How to Fix Heel Slippage in Cowboy Boots

By Kato Watson, 27 Nov 2023

If you own a pair of cowboy boots, then you are fairly familiar with heel slippage. On the other hand, if you are looking to get a pair, expect heel slippage at some point.

Over time, cowboy boots have evolved. The evolution of cowboy boots has made cowboy boots manufacturers incorporate comfort as one of the main features.

We have come to love cowboy boots not only because of their stylish design and suitability for work but also because of the high comfort they offer. That said, nothing in this world would deny you the experience of comfort more than an ill-fitting pair and a slipping cowboy boot.

Slipping at the heel tends to occur mostly when you don’t have the opportunity to test your boots when purchasing. Additionally, it may occur when;

  • A cowboy boot is new and yet to be broken in.
  • The tip of the boots is too long.
  • The boots are too wide.
  • You have the wrong size of boots.

We wouldn’t want you to continue struggling with heel slippage or even experience it at some point. Therefore, we have gone ahead to research and test some of the methods of fixing heel slippage.

 The most suitable ones we found include the following:

Test Your Boots

It is one of the simplest methods yet one of the best ways of fixing heel slippage.

It involves putting on your boots and having a ‘test drive’. This simple act of testing your boots before purchasing them goes a long way.

Let’s try to shed light on this:

We know that cowboy boots lack laces. This means that there is no chance of adjusting your boots later. As such, finding a pair with the perfect heel size is paramount in fixing heel slippage.

To do this, you will need to take a seat and slip on the boots. After wearing the boots, take a few steps. This will give you a feel of how the boots fit and how the heel slippage would be on a normal day of walking with the boots.

When testing the boots, we advise you to try different pairs until you find one that has very little slippage.

A pair with little slippage would be suitable since one without slippage would end up giving you blisters after breaking in. On the other hand, cowboy boots that have too much slippage would drag on the floor even after breaking in.

Break Into the Boots

Trust us, it’s as simple as it sounds! To fix heel slippage, you will need to break into the boots.

Let’s get into the details.

When a cowboy boot is new, its insole is hard and flat. The flat and hard insole is the perfect recipe for heel slippage.

How so? When you walk, the back of your foot rises, and with nothing to hold it back to the heel of the boot, it slips up.

Minor slippage of around ½ inch to ¼ inch should not be of concern to you. This is because it will subside once you break into the boots. Luckily the period required for break-in is short.

In-House Solution

When heel slippage continues even after breaking into the boots, don’t panic. Finding an in-house solution will be your next bet in trying to fix the slippage.

 Why? Thanks for asking.

Being in-house, these solutions are available at no cost to you financially. Secondly, you will be able to solve heel slippage caused by any of the conditions mentioned above.

Impressive, right? Here’s a detailed explanation.

If the tip is too long

For this situation, inserting an object into the boot’s tip would do. Be keen to use soft objects like tissue or cotton wool since hard objects would cause blisters by being too tight and rough on your toes.

The inserted object will stop slippage by reducing the distance from the back of your foot to the boot’s heel. Furthermore, cotton wool or tissue offers loads of positives. This is because it will absorb moisture from your feet if you have sweaty toes. And to top it all off, it keeps your feet warm.

Talk about killing two birds with a stone.

If the Boot Is Too Wide

To fix slippage caused by the boot’s vamp being too wide, you will need to do the following:

  1. Find a soft fabric
  2. Wrap the soft fabric around your instep
  3. Slip your feet into the boots

That easy, you will have fixed the heel slippage by increasing the surface area of your feet, making them fit perfectly into the boots.

Use Thick Socks

One of the best and additionally simple ways out there to fix heel slippage is wearing a pair of thick socks.

Thick socks will increase the surface area of your feet allowing you to fit in even wider boots. As we all know, a perfect-fitting boot can never slip.

You can get creative in case you lack a thick pair of socks. You can use two socks by wearing one on top of the other to form one thick pair.

The bummer would be that a thick pair of socks or wearing two pairs would be too warm on your feet.

 On the other hand, this would be beneficial by keeping your feet warm during cold early mornings or nights and in the winter.

Use Heel Grips/Snugs/Slip Pads

This method is suitable in a situation where the heels of your boots are too wide.

Heel grips are padded, suede leather-covered, non-slip gel cushions designed to keep your heel from slipping.

Heel grips are a great addition since they reduce slippage by increasing the contact area between your feet and the boot’s heel.

Other than eliminating heel slippage, heel grips offer so much more.

  1. They protect your heel from rubbing against the boots
  2. They support your heel thus eliminating pain
  3. They prevent blisters

Get a Professional to Help

Looking to get a permanent long-term solution? This is the one for you.

You should seek the services of a professional cobbler or leatherworker. To fix heel slippage caused by a long tip, the professional should sew a piece of leather at the inner side of the boot’s heel. This eliminates heel slippage by reducing the distance from the tip to the heel of the boot, making the boots fit.

On the other hand, if the boot is too wide causing no grip at the instep, the professional should sew a piece of leather below the removable insole.

In the case the boot’s insole is fixed, the piece of leather should be sewn on the inner upper side of the vamp.

That said, both methods would reduce the size of the vamp making the boot fit like a glove, eliminating slippage.

Dry Your Boots

A well-known fact is that moisture on your boots will cause slippage, specifically on the heels of boots.

Moisture on the leather will make the surface slippery causing your heel to slip from the boots.

To solve this, you should dry your boots. We found these methods quite impressive;

  1. Using a hairdryer to blow the inside of the boots
  2. Sprinkling powder on the inside of the boots. Powders such as baby powder or corn powder absorb moisture in a short time. This would be suitable if the amount of moisture is minimal.


Over the years, cowboy boots have evolved and incorporated comfort as one of their main features. It’s clear that a slipping boot denies you the chance to fully enjoy this feature. We hope that this article will help you squeeze the full comfort out of your boots by helping you solve heel slippage problems.

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