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A Guide to Fitting Western Boots

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If you're shopping for a pair of western boots for dancing, make sure they fit properly. Scoot around the dance floor a couple of times in ill-fitting boots and you'll understand why fit is so important. When shopping for boots, concentrate on three parts of your foot: instep, ball and heel.

  • Instep: Instep is the arched upper surface of the foot between the toes and the ankle. A boot has no laces, so you rely on the instep to hold it securely to your foot. Since you want the boot to remain on your foot while dancing, the instep is very important. Boots should be snug, without being tight, and definitely not loose. If the instep is too loose, your heel will slip up and down in the boot. If you have trouble finding a snug fit, you may need to try a narrow or wide-width boot.
  • Ball: The ball of the foot, the area just before the toes, is the widest part of your foot. The ball of your foot should be positioned on the widest part of the boot. If the boot is too short, the ball of the foot will sit too far forward, crowding the toes inside of the toe box. Make sure the boots are not too short.
  • Heel: Your boots should not slip at the heels, although a new pair will slip a little because of stiffness. After you wear the boots a few times, the soles will become more flexible and "giving." If your heels continue to slip out of the boots, however, they are probably too big. Some people remedy heel slippage by wearing inserts inside the boots. If you are certain you have chosen the best fit for your feet, an insole may prevent slipping altogether.
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