Most of our posts tend to be on day-to-day issues of foot health and support. Which is why it may surprise you to learn that we’ve been getting a lot of questions about cowboy boots! “Why do my cowboy boots hurt my feet?” and “Do cowboy boots have arch support?” may be chief among them.
So let’s have a quick look at this crucial element of the wild west wardrobe and see if we can’t find some elements of support in the wild frontier.
These Boots Are Made For… Almost Everything!
So why do we get so many questions about cowboy boots? It actually makes quite a bit of sense.
Now, think about how cowboy boots are used!
They’re work boots. Daily walkabout shoes. Formal wear. They’re even worn out dancing and doing outdoor sports. (It’s hard not to consider a rodeo an athletic event, after all!)
This is a versatile piece of footwear, which is why it’s important to make sure that they have the amount of support that you need.
Do Cowboy Boots Have Arch Support?
If you’ve read our post on the Anatomy Of A Shoe, you know that support is derived from two basic areas on the shoe.
The base, or outsole, of the shoe is the bottom part, where the rubber, (or in this case, leather,) meets the road. The wider a base, the better the shoe is for balance, which is better for overall support.
Above the outsole is the midsole. In an athletic shoe, this is usually made of foam. It’s the bit that atop the base and below your foot. The higher the contour of the midsole, the more arch support a shoe has.
With that criteria in mind, let’s examine the cowboy boot:
From a base perspective, cowboy boots are usually fairly wide… though they do have a heel which can affect balance. But perhaps the most glaring support issue in cowboy boots is regarding the midsole:
It isn’t there.
Usually, a cowboy boot is made very well. There’s a durable outsole, and quality uppers that protect the foot. But there isn’t usually a midsole between the sole and the foot.
No midsole, no real arch support.
Other Common Cowboy Boot Pains
Not only is there a lack of arch support, there are other issues that can be caused by cowboy boots.
First, heel pain: cowboy boots are notorious for causing heel pain. Think about it: if you’re stomping around in a hard sole, you have boosted your chances of causing calluses, corns, and blisters. And with no real shock absorption, there’s no cushioning the blow.
That raised heel can also wreak havoc on your forefoot. Raised heels can place extra pressure on your metatarsals, placing extra weight to the front of your foot, which can cause injury or fatigue to the forefoot.
And speaking of the forefoot: most cowboy boots are tapered, with a pointed toe. It’s a classic, sharp look. It also bunches your toes together, which impacts balance. It can leave you less stable, less supported, and more vulnerable to injury.
Can You Add Supportive Insoles To Cowboy Boots?
Ordinarily, it’s not easy to do.
Because of the shape of the cowboy boot, it can be tricky to slide in a traditional insole. Which is why many pain-stricken cowpokes have needed custom orthotics built.
Traditional wisdom has suggested wearing thick socks to help with shock absorption… but that doesn’t really help with the issue of arch support?
That being said, the Orange Light is a solid option to add support to a pair of cowboy boots.
Because of the Orange Light’s thin profile, it’s easier to position in a narrow boot than your average bulky athletic insole. It may require some positioning with the toe pointed upward to avoid it sliding out of place. (If you plan on leaving the insole in your boots consistently, two-sided tape may keep it from sliding forward.)
The Orange Light is a great candidate for cowboy boots. Not only can it fit within the narrow confines of the boot, but it has the arch support the boot lacks. And with a heel cup and metatarsal pad, it assists in encouraging proper weight distribution.
Boot, scoot, and boogie your way into our inventory and find one in your size now!