Guide to Cowboy Boots

The Western-style riding boot is someplace in between folk art, popular culture, and practical clothes.

Stars have actually used them, therefore have Presidents– and for that matter, so have stars who ended up being Presidents.

Many males, however, will go through life without ever having actually attempted a cowboy boot on.

Offer it a shot. You do not have to be a cowboy to use and value Western boots.

You’ll get more usage out of them if you take up Western dancing and rodeo– a male can delight in a touch of Western design in his clothing now and once again.

Much like boater shoes aren’t solely for New Englanders with their own personal luxury yachts, well-dressed males can be comfy taking the cowboy boot out of the Southwest and into America’s many trendy cities.

How to do it? Well that’s the function of this cowboy boot guide.


For many guys, it’s tough to see the point of an elegant Western boot. They’re pricey products, and unless you matured around males who used them, they appear more like novelty or outfit pieces than anything trendy.

A smart cabinet can believe of a cowboy boot as an attire’s holdout weapon. At a distance, it appears like a quality leather shoe. Up close, the unique benefits begin to reveal:

Special shape.

The toe of a cowboy boot does not need to be wickedly thin (although contemporary style tends that way), however it constantly has an unique taper. This was initially to assist slide in and out of the stirrups more quickly, and it still provides your feet an active, vibrant shape that contrasts perfectly with more staid gown shoe toes.
Included height. Much shorter guys have additional factor to enjoy cowboy boots– the heel includes anywhere from a half-inch to almost 2 inches of height. Taller guys will absolutely desire a lower-slung “strolling heel” design, however especially brief guys can slip another inch approximately in by using complete “cowboy heels.”
A plain cowboy boot is an uncommon thing. If you’re fond of remarkable shoes, you’ll enjoy cowboy boots.
Individuality. You’re not likely to discover yourself in a space with another person using Western boots as soon as you get outside of Texas and the Southwest. It provides individuals something to keep in mind you by.
Let’s face it, often we all desire to cowboy it up a little. Western boots come from a long custom, both imaginary and historic, of American self-reliance and manhood.

The novice purchaser is most likely to be overwhelmed by the range of Western boots out there. If you understand some fundamental terms and designs, it’ll be far less challenging.

For the most part, all great Western boots ought to share the exact same fundamental qualities:

A boot that does not have an angled, underslung heel of at least 1/2 ″ or more isn’t actually a cowboy boot. Lower heels will be more comfy to stroll in (and are in truth called “strolling heels”), while taller heels are more helpful for holding your feet in the stirrups when you ride, and offer much shorter guys a bit of an additional increase.

The tops of the boots ought to be up to at least mid-calf. A traditional Western boot generally has a 10- to 14-inch shaft.

Cowboy boots are pulled on and off. This likewise comes from the useful origins; laces might capture on a stirrup when a cowboy fell from his horse or keep him from kicking complimentary if the boot captured, triggering him to be dragged and possibly trampled.

Desire more details on Western boot parts, leathers, and heels? Click on this link to have a look at my in-depth infographic.


The timeless Western boot design, otherwise referred to as the cowboy boot, remains real to its heritage by having a shaft about 12 inches high, a heel developed to keep you in the saddle, no laces, and a toe box that can secure your digits when a horse steps on them.

Timeless cowboy design can be found in a wide range of leathers and stitching. Stick to cowhide for your very first boot– it’s fairly low-cost, has all the traditional hard-wearing homes, and is more flexible than unique leathers.

These are a little various, and are created particularly for rodeo usage. They include lower shafts, a more rounded toe, and a more comprehensive heel that’s formed more like a common work boot.

The stockman design of Western boot is really comparable to the cowboy. The two most obvious distinctions are a much deeper dip in the scallop (see the terms chart above for aid with what that suggests) and a much shorter and larger heel. Produced the cowboy who isn’t investing as much time in the saddle, this variation is more comfy when you’re on your feet 12-16 hours a day.

The Western work boot is extremely comparable to the roper, although you’ll typically discover they have a bigger toe box since they are regularly made with a steel toe. Rubber soles prevail here for non-slip traction, as are much shorter heels for the man who requires a work boot that’ll work in all conditions.

The buckaroo’s most distinguishing feature is its lengthened shaft. Well past 14 inches, these shafts are frequently elaborately detailed to accentuate the boot. A high heel and high shaft make these an excellent option for show riders– you have the ability to safeguard your legs and have some design while doing so.


An excellent guideline for Western-style attires beyond the American Southwest is one western-themed product per attire, optimum!

If you’re using a set of cowboy boots, use them with a streamlined belt and a coat rather than with a cowboy t-shirt and a bolo tie. You wish to appear like you’re making a calculated style declaration, not attempting to dress up in an outfit.

Your cowboy boots are going to be social wear instead of service (unless you’re a Texan), so strategy to use them with unwinded pants and coats:

Collared t-shirts are something of a needs to with cowboy boots, if you’re using them to look elegant. A Tee shirts and blue jeans with cowboy boots will fit right in at a c and w program, however unless that’s where you’re really going, you must use something else. A plain white dress shirt works extremely well, as do more patterned, casual t-shirts.
Denims need to be close-fitted and dark, not the light blue of normal work denims. You’ll desire a boot-cut design for apparent factors. Never ever tuck the denims into the boots unless you’re doing real deal with horseback that needs it.
Gown pants can opt for cowboy boots also, therefore can casual matches. Simply make certain they have sufficient space in the leg that the boot shaft isn’t making a bulge.
Coats actually assist take you from “metropolitan cowboy” to “snappy dresser.” I would nearly inform you to never ever use cowboy boots without a coat, a minimum of in a significant city. It simply stabilizes the casual boot design out in such a way that a t-shirt by itself can’t.
Hats are pressing it, however if you actually wish to hammer the cowboy point house, a great felt Western-style hat is an apparent enhance to Western boots. Do not do this unless you’re actually devoted to making individuals immediately believe “cowboy” when they look at you.
Belts with ornamental buckles or leather are constantly a great buddy to cowboy boots. You do not require a big silver buckle with blue-green inlays, or a rattlesnake skin belt, however something a bit more ornamental than your typical gown belt works out.
Do not exaggerate the casual styling, nevertheless– your boots are currently quite casual, so a coat with lapels is going to be much better than one without. A long trench coat is a really natural pairing for Western boots.
Spurs are for a couple of particular kinds of riding. Please do not use stimulates on your boots if you’re not preparing on hopping on a horse in the instant future.

The objective of all these particular information is to make an attire that acknowledges your boots without being focused around them.

You wish to look comfy, unwinded, and capable– all the important things we relate to cowboys and Western culture.

You likewise desire to look a little dressier than a real rodeo-going cowboy if you’re in a huge city.

For a secure cowboy boot clothing, attempt a set of dark denims, a white t-shirt, and a gray or brown coat with a soft, casual cut. Include an ornamental belt and a paisley pocket square to stimulate conventional bandannas and you’re looking both special and elegant.


Western-style boots are casual clothes if we have not made it clear by now.

They’re not organization wear unless your service includes livestock or oil. Every once in a while you’ll see an entrepreneur using an elegant fit with cowboy boots, however you do not wish to be that sort of eccentric.

For the most part we suggest keeping the cowboy boots to “enjoyable” gatherings– things that are actively light-hearted, where a little machismo and a somewhat more aggressive design isn’t out of place.

Excellent locations for cowboy boots consist of:

The majority of type of action dancing– salsa, square, and so on
Funny programs (however if you sit in the front row they may state something).
Definitely any activity done on horseback.

Doubtful locations to use cowboy boots, unless they are a regular part of your individual design, consist of:.

Dates (may send out the incorrect impression).
Political functions of any kind (even simply casual charity events).
Any discussion that you’re making personally.
Long walkings or drives (not comfy for either).
High end theater efficiencies.
Modern dance clubs (incorrect design, and frequently difficult on the dance flooring).

And obviously there is some difference here depending upon what your boots appear like– a set of white cowboy boots with bright red Texas stars on the toes are going to operate in a lot less settings than a set of deep, oxblood red boots with some ornamental stitching in the exact same color thread. Work out a little individual judgment, and if your boots are especially ostentatious, a little individual restraint.


Western-style boots were initially developed for riding. A few of their specifying functions are still more beneficial on horseback than they are on foot, though the majority of makers nowadays presume their consumers are most likely to be making the rounds at a bar than a pasture.

A couple of things to expect with your cowboy boots:.

A boot from one maker may fit excellent, and a boot in the precise very same size from the rival will pinch. That makes cowboy boots specifically difficult to go shopping for online, or for individuals with uncommon sizes.

The severe taper you see on a lot of boots is a current stylistic advancement, and it’s not a really useful one. If you have actually got a broad foot, look for boots that begin the taper reasonably close to the toes and do not narrow off too dramatically.

The high shafts and stiff sides of a cowboy boot take time to break in. Be conscious that you’ll desire a little bit of a loose sensation in the heel of a brand-new boot– as the sides break in, your heel will move even more back and fill that.

All in all, these are small disadvantages– useful requirements of the boots’ working heritage, and quickly conquered with a little time and smart shopping. It’s a little bit more work than choosing a set of brand-new gown shoes, however the appearance you obtain from it is a lot more remarkable too.


Slipping a set on for the very first time might feel unusual to a life time dress-shoe-and-sneakers guy, however you’ll rapidly concern take pleasure in the assertive noise of the heels and the sophisticated shape of the tapered toe.

Using a Western boot with a non-Western attire is a workout in the art of restraint and balance.

Let the boots talk on their own, and keep the remainder of the attire strong and easy– worths any cowboy can value.