Sometimes there is debate in the boot world on how to measure the height of a boot heel properly.
If you use a search engine, you will get different “answers”, and 99% of the results are about women’s high-heeled footwear. That really is not what this blog post is about. I am writing about men’s boots.
So how do I measure boot heel height?
… really, any debate on the matter is not necessary. Think about it — a heel touches the floor. It is nailed, screwed, or glued to the boot sole.
The distance between those two points is the height. This distance is usually best measured on a cowboy boot from the side, as shown in this rough illustration I created with rudimentary tools on my computer. The height can also be measured at the back of the boot — again just looking at the physical distance between where the heel is attached to the sole and goes down directly to the floor — not along the slant of the heel itself.
For boots with a block heel (that is, straight down all around, not angled), then the measurement can be done from the back of the boot as well as the side, because the distance is not changed because of an angled heel.
That is different from a measurement of “heel length.” For some extreme underslung heels that are very slanted, the length of the heel between where it attaches to a sole and hits the floor could be significantly — as much as an inch (2.5cm) longer — than the physical distance from the sole to the floor directly.
My Legendary cowboy boots are a perfect example of that. The heels are 2-1/2 inches (6.3cm) from the floor to where they are attached to the sole in physical distance. However, if you put a tape down the back of the very underslung (slanted) sole, the result would be 3-1/2 inches (8.9cm). Big difference!
Life is short: understanding basic mathematics — that is, the distance between two points — makes it easy to know how to measure features of boot construction.