Thursday, July 8, 2010

How To Get Really Tight Cowboy Boots On

I was scanning what entries into Google bring visitors to my website, and I saw a visitor from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, enter: "how to get really tight cowboy boots on." I guess this strugglin' cowboy is having some trouble as he prepares for the Calgary Stampede. The Stampede is a series of events (including a huge pro rodeo) held every year in Calgary. This year, the Stampede is July 9 - 18. My buddy Clay who lives in Calgary has told me a lot about it, and I have vowed one day to have him take me to it. But not this year, dang it.

Anyway, back to the question: how do you get really tight cowboy boots on?

Quick answer: you don't. If the boots are so tight that you can't pull them on, then they ain't gonna fit. Period. End-of-story.

There is a long-told myth about placing your feet into plastic grocery bags, then sliding them into the boots. That may work when trying on new boots, but not for regular wear. Plastic doesn't breathe. You put your feet into plastic bags and then into boots, and you're asking for trouble. Your feet will bake and swell if you actually try to walk around with bags on your feet inside boots. If you struggled getting the boots on, you'll practically have to cut them off when you're ready to remove them. Don't fall for that old trick -- it really doesn't work.

If the boots are only slightly tight and are made of all leather, it is possible to have a cobbler stretch them. But a cobbler can do only so much, like 3/8" (1cm) max, and it takes weeks to do it right. Boot stretching can't be done overnight. If your boots need more of a stretch than 1cm, then you just have to face it: wear another pair of boots. Tight boots cannot be stretched much.

By the way, it is also a myth that squeezing on tight boots and walking in them will stretch them. The boots may become more flexible at stress points, but they won't stretch by wearing them.

Take it from a guy who has worn boots exclusively for more than 40 years, and who owns and wears a lot of cowboy boots. If the boots are too small, you need to get a larger size. I figure if you're in Calgary for the Stampede, there are a lot of places to buy boots locally. Get a new pair. I'm sure they will look great.

Life is short: wear boots of the proper size.

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