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 /  Anatomy

What Is a Boot Jack (And How Do You Use One)?

Key Takeaways

A boot jack is a tool to help you remove your boots easily and quickly and is less likely to damage your footwear. It’s often made of wood or plastic, with a U-shaped end that your boot heel slots into. Once your heel is in place, use your other foot to hold the other end of the jack, pull your foot out of your boot, and then repeat with the other boot.

Pull on boots should fit snugly to maximize comfort and stability, which often means they can be a bit of a struggle to remove.

And did you know that removing your boots incorrectly could actually damage them? While it might be tempting to step on the heel and kick them off—there’s definitely a better way.

It’s called a boot jack, and it’s the cleanest and least damaging way to remove boots of any shape and size.

Here’s everything you need to know about boot jacks, including my personal favorite, plus an excellent budget boot jack to consider, so let’s get to it.

What Exactly Is a Boot Jack?

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A boot jack is a simple, U-shaped device designed to assist in the removal of boots. It’s typically made of wood or metal, it consists of a flat base with two vertical arms forming the “U” shape.

They’re similar in shape to a sling-shot, with a broader base, and the U-shaped end is raised slightly for you to place your boot heel into it. You place one foot on the base and insert the other foot into the U-shaped section, then ‘pull’ against the jack with that leg to leverage the boot off without bending over. 

Boot jacks are practical tools for removing your snug-fitting boots, efficiently, easily, and, above all, carefully. 

No need to scuff and scratch your boots on the front step as you try to pry them off at the heel (we’ve all been there), and your back will also thank you, as you won’t need to bend over to remove your boots.

A boot jack is a simple but extremely useful bit of kit, and I truly believe every boot lover should own one. 

How to Use a Boot Jack

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I would advise using your boot jack on a flat surface, preferably outside. If your boots are muddy, your boot jack can knock some of the mud loose and make a mess.

To use your boot jack:

  1. Stand with the U-shaped, raised end facing away from you, placing one booted foot about halfway up the flat end of the boot jack
  2. Place the heel of your other boot into the U-shaped end
  3. Keeping pressure on the base of the boot jack, pull your foot out of the boot that’s held in place by the jack

If the boot comes away with your foot still inside, don’t worry. Just reposition it in the U-shape with more force and try again, then repeat the process with the other foot.

Conclusion

Regardless of age or ability, getting your boots off can sometimes be a pain, or worse, a manure-covered, boot-scraping, carpet-ruining nightmare.

A boot jack solves all the problems you usually think of when it comes to quickly taking boots off.

If you’re going to buy a boot jack (and I strongly suggest you do), I recommend Ariat’s Boot Jack or, if you really must go for a budget option, the Pluvious Boot Jack, which is a decent quality plastic boot jack that gets the job done.

The Ariat Boot Jack, however, is my personal favorite because it doesn’t cost the earth, it’s wider than many others available, and it’s made from stained hardwood (which I just think looks much classier than plastic).

Ariat Boot Jack

This Ariat boot jack is made from quality materials, and with boot protection built into the jack, it will help you easily remove your boots without any damage.

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FAQs

How do you remove Wellington boots?

You can use a boot jack to remove wellington boots; it is a preferred method to remove wellingtons as the rubber can quickly become worn down by using one boot to try and push the other boot off. Holes and tears can soon form, ruining Wellington altogether.

How do you make a boot jack?

Making your own boot jack can be an excellent introduction to woodworking; the overall design of a boot jack is relatively easy to replicate. The general size of a boot jack is 16” long by 5” wide, and there are several online resources available, including YouTube, where you can find step-by-step guides.

What are boot hooks?

Boot hooks are the direct opposite of boot jacks; they are long hooks that you can use to pull on boots, especially tall boots. Riding boots are an excellent example of a type of boot that can benefit from boot hooks

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