How to Fix Heel Slippage in Cowboy Boots

Sometimes you are walking and, suddenly, your foot pops out of the shoe. Annoying right! It is called heel slippage. It can happen in any kind of shoe, whether ankle boots or thigh high boots. And it is possible that you got a pair of brand-new shoes which were a perfect fit a few minutes ago but, suddenly your heel starts to slip.

You might think it is because the shoe is loose or something. Well, it might be one of the reasons, but there are some others too.

For example, there are chances that the shoe you’re wearing is too long, or maybe your instep is too low or, your arches are too tight. Maybe, you’re not wearing them right. The reason can be any of these.

Usually, long shoes have this issue more. People who love to wear cowboy shoes face this problem. Cowboy boots go a long way back in history. They have a high heel and are made out of leather. Cowboys wore these types of shoes, but today they are more of a fashion symbol.

Cowboy boots, also called western boots, need to have just a little slippage (like ¼); otherwise, the shoe will become tight at its toes and scratch them.

How to Fix Heel Slippage in Cowboy Boots | Easy Ways

Since you’ve spent your hard-earned money on these shoes, would you like it if they are utterly uncomfortable and you are not able to walk freely? There are some ways to fix or prevent heel slippage, which is described as follows:

#1. Choose Right Size :

When buying cowboy boots, you need to be careful. They need to fit you snugly, and there is a reason behind it. Since these boots don’t have laces, they need to be equipped with enough room for your toes to move around.

It doesn’t mean that you have to buy a pair of boots that is too tight on you. That’s certainly not a great idea because it will only crush your toes. On the other hand, loose shoes will cause a lot more heel slippage.

On the whole, buy shoes that are your exact size. They won’t altogether remove slippage but reduce it to a large extent.

#2. Check Your Walking Style :

Gait is a defining factor. Now, if you tend to walk on your toes, then for sure, your heel is going to slip. Cowboy boots are not made for sprinting. The proper way to walk in them or any other shoe is simple. Always, your heel should be the first one to touch the ground and then your toes.

In other words, don’t walk on your toes. Walk on your heels. Probably 85% of your problem would be automatically solved by this method.

#3. Wear Socks :

Very few people wear boots without socks, which is not a good thing to do. Socks are beneficial in avoiding heel slippage.

Socks increase your contact area with the shoe heel, and as a result, your heel will not pop out. Though some socks are apologetically slipperier, so be careful while selecting socks.

Thicker socks are even better for this purpose but can be used only in cold weather. Still, you should wear socks with boats, which will increase friction and tighten your grip.

#4. Use Hairspray :

It sounds weird, but trust me, it works. The science behind this is uncomplicated. Hairsprays are sticky by nature, and as a result, when you spray your heels with them, they will not slip out of the shoe. Honestly, it will make your feet stick to your shoe.

You might be thinking that hairspray is supposed to be used on hairs and not on your feet. Yes! You are right. But it is not causing you any harm so, why not?

You would’ve never thought of this technique, right? Give it a try; it will undoubtedly make a difference.

#5. Tongue Pads and Heel Liners :

Tongue pads are of great help. You just attach one of these on the underside of the tongue of your shoe. The tongue of the shoe is the portion on the backside of your shoe above the heel platform.

What do tongue pads do? It makes your heel fit in snuggly and leaves no room for it to move around. Tongue pads are not expensive, and you can always keep some in your pockets

Heel liners are similar to tongue pads but just have a more defined shape. They work in the same way as tongue pads.

#6. Use Anti-Slip Gel Pads :

Anti-slip gel pads once again are somewhat similar to tongue pads. The only difference is that they contain a gel. And medically speaking, they are beneficial for you.

They are attached on the same tongue part of the shoe, and they work in the same fashion. The only extra thing is that they are excellent shock absorbers and provide maximum soft tissue protection.

These pads can be washed and reused as many times as you want.

#7. Heel Grips :

As you can tell by the name, they have something to do with the grip of your heels. Yes, you are right!

They also make your shoe more comfortable to walk in. There are two ways to attach them. You can either attach them on the sides of your shoe where your heel is to be placed, or you can stick them on the back of your shoe, as discussed earlier.

Heel grips will adjust your heels inside the shoe, and you will be able to walk or run as you wish without the fear of heel slippage.

#8. Dry Your Boots :

Summers or winters, it doesn’t matter. There is an equal possibility of sweating in both seasons. When you wear boots, your feet sweat naturally. All this moisture can reduce friction and result in heel slippage.

To prevent sweat, you can apply a roll-on under your feet. And to keep your shoes dry, a shoe dryer is the ultimate tool. It will dry out your shoe instantly, and it is even not that strong or harmful to your shoe.

You can even put your shoe under the sun for four to five hours or until completely dry inside.

How are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Fit?

Cowboy boots are tough to figure out. They should be as snug as possible. And there are chances that your shoe is smaller in size than your actual size.

It is entirely normal. They need to be tight on heels and at the same time have some room for the movement of toes. You don’t want your toes to be crushed. Since they don’t have laces, the only thing that will hold your feet in place is the instep.

The ball of the foot should be exactly on the ball of the shoe. The best way is that you try them on and check how much heel slippage there is. Only a small amount is acceptable.

They should feel comfortable from the beginning. And since leather is firm, it will take time for them to stretch and adapt according to your foot.

How Much Heel Slip is Normal?

It is the most frequently asked question when it comes to western boots. Well, a minimum of one-eighth of an inch and a maximum of one-half of an inch of slippage is standard. And it is not like you are going to take a measuring tape and measure your heel slippage. Like, obviously not.

Just go with your gut feeling. And for a new boot, this much heel slippage is okay, but in case your new shoe has zero slippage, in the beginning, then you need to upgrade the size because that shoe is tight for you and will lead to blisters on your foot.

Your feet must feel like they are moving with your boot, not like both your feet and shoes are going in their separate directions.

How to Keep Shoes from Slipping off your Heel

There are numerous ways to keep shoes from slipping off your heels. For instance, you can use talcum powder as it will absorb maximum sweat and reduce slippage. Or you can use hairspray, which I have already discussed. Some kind of arch support will also be a great idea.

It will increase the cushion effect. A double-sided tape can also come in handy. You can just stick your heel to the shoe with the help of the tape. Apart from these, you can use heel grips or tongue pads or whatever suits you.

Are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Slip in the Heel?

As you buy new pair of shoes it will surely allow your feet to slip. When you start using it for sometime slip will disappear slowly. After using it for some time, its surface become rough so that will cause friction between shoes and your feet so slip will disappear then.

Does Heel Slippage go away?

Using shoes for long time will make slippage disappear. You need to go for smaller size so there will be no chance for slippage. You can also follow our tips to prevent heel slippage.

How much heel slippage is normal?

Little bit slippage is normal for new shoes. It will allows your feet to slip up-to half inch not more than that.

How can I make my heels tighter?

You can make your heels tighter just with using insoles in it. Or using Tongue pads.


With all that, buying cowboy shoes is not an easy task. You need to have complete information about your size and the shoe structure. Shoes are the finishing touch of your look and need to be perfect and comfortable at the same time.

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