DIY Boot Jack

Updated February 21, 2017

Boot jacks helped the cowboys remove their manly footwear at the end of the cattle drive. The relatively simple device has a Y-shaped end that holds the heel of the boot while the foot is pulled upward and out. Constructing a boot jack requires basic tools and skills and is a simple build.

Find a tree branch with a Y-shaped crotch. The crotch of the branch should roughly correspond to the shape of a boot heal. Trim the branch so the two sides of the crotch are about 7 inches long and the other centre extension is about 9 inches long.

Cut a 2 inch diameter piece of branch about 6 inches long.

Fasten the small piece directly below the junction point of the crotch of the branch. Run a 3-inch wood screw through the point of the crotch into the small piece of wood below. This piece then serves as a fulcrum to the lever made by the crotched piece of branch.


The wearer hooks the heel of his boot into the crotch of the branch while standing on the other end of the branch and steps out of the boot. If a naturally shaped branch is not available, a similar shape can be cut from a 1- by 6-inch board with a 2-inch board fastened under it at the centre point for the fulcrum.

Things You'll Need

  • Y-shaped branch
  • 2-inch diameter branch
  • Power or hand saw
  • 3-inch deck screw
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About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.