Even if you have never stepped onto a cattle ranch, you can still rock a pair of cowboy boots.
These are quickly becoming on-trend and yet are a testament to American craftsmanship.
To fit the niche, not all Wild Western-style boots can be considered cowboy boots, which you may need to clarify before you land yourself in trouble.
The best pair of cowboy boots do not just look good, they have to do the job. In other words, they need to be saddle-ready for a ride on a horse.
If the cowboy boots fail to have a rounded or pointed toe, or a Cuban heel, you may find yourself wobbling on a horse.
It can be quite embarrassing if your reason for falling off a horse was the incorrect pair of cowboy boots.
Remaining secure in the stirrup is a priority for a pair of cowboy boots, while also looking great.
They should also be comfortable and constructed out of tough leather to offer great protection.
The best cowboy boots also get better with age and should be in your wardrobe for years to come. Ready for whenever you ride a horse, head to a cattle ranch, or simply decide to rock a pair of boots.
OUR TOP PICK
Best For Comfort
For a pair of cowboy boots that you will get great everyday comfort from, consider the Wolverine Rancher Work Boots.
A square toe design with a removable OrthoLite cushioned footbed is ideal for a comfortable fit.
These are easy on and easy off with full-grain leather that truly feels exceptional which we liked in our testing.
These cowboy boots are well suited to daily use. Moisture wicking mesh lining will keep your feet cool and dry even in the hottest of conditions.
You should expect sweat while working on a ranch in the heat of summer, but not with these cowboy boots.
Then there is a rubber lug outsole for the best in traction on a variety of surfaces.
- Full-Grain Leather - For the premium feel, go for full-grain leather
- Moisture Wicking Mesh Lining - Your feet should feel dry at all times thanks to a mesh lining that takes away moisture
- Removable OrthoLite - Extra support and comfort comes from a cushioned footbed that molds to your feet
- Rubber Lug Outsole - Ideal traction with an outsole that will grip the surface
- Steel Shank - For reliable support, a steel shank will see you wearing these all day and for years to come with little complaint
- Loose Heel - There are some reports that the heel can be a little loose
Also available directly from Wolverine Rancher
Best For Budget
While cowboy boots should be durable and come from premium leather, few are as affordable as Laredo’s Lodi Western Boots.
For that budget-friendly price, you still get a pair of boots in an authentic, traditional style that looks great.
Though the boots may require a bit of breaking in, the hinged cushion insole is flexible, supportive, and comfortable.
A broad square toe with a rubber outsole are features that you should expect in cowboy boots but we still liked in our testing.
These boots come with a cowboy-approved outsole and it shows when combined with a Stockman heel that offers versatility for that quality reliability.
While these are affordable, once you consider the look, comfort, and support, you may be surprised at the price tag.
- Affordable Price Tag - Cowboy boots need not come with a hefty price tag, as these prove
- Traditional Style - Laredo have been making western boots for over 45 years and have stuck to their authentic styling
- Hinged Cushion Insole - A dual-density EVA cushioned soft footbed is flexible and has gel pillows at all the right places
- Stockman Heel - Versatility from a heel that can be suitable for all kinds of activities
- Require Breaking In - These boots may require a longer break-in but it is worth it
Best For Big Calves
If comfort is your number one priority then grab a pair of Ariat Men's Workhog Wide Square Toe H2O Steel Toe Work Boots.
These come with all the technology to keep your feet dry and stable yet also come with added features that are built for comfort.
Take the leather, for instance, full-grain and waterproof with a premium build to keep performing in wet conditions.
A cushioning EVA midsole also means less foot fatigue which we liked in our testing.
ATS Max Technology not only means great torsional stability but also comfort that lasts and lasts.
This is a renowned pair of cowboy boots to slip on with the U-Turn Entry System insisting on an ideal fit.
There is even comfort from the Duratread outsole which offers flexibility as well as traction on difficult surfaces.
- Waterproof Pro - The leather is waterproof and full-grain for a premium build
- ATS Max - These boots are built for comfort with added stability and moisture prevention technology
- Duratread Outsole - Outstanding wear resistance and easy cleaning from a flexible outsole
- Cushioning EVA Midsole - For even more comfort, the midsole is designed to reduce foot fatigue
- U-Turn Entry System - A truly slip-on boot that should provide a natural and true fit
- Ideal For Wide Legs - Though the U-Turn Entry System should mean a great fit, these boots are not especially ideal for those with especially slim legs
Also available directly from Ariat
Best For Stylish Design
Cowboy boots should be durable yet they can also be fashionable when you want to make a statement.
The stylish stitching for the Guide Gear Cowboy Boots really does make an impression which we liked in our testing.
They are also lightweight and easy to slip on, proving that looking good can be comfortable too.
Especially with padded insoles that leave your feet feeling cushioned and supported.
While the design looks wholly intricate, the maintenance is relatively simple.
The rubber outsole requires little checking and you only need to wipe it with some water for a clean.
For a convenient pair of cowboy boots that are also eye-catching, you would do well to find a better pair.
- Stylish Stitching - For boots that are designed to turn heads, the intricate stitching really works
- Lightweight - These cowboy boots are easy to slip on and not as heavy as you may think
- Padded Insoles - Great comfort comes when your feet are cushioned with thick padding
- Simple Maintenance - You only need to wipe the rubber outsole with water for a clean and polish
- Narrow Toe Box - The toe box is ideal for those with narrow feet but may not be suitable for those with wide feet
Best For Wide Square Toe
You can rely on Durango to produce a cowboy boot that combines traditional Western style with modern technology.
In the Durango Men’s DB594 11 you can expect a slip-resistant outsole that should get to grips with whatever surface you go on.
The wide square toe is also ideal if you have larger feet for a roomier toe box.
The thick Strider heel should also prove long-lasting, as should the rest of the boot.
With a cushion flex insole, you can expect a comfortable fit which we liked in our testing.
The ankle straps are a welcome feature that also helps gain a comforting fit and means adaptability when you need to change the fit.
A leather upper for worthwhile durability while the softness and brown hue of the leather make these a great pair for casual events too.
- Slip Resistant Outsole - The rubber outsole is designed to be oil and slip-resistant while offering great traction
- Wide Square Toe - Plenty of room in the toe box, even if you have wide feet
- Strider Heel - A full two inches should be long-lasting and provide support
- Cushion Flex Insole - Easy to slip on and the insole brings some added comfort
- Ankle Straps - An added feature that help for a great fit and adaptability
- Heavy Weight - These boots may be heavier than most yet they are long-lasting
Also available directly from Durango
For such durable, pricey footwear there should be quite a lot to consider when buying cowboy boots.
Like any pair of boots, the material is key so you should make a decision between cow leather, or boots made out of gator or snakeskin.
There is a fashionable aspect to consider with the material as gator or snakeskin can simply look more exotic while cow leather is suitably traditional.
Comfort is a priority and the toe box has two different options depending on the shape of your feet.
Cowboy boots are designed to last for years so a pair that is comfortable with the right support is also essential.
There is limited adjustability as these are generally slip-on so finding a pair of cowboy boots that look great and feel good can be quite tricky.
You may think that there is only one material that is suited to a cowboy boot; cow leather, which is tough leather too.
While it may be the most recognized material for a cowboy boot you need to check its validity.
It should be of a premium-build and ideally be full-grain leather. Only 100% leather will do yet it can be made from creatures other than cattle.
For a truly in-vogue cowboy boot, seek out snakeskin. All that style comes at a cost, and that is not purely the price tag either.
These boots will look stunning yet can be considered extremely fragile so require a lot of care. With a delicate brush for getting rid of soil as well as debris and only use conditioners that are specifically designed for snakeskin.
Any other conditioner and you may be harming the snakeskin, instead of conditioning it properly.
You would be hard-pressed to find evidence of an alligator near most ranches, aside from the odd cowboy boot.
Gator skin creates exceedingly reliable cowboy boots which, like snakeskin, also require a significant level of care. Again, that means using a brush to eliminate soil and then a saddle-cleanser to clean them up.
A reptile-explicit conditioner should also be used to keep your boots looking great. You can also use a non-silicone climate protectant for a bit more protection against the elements.
Boots made out of gator skin may also struggle for durability if left to dry out which is worth keeping in mind.
Like any pair of boots, careful consideration has to go into the toe box. With limited room, you may find your feet aching after a few hours wearing your boots.
Considering you are likely to be outside for hours, this is certainly a consideration to keep in mind. With cowboy boots, there are two different types of kinds that affect the toe box and its size.
There are adjusted style boots that are better for those with slender, narrow feet. Square-toe boots should be a better fit for bigger feet.
Cowboy boots are no different from any other boots in that they should be comfortable to wear.
If you want to be wearing your boots all day, they should be a pleasure to have on your feet. Thankfully, a lot of manufacturers have considered the cushioning of their cowboy boots so you should expect some features to look after your feet.
An absolute necessity for comfort should be stun engrossing padded soles or cushioning insoles. Both will soften the impact of difficult terrain to make it easier on your feet.
There are several other options that you can also look into. These include materials such as EVA, latex, or adaptive padding.
True cowboy boots include a Cuban heel so support can be difficult to find to accommodate such a pronounced feature.
The boots should be strong and where they do offer support this should be in the heel and curve. However, if you do suffer from certain conditions with your feet, you may want to research additional support.
This is particularly important if you suffer from back or knee pain as cowboy boots usually fail to offer sufficient aid.
Custom orthotics or supplements should also be considered if you have a condition like level feet.
The fashion-conscious should know that a pair of cowboy boots can enhance a carefully chosen outfit. Not every outfit though, but one that conveys your flamboyant, daring sense of style but also your own stature.
For instance, if you are taller than most then you should get a taller pair of cowboy boots. Just as you would with any pair of boots, they have to compliment you.
For the premium cost of a pair of cowboy boots, you should be looking for durability.
These are supposed to be long-lasting and considered an investment. For a sizable outlay, you should be wearing these boots regularly so try to select a pair that you can rely on, especially in adverse weather conditions.
If you are considering a pair of cowboy boots, you should be aware that they are typically slip-on. No laces, no Velcro straps, no bands, and typically no zips.
As cowboy boots are generally made out of tough leather, there should be some obligation to match the shape of your feet.
This might mean some breaking in over a couple of days and maybe a tiny extension to the size. These are cowboy boots though, they are supposed to be solid so there may be little wiggle room.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I not wear with cowboy boots?
There are certain trousers and jeans that you definitely should not try to wear with cowboy boots.
If you do decide to wear jeans, these should ideally be close-fitted and dark. Light blue jeans should not be considered as the darker, the better.
In terms of cut, a boot-cut pair of jeans will naturally look good with a pair of cowboy boots whereas any other style would not be as suitable.
There are ideal ways to wear your cowboy boots too. If you are working on the farm or on a site then that is a reasonable reason to tuck your jeans into your boots.
However, if wearing the cowboy boots casually then the jeans should be out.
How hard should it be to remove my cowboy boots?
Some cowboy boots may require breaking in to find the ideal fit so wear them around the house before taking them outside.
There may only be a minimal amount of extra wiggle room but that could make a lot of difference.
Cowboy boots can be quite stiff so they should be a snug fit yet may be difficult to get on and even require a bit of effort.
Once your cowboy boots are broken in, they should be quite easy to put on and then remove.
That should get easier over time, as you wear the boots more regularly the leather should soften making the process of taking them off seem effortless.