs at the top of the boot.

Spur shelf: The heel of a boot may extend slightly past the counter, creating a “shelf” on which a spur can sit.

Toe box: Stiff material in the boot’s toe between the outer vamp and boot lining, used to maintain the toe’s shape.

Toe stitch: Rows of decorative stitching atop a boot’s toe. Also called a “fleur-de-lis,” “toe bug,” “toe flower,” or “medallion.”

Tongue: Place where the vamp meets the boot shaft, often cut into a decorative shape.

Vamp: The piece of leather covering the instep and toe of the upper.

Waist: Where the shaft of the boot meets the upper at the ankle. Also called the “throat.”

Welt: A strip of sturdy material (often leather) sewn around the joining of the upper and the insole. Also called “welting.”

Wingtip: A decorative overlay covering the toe of the boot.

 

2. WHAT DO THE LETTERS IN COWBOY BOOT SIZES MEAN?

Each letter indicates a different width in adult boots on the South Texas Tack site. Below are the letters’ corresponding boot widths.

 

B – Women’s regular width   D – Men’s regular width   C – Men's Narrow   C – Women's Wide   E – Men's Wide  EE – Men's Extra wide

 

3. DO DIFFERENT BOOT BRANDS FIT DIFFERENTLY?

 

Yes. For example, the fit of a size 9 Lucchese boot might be different from a size 9 Ariat boot, so it’s important to spend time getting a good feel for every pair of boots you try on.

 

4. HOW ARE KIDS' BOOT SIZES DETERMINED?

Children’s boot sizes are generally divided into 4 groups by age: infants, toddlers, kids, and youths. Additionally, this sizing system may also vary depending on the boot brand. Below you will find a kids’ boot size chart that includes a variety of ages, international size conversions, and Anderson Bean kids’ boots sizing. When you select Kids' Cowboy Boots you will notice on the left hand side of your screen, a size with an i, T, K, or Y beside it, this will designate the age range that size fits.

 

5. HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE I NEED?

One of the questions we get most often is about evaluating your cowboy boot size vs. shoe size. We recommend selecting a pair of boots that are the same size as your sneaker size. Some people may need to go up or down a size depending on the style or brand. If you usually wear a half size (7.5, 8.5, etc.) start by going up a size. Also note that boots in a roper style often have a more relaxed fit. When you try on the boots, wear your favorite pair of socks. Often the best socks for cowboy boots are ones that provide some cushioning to prevent the foot from rubbing against the boots’ leather.

 

For a detailed breakdown of sizing for men’s and women’s boots, including international size conversions, see our charts below.

 

General Boot Sizing Charts

Please note that manufacturers and brands may each size their boots differently, and that this is a very generalized chart. For help determining a fit for a certain brand boot, please call customer service at 1-855-899-BOOT.  Please click here to see <<BOOT SIZE CHARTS>>

 

6. HOW DO I KNOW THAT MY NEW BOOTS FIT?

If you are trying the boots on in a store, it’s important to try on several different pairs to get a feel for what is truly comfortable on your foot. Take a stroll around the store, especially if you need comfortable cowboy boots for walking or dancing. Follow the guidelines below to assess each area of your foot so you can achieve the perfect fit for your cowboy boots.

 

Cowboy Boot Heels

Your heel should slip about a half of an inch in a brand new pair of boots (but not so much that it rubs your heel uncomfortably). This slippage will lessen over time as you break in your boots. Be sure you also choose a heel that is a comfortable height.

 

Cowboy Boot Instep Fit

The instep of a boot is what holds your foot in place in the boot when you walk, so fitting the instep of your cowboy boots is a key to choosing comfortable boots. The instep of your cowboy boot should be very snug, but not so snug that it is uncomfortably tight. The instep should loosen up a little over time the more you wear your boots. If you can pinch the leather around the instep, it may be too loose. Consider trying on a smaller size.

 

Cowboy Boot Calf Fit