Boot FAQs

We understand that purchasing boots online can be a bit daunting, especially when dealing with unfamiliar brands and styles. The desire to physically assess them before deciding is completely relatable. No worries, we're here to support you every step of the way!

On this page, we've compiled some useful information on boot anatomy, 'fit FAQs', sizing conventions, and boot care. We hope you find these useful for a general sense of what to consider and how to properly care for your boots. Yet, what truly sets us apart is our individualized approach. We thrive on engaging directly with our customers to ensure the boots you receive fit perfectly and last a lifetime.

Feel free to peruse the information below, and if you require further assistance, don't hesitate to reach out. We're committed to making your online boot-shopping journey effortless and enjoyable!

Boot Anatomy

Before we delve into discussing sizing, fit, and care, let’s establish some basic geographical context. 

Fit Facts & Myths

Here are some tips that we hope you find valuable to assist with fit and to dispel some common boot-fitting misconceptions:

• Vintage Boots Sizing: Let’s clear up one of the most common misconceptions: Vintage boots do not “always run small.” Many match their labeled size, and some may even run larger. If we notice there's a significant fit variation from the labeled size, we will notate that in our product descriptions.

Fit Complexities: As much as we'd like to offer a single-word response about whether a brand or style runs "true," "small," or "large," the reality is typically far more intricate. While some brands have been better at maintaining consistency over the years, most all have undergone changes in their sizing conventions over time—or, it may depending on how, where, and when they were produced. 
The key factor in determining sizing specifications and, consequently, fit lies in the last. The last is a solid form, typically made from molded plastic in factories or crafted from hardwood in custom shops, which encapsulates the anatomical characteristics of the foot. Consider a brand like Frye, who first produced boots in 1888. Over time, their boots have been manufactured in various ways, all over the globe: from benchcrafted, custom-made boots in the USA to factory-produced boots in China. In each setting and production process, distinct lasts and methods are utilized, resulting in at least slight variations in how the boots run and therefore fit. This example underscores the importance of maintaining an open mind and approaching reviews or advice you may encounter with a grain of salt.

Fitting Your Foot: Your foot should feel cradled but not squeezed in the boot. A bit of heel slippage in new boots is normal and reduces as the leather and insole molds to your feet. The vamp should fit snugly over your arch, and the ball of your foot should rest comfortably in the widest part of the vamp and footbed. A very small amount of room, just enough to move your toes, is beneficial.

Differences in Foot Size: It's common for one foot to be slightly larger, and some folks fall between sizes. Select boots that fit your larger foot or, if you're between sizes, opt for the larger size.

Width Factors: Boot width generally runs from AAA to EEE. Women’s boots standard width is B (or sometimes M for medium); A is narrow and C is wide. Men’s standard width is D, generally B is narrow, and E, EE or EEE as progressively getting wider.

• Wide Width Considerations: For wide widths, go for wide width boots (C in women's or E and wider in men's). Women can explore men's boots, which naturally accommodate wider feet. Remember, men's sizes are typically 1.5 to 2 sizes bigger than women's. For example, if you wear a women’s size 10, it's generally equivalent to men's size 8 or 8.5. While not ideal, going up a half size in standard width boots can be a consideration.

Measurements & Sizing

Acquiring Measurements

We provide approximate measurements in our product descriptions. Here's how we obtain those measurements:

Total Height: Measured from the bottom of the sole to the top of the shaft, at the tallest point.

Shaft: Measured from the arch to the top of the shaft.

Heel: Measured from the bottom of the heel cap to the top of the heel.

Circumference: The internal circumference at the shaft opening.

You might be wondering, "Why don't you include outsole measurements?" The answer is simple: outsole measurements often prove to be highly unreliable for determining fit, particularly with boots that have diverse heel shapes (like underslung or spur ledges), varying welt extensions, toe shapes, or other complicating factors. While many boot resellers now offer these measurements, boot brands and professional boot companies refrain from doing so for good reason: to prevent misleading or inaccurate fit expectations. We strive to provide the most dependable and useful information, ensuring that you can make well informed decisions when purchasing boots.

Some boot brands may offer guidelines for tracing and measuring your feet. This information can be particularly useful in those instances, but that’s solely because of either their familiarity with the lasts employed in crafting their boots or in the case of custom boots, it’s utilized to create lasts specific to your feet.

Outside of those circumstances, such as when acquiring boots from anyone other than the manufacturer, our experience has shown that insole measurements provide the most accurate insight. It's imperative, though, to acquire these measurements using the identical methodology employed by the seller or company that you’re working with, and only utilizing a boot of a similar shape.*

This size conversion chart serves as a general guide based on international sizing conventions and our fitting experience. However, it's important to note that shoe sizes can vary significantly between styles, even from the same manufacturer. This chart is not a guaranteed conversion tool, but rather a reference.

Boot Care

For comprehensive instructions on cleaning and maintaining smooth leather boots, check out our Botablog article, 'Mastering the Art of Leather Boot Care: A Step-by-Step Guide.'

Suede, roughout, and many distressed leathers and exotic skins demand special care with distinct procedures. In general, we do not recommend using most/all of the same cleaning methods or products. Purchase and use only specifically designed products for these types of leather and skins. With the challenges of suede or roughout leathers in particular, you can also opt to have them professionally cleaned.

Just as a home's foundation is vital, the core of boot care lies in maintaining their foundation: soles, heels, and insoles. If you’re anything like us, a great cobbler will become your strongest ally.

Prep for storage by cleaning, air-drying, conditioning, and polishing your smooth leather boots. Ensure your boots are completely dryness before storing to prevent mold and deterioration. Cedar boot trees are ideal for maintaining shape, moisture absorption, and odor removal. If those are unavailable, paper can be a secondary option to at least hold their shape. Opt for a cool, dry storage location, avoiding any heat source and direct sunlight.

We hope that the information we've shared will be valuable in your pursuit of finding and caring for your dream boots! Should you have any inquiries or require personalized assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us. Our goal is to support you in discovering boots that awaken your soul and that’ll you’ll be rock’n a lifetime!

*Note: If you would like to compare insole measurements with any of our boots,
contact us. Let us know the boots you’re interested in, your usual size(s) (including brands), and the width you typically wear. We will guide you on measuring your boots. Once you share the measurements, we’ll offer our professional opinion on fit.