Guide to choosing the best cowboy boots

Cowboy boots used to be

worn by, well, cowboys. They were not a statement of style; they just happened to be the most practical footwear for those long days in the saddle or on the range. These days, cowboy boots are worn on many occasions and make a bold, stylish statement. While you probably wouldn’t wear them to the beach or out on your boat, they are almost always accepted as casual wear and sometimes even as formal footwear. When choosing cowboy boots, the options are many. What things should you keep in mind when selecting your boots?


Cowboy boots generally fit into two categories: traditional and fashion boots. Traditional boots can be stylish, but they feature classic design elements and never really go out of style. They can be worn as everyday footwear. Fashion boots make a bold statement, and are often more contemporary or urban in design.

It’s important to know the various types of cowboy boot. These include the classic western, shortie, western workboot, roper, buckaroo, riding, stockman, and packer. The classic western is properly termed “cowboy boot”; the rest are usually called “western style boot.”


Of course, the traditional material for cowboy boots is leather. It wears well, looks great, and can be tooled and dyed in endless variations. Some boots are made from more exotic materials, such as crocodile, python, bison, lizard, goat, and ostrich hides. Each material has its own characteristics and care regimen. Be sure you know how to care for your boots. That way you’ll get many years of enjoyment from them.


When buying boots, you should consider various features of the boot:

  • Heel. This includes both the height and shape. Heel height varies from nearly flat to 4-inch stiletto. The tradition heel shape is called the Cuban heel. Shank style. This is the upper part of the boot and can vary in height, color, and design. Traditional boots cover the calf, but shorter boots are also popular, especially for women. They reach mid-calf or just above the ankle. Stitching and piping designs are simply decoration, and allow you to express your own individuality.

  • Toe. The toe can come in different shapes. The main types are square, rounded, traditional, and snip. A western boot is art, culture, and functional footwear all rolled into one. You must wear them with confidence, as they are always an attention-grabbing accessory. Taking a few minutes to educate yourself about the various styles and features of western boots is well worth it. Be a smart consumer, and your boots will bring a smile to your face every time you put them on!

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