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How to Buckle Hunter Boots

There’s nothing like a long day in the saddle, and when the sun goes down, and the temperature starts to drop, you’ll be glad you have a good pair of boots to keep your feet warm. In this article, we’re going to show you how to buckle hunter boots so that they stay snug on your feet all night long. Stay tuned!

Hunter boots are a unique variety of riding boots tied in place at the knee. The purpose of this style of boot is so you can hang your horses with ease and confidence, knowing your shoes will stay on no matter how fast they gallop. Fear not if you have hunter boots but don’t know how to buckle them! We have quick tips for how to buckle your hunter boots.

How to Buckle Hunter Boots

A Step by Step Guide on How to Buckle Hunter Boots

Step 1: Determine Your Boot Size

The first thing you should do is figure out your boot size. If you already own a pair of hunter boots and know your exact boot size, go ahead to step two.

If you do not own a pair of Hunter boots and cannot determine your boot size by other means (ex: measuring, existing footwear), then go to a store that stocks Hunter boots such as Nordstrom or Bloomingdales (Hunter Boots are typically only sold in upscale department stores) and try on a pair of those boots for which you believe you wear the correct shoe size.

The salesperson should be able to help you find the right fit. Alternatively, if there isn’t anyone around, try on both left and proper boots and compare them with each other.

If one of your boots feels snugger than the other, then it is probably the correct size, and you’re good to go. Conversely, if both of your boots seem too tight or loose, try on a pair that is slightly larger or smaller than the pair that felt either too snug or too loose. Keep trying on different sizes until you find one that fits best with no pressure points or bulging.

Step 2: Prep Work

Locate the buckle on your boots. How you do this may vary from pair to pair, as not all Hunter boots come with a metal or plastic buckle visible from the boot’s exterior. How do I know this? Well, let’s say it took me a few months before I realized there was a buckle hidden under a flap of material on my Hunters.

Locate the Buckle on Boots

For buckles that are visible from the outside, use one finger to pull up on the small fabric strap you can see below and behind the metal or plastic flap. This will expose the two holes which will become relevant in step 3.

Step 3: Buckling Up

Once you’ve exposed your boot’s buckle holes, take any long shoelace and feed it through the two holes. How you do this may vary from pair to pair as well; for some Hunter boots, you will need to poke a hole in the fabric between the first and second set of buckles (look for where that flap-folds and creases and then carefully jab your shoelace through).

For those who have a metal or plastic buckle, as I do, loop one end of your shoelace around each of the two hoops on either side of the buckle so that they are now enclosed within those loops. Then pull tight with as much force as is necessary to release any remaining slack from those loops, so they no longer slip through those hoops. Do not tie a bow yet.

Instead, double-check the tension on your shoelaces to ensure they are not too tight. If they are, pull back gently on both loops with one hand while simultaneously pulling out any slack in the area between the buckle and your ankle with the other.

Step 4: The Bow

Once you are confident that your boot’s shoelaces are not too tight, take one end of the shoelace and make a bow. How to do this is probably self-explanatory, but I’ll give you a quick rundown anyway. First, hold one end of the shoelace with one hand and twist it around itself (to form a sort of donut shape ).

Then pull the other end through that ‘donut’ and pull tight until it resembles more or less what you see in the picture below. You can make it as big or as small as you like; my preference is to go with something smaller than what is pictured here because longer loops look messy and impractical when they catch on tree branches and such, but it is entirely up to you.

Step 5: Tie a Shoelace in General

The bow makes Hunter boots look so attractive and gives them their signature look, but it would be pointless if you weren’t able to tie the bows in place. But, of course, how you go about doing this will depend on whether your shoelaces are flat or round.

Tie a Shoelace in Hunter Boots

If your shoelaces are flat, then all you need to do after creating the bow is take one end of the shoelace and tug it under itself (to form another ‘donut’), only this time, make sure the two loops are vertical, meaning they run parallel to your leg instead of perpendicular like they did when you were making your bow. Then feed the other end of your shoelace through those loops and pull tight to secure it in place.

If your shoelaces are round, then you may have some trouble sliding the loops of your bow under themselves because they will roll right back up to their original position. To get around this problem, place a pen or pencil between the two loops and use it as a sort of clamp to hold them in place while you pull tight on one end of your laces.

You can also try wrapping your shoelace around something cylindrical (in my case, I used an empty marker) but make sure whatever you wrap it around is smooth enough that it won’t poke through the shoelace.

Step 6: Personal Taste

Since there are so many ways to tie a bow on a pair of Hunter boots, I’m going to leave it up to you how you want to go about doing it. Just remember the following: How tight or losing your shoelaces will depend on a lot of personal preference, so experiment with them beforehand until you find something that works for you.

How much time and effort you put into tying your laces in a bow is also primarily personal preference, but keep in mind that the longer and more complicated your bow, the less practical it will be when it comes time to take off your boots. These steps will help in how to buckle hunter boots.

Tips and Warnings


  • You should not buckle your boots too tightly; this will prevent the boot from flexing and allowing you to move freely.
  • Make sure you can run a hand efficiently along both sides of the boot shaft when buckling up the boots – this ensures they are fitted correctly. If not, add or remove another notch accordingly.
  • While you should be able to slip in and out of your Hunter Boot with relative ease, it is ill-advised to loosen your buckles completely open before attempting to put them on. Doing so defeats their intended purpose as weatherproof footwear! This goes for all other waterproofed shoes with fastenings at the back. When worn without thick socks, loosen only up the first set of notches.
  • To avoid damaging the heels of your boots, refrain from leaning on them with too much weight, especially when wet. Try to lean on a wall instead if you need support while lacing up your boot!
Should Not Buckle Your Hunter Boots Too Tightly


  • Do not attempt to stretch out the mouth of your boots with your hands when lacing them up – this will damage the material and make it difficult for you to get in and out of your Hunter Boots.
  • Keep the setting on “lock” when you are finished fastening your boot; this ensures that all loose ends are neatly tucked away. If you do not, the next person who attempts to buckle up your shoes may damage them in the process.
  • If using a coin to fasten up your Hunter Boot, be sure not to slip it under one of the two tongues and pierce it with a sharp object – this will most likely create an irreparable tear in the leather and render it useless for future use.
  • Do not attempt to stuff tissues or any other material into your boots when they feel too tight – these items don’t provide enough support and might damage your shoes further.
Using Coin to Fasten Up Hunter Boot


When you are learning how to buckle hunter boots, there are two main options for achieving this. First, how you put on your Hunter boots will often depend on whether or not they have a back slit. If the shoes do have slits, then all you need to do is place your foot in the boot and pull it up to the desired height before pushing down on each side of the boot until it can be buckled at the top.