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Can A Boot Cobbler Make My Boots Fit Better?

  • Posted on
  • By Gregg Boyer
  • Posted in All, Fit
  • 12
Can A Boot Cobbler Make My Boots Fit Better?

Own a pair of boots that are too big, have too much slip in the heel? Or too just too much space in the arch? Here are some DIY fixes and ways a boot cobbler might be able to help you out.


I have been wearing western boots for over 40 years. Recently I bought a pair of H&H western style work boots online ( a first for me; buying online) and have not been successful breaking them in I've tried every thing I know over a long period of time and the boots are un-wearable. There is way too much room in the vamp area which causes my heel to really lift. It's like trying to walk in flip-flops. I have tried insoles, heel pads, heavy socks and several other things with little success. The foot part of the boot fits comfortably but the heel and the vamp are just too big. Can a boot cobbler re-work these boots to get them to fit?



Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with your Double H boots fitting. Double H boots tend to run a half size big. Yes there are several things you can do to make them fit better. I’ll give you three ideas:

1.) The least expensive way to tighten the instep is by adding something to the instep of the foot. Two ways you can do this. You can put in an arch cookie in the boot. It fits under your foot in the arch area. Or you can put put a felt tongue pad in the boot vamp, The area above your instep.
Either of these ideas can tighten the instep which then helps keep your foot properly sitting back in the heel. These can remove slip and are simple to try first.


A tongue pad can tighten up loose boots and shoes
Arch Cookies can take up space as well
2.) You can tighten the heel and remove slipping by adding a thick piece of leather in the heel counter of the boot. We do this many times every day in our repair department. It works very well. The leather is thick enough that it makes the heel narrower and tightens the instep pushing the foot forward into the instep. (We call this: adding leather backs) If you can't find a local cobbler to do this you can always ship them to us. 
3.) Putting a full insole in the boot is a great option to change the fit of a boot. There are so many different kinds of insoles out there. If your boot has a traditional leather insole that isn't removable, a thin cushion insole may be best to take up some room. Or you can try one with a bit of arch to it (this will help raise your foot and take up some room in the instep. If the boot has a removable insole you will want to remove the original insole and add a thicker one. You can experiment and see what feels best, they come in varying thicknesses. 
So there are a few ways you can help solve the problem of ill fitting boots. What topic would you like to see covered next?
Slim, The Boot Guy 


  1. Annabelle C. Annabelle C.

    my feet sweat to much in my boots causing me to get athletes foot. i was wondering if i could remove some of the extra insulation/ padding in my boot so my feet can breath better?

  2. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Paul, yes we can change cowboy boot heels to walking heels or fowler heels. Simply let us know which height you'd prefer as the fowler heel can vary in height ( 1 1/8" or 1 1/4" ect). As long as it has a welt, we can change the base out for a different kind.

  3. Paul M Oliveri Paul M Oliveri

    I own a practically new pair of BOULET BOOTS STYLE #6704 BOULET CHALLENGER BOOT - MEN with a "cowboy heel", size 9.5. I have just learned why I have hardly used them. I hate walking in them. I've since learned that a "cowboy heel" is not the ideal heel for walking. I didn't buy them from you, however I'd like to know if a good cobbler can change the heel to a "Fowler slanted"? Can Boyers do this kind of work? Or is it something that is a bad idea? Thank you,

  4. Stanley eastman Stanley eastman

    Have tall engineer boots,would like to have upper part opened up and have at least 3 buckles added, so I can tighten boot around pants and leg!

  5. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Tim, unfortunately there's no way to physically shorten the boots. I would try tip number 3. An insole can really change the feel and fit of a pair of boots. Something with more arch may tighten them in that area while a thicker cushion can make the whole boot fit more snugly.

  6. Tim Tim

    I bought a pair of full quill ostrich boots. I have a a little to much room from the end of my toe to the end of the boot. Is there any way to shorten the length of the boots? they are longer than needed. My odd foot size required me to go up one size.

  7. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Kajer,
    Check out this blogpost here > for solutions to your problem. There are a few different things you can try

  8. Kajer James Kajer James

    Surprise to read boots run 1/2 size big. Booth I bought are a little loose in heal. If I could shrink them just a bit would fit best. What can I do?

  9. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Yes Megan, this is possible. Check out our blogpost on this subject here:

  10. Megan Carlson Megan Carlson

    Hi there! I have very skinny legs and the pair of boots I bought are way too big in the ankle and calve area? Is there any way to shrink this area or take it in somehow? Is this something you guys do?

  11. The Boot Guy The Boot Guy

    Hello Meshari,
    Yes it is possible to lower this kind of boot. Generally we are able to lower a heel about a 1/4" to a 1/2" see our blogpost on the subject, here:

  12. Meshari Meshari

    Hello, can you lower a chukka or chelsea boot heel? Let's say the heel is 1 or 1/2 inch height, can you lower it a little? It doesn't have to be a full inch because this way it will be too low, what I mean is, is it possible to lower it a bit so it can be for example 0.8 inch?

    Or does the boot heel need to be more than one inch in order to be lowered?

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