When I started as a cowboy, taking off my boots at the end of a long day in the saddle posed quite a tricky problem. With no lacing or straps and no elastic hold around ankles, yanking on them with both hands often left me frustrated and exhausted. Even after hours spent trying to find a practical solution, from tucking newspaper under them for extra grip to greasing up my feet, I still struggled with it every single time. There had to be an easier way! 

After lots of trial-and-error experimentation and some thrilling successes (along with plenty more failures), I now have discovered proven techniques that make slipping off those stubborn leather babies much more straightforward than before. 

Now, I’m ready to share these methods so you can stop wasting your energy wrestling hard-to-remove boots because nothing says “the end of a long workday” better than the sighs of relief brought about by overcoming cowboy boot removal blues! Enjoy!

Step-by-Step Guide: How To Take Off Cowboy Boots Without Strain?

Having lived in cowboy boots for a good chunk of my life, I’ve learned there’s a right way and a wrong way to take them off. So saddle up, and let me take you through the process that saved me from the strain and stress of boot removal.

Find A Comfortable Position:

When I first tried to yank my boots off while standing, I nearly ended up face-first on the floor. So, I learned to sit down on a sturdy chair or bench.

Loosen The Boot Shafts:

Gently pull the boot shafts away from your calves. I used to skip this step, making the boots cling like cacti to jeans.

Heel Wiggle:

Before I knew better, I’d pull with all my might, which doesn’t work. Instead, I found that a gentle heel wiggle helps loosen the boot’s grip on your foot.

Use A Boot Jack:

This tool changed my life. Place one boot heel in the U-shaped opening of the boot jack. Then, stand on the jack with your other foot and push down. Your boot will pop right off — no strain necessary.

Repeat With The Other Foot:

Switch roles for your feet and repeat the process. Remember, balance is critical, and so is taking it slow.

Dos And Don’ts When Taking Off Cowboy Boots:

Removing cowboy boots can sometimes feel like pulling a calf out of the mud; it is frustrating and messy. Here’s a distilled list of dos and don’ts from that day, plus a bit of wisdom picked up along the trail.


  • This sounds basic, but I’ve tried to remove boots standing up with disastrous results. Always find a seat.
  • Once I invested in a boot jack, it was a game-changer. This tool should become your best friend.
  • I discovered that a relaxed foot slips out much more quickly than a tense one, reducing strain.
  • A gentle, firm pull, along with your boot jack, should be enough—no need for wild yanking.
  • Soft, well-conditioned leather comes off easier. I apply leather conditioner regularly to keep the material supple.


  • Forcing your foot can twist your ankle or damage the boot. I learned this the hard way when I nearly twisted my ankle.
  • Pushing down on the heel with your other foot while still wearing the boot can stretch or break down the heel counter. Yes, I’ve flattened a boot heel before.
  • Some cowboy boots have laces. Not untying them thoroughly before you try to pull them off can make it a battle.
  • Dirt and mud dry out the leather and make boots harder to remove. Always clean them after use.
  • Ill-fitting boots are a nightmare to remove. Ensure they’re the correct size before you buy them.

Caring For Your Feet After Taking Off Cowboy Boots:

As someone who practically lives in cowboy boots, I’ve learned that the ritual of taking them off is just the beginning. Proper foot care afterward and the correct storage of the boots are crucial to maintaining both the health of your feet and the longevity of your boots.

Here’s what I do:

  • First thing first, I cool my feet down. A quick wash or a soak in cool water eases any inflammation.
  • I used to skip this step until I realized how dry and cracked my feet were getting. Now, I apply a generous amount of foot cream to keep the skin soft.
  • To tackle the stiffness, I do some foot exercises and stretches. Rolling a tennis ball under my foot helps massage the arch and alleviate plantar fasciitis.
  • If they’re swollen, I elevate my feet. Just 15 minutes makes a significant difference in reducing swelling.

Proper Storage Of Cowboy Boots Post Removal:

The day I found my favorite cowboy boots crumpled and creased was a day I learned an important lesson. Boots, like feet, need proper care after they’re taken off.

My approach is as follows:

  • I always wipe off any dirt or mud. For tough spots, a soft-bristled brush does the trick without damaging the leather.
  • To keep the shape of the boots and prevent creases, I started using boot trees. They keep the boots standing tall and looking their best.
  • I give them time to air out before storing them, especially if I’ve been sweating all day.
  • Leather is harmed by humidity. I keep my boots out of direct sunshine, which dries out and ages the leather, and in a dry area of my wardrobe.
  • I used to toss my boots into the closet, but now I make sure they’re standing upright. For extra support, I’ll sometimes put a rolled-up magazine inside if I don’t have boot trees handy.


Overall, taking off cowboy boots is easier than it looks. From the abovementioned guidelines, you can easily remove your boots quickly and, most importantly, without damaging them. Experienced users of cowboy boots already know the tricks of taking them on and off. But for a beginner or first-timers, these steps may sound daunting. Hence, I would like to share with you my own experience of taking off cowboy boots. I had struggled for hours trying to figure out how to properly wear and remove my boots until I found the correct information online, which solved my problem and made things easier. So please use this knowledge to help you better manage your cowboy boot purchase and protect yourself from future damage or frustration. After all, wearing quality cowboy boots always stays in style!

Sniper Jones
Hi there, I'm Sniper Jones, mastermind of shoesviewer.com. My digital platform is devoted to sharing valuable knowledge about various types of footwear that can help refine your shoe selection process. Shoes have always intrigued me, leading to an impressive collection of over 1000 pairs! shoesviewer.com was launched in 2023 with the objective to provide extensive information that aids you in making well-informed shoe purchases. I've assembled a squad of shoe aficionados who share my enthusiasm for delivering unbiased reviews and thorough buying guides. Our evaluations are rooted in our personal experiences, ensuring the advice we offer is practical and usable. I always welcome feedback and discussions. If you have any questions concerning footwear, feel free to leave a comment. I'm here to assist!