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Cowboy boots buying guide

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Tip your hat to American history with a stylish pair for cowpokes and kids.

These boots aren’t only for cowboys and cowgirls. Show off your rugged individualism with top pairs fit for galloping, moseying and just about anything to suit your fancy.

Best cowboy boots

Ariat Legend

Best cowboy boots for women

Ariat Legend

Your reason for strutting in cowboy boots will differ from the next lady’s. Some wear them for riding horses or working the farm, while others simply love the look.

With their 2-inch heel, square toe, four-row stitch pattern and Duratread outsole, Ariat Legends are as functional as they are stylish. Wear them around the ranch for a night on the town!


Ariat Rambler

Best cowboy boots for men

Ariat Rambler

The Rambler is the quintessential American cowboy boot that’s all about versatility. Whether you’re on the farm, at your jobsite or on the streets, these boots satisfy with a classic look that’s available with a steel toe.


Smoky Mountain

Best cowboy boots for girls

Smoky Mountain Girls’ Monterey Western Boots

If you’ve got a little cowgirl on your hands, you need a boot that holds up to mud puddles, running and playing. The ideal boots for kids is easy to break in without feeling stiff or hard to walk in. And who could forget lots of bright colors to choose from? This pair checks all the boxes!


Swift Creek

Best cowboy boots for boys

Swift Creek Boys’ Cowboy Boots

These boots are perfect for rough-and-tumble boys who want to dress just like Daddy. Durable synthetic leather, easy-on pull tabs and colorful stitching make this pair a must-have for your mini cowboy.


Johnny Popper

Best cowboy boots for babies

John Deere Johnny Popper Baby Boots

Let your cowboy or cowgirl in training sport that western style you love. Grip-pad soles make these crib shoes perfect for crawling infants. They’re soft and comfy, and they come with easy-open Velcro backs.


Laredo Access Cowgirl Boots

Best cowboy boots for wide calves

Laredo Access Cowgirl Boots

You want your boots snug, but not constricting. This chic pair comes in medium and wide sizes along with a selection of three colors. Online reviews for the Laredo Access rave about its perfect fit for wider calves and ankles.


Ariat Men's Workhog Waterproof Pro Work Boots

Best cowboy work boots

Ariat Men’s Workhog Waterproof Pro Work Boots

This is a solid, well-built work boot that’s waterproof, slip-resistant and shock-absorbing. Its sole is half an inch, versus the one to two inches standard on other cowboy boots, making it easier and more comfortable to move around on the job.


Country Love Pointed Toe Women's Cowboy Boots

Best budget cowboy boots for women

Country Love Pointed Toe Women’s Cowboy Boots

Looking for a pair of boots for a special occasion, like a friend’s barn wedding or for a costume? This pair is a mix of value and quality. For under $50, you’ll get a classic cowboy look with western-style stitching and your choice of two colors.


Justin Men's 10″ Roper Boots

Best budget cowboy boots for men

Justin Men’s 10″ Roper Boots

Justin is among the best-known boot brands around. But you don’t have to shell out your life’s savings for a pair. Roper runs around $70, yet it’s made to the same quality standards as the brand’s higher-end models.


What is the purpose of cowboy boots?

Traditionally, cowboy boots were designed for riding horses and ranching in the American West. The heel is designed to keep your foot stable in stirrups while horseback riding, and the tall leather shaft keeps your legs protected when rubbing against stirrup leathers and the horse’s side.

Today, you’ll find many types and styles of cowboy boots. People still wear them to ride horses, rope cattle and do farm and ranch work, while others sport cowboy boots for the statement they make.

When choosing the type of cowboy boot to buy, consider what you plan to wear them for. Popular boot types and uses include:

  • Ropers. These boots have a shorter heel than many other boots. They make the job of the rodeo cowboy much easier, helping them to quickly mount and dismount their horses when roping cattle.
  • Stockmans. These boots most closely mimic the classic western look and typically have fashionable stitching. Stockmans also have a noticeably deeper scallop than other types. This refers to the cut around the top edge of the boot shaft, which rests at the highest point on your leg.
  • Western work. As the name suggests, these boots are primarily for practical work, resulting in less flare than other boots. While the sole material can vary, most western work boots have some tread for increased traction.
  • Buckaroo. Buckaroos boast the most flare and style of any cowboy boot, and they also have a longer shaft. In some styles, the shaft can come up to your knees to ensure your entire leg is protected during a rodeo. The heel is usually two or more inches high, making the boots excellent for riding — but not as efficient for walking or standing.

Compare the best cowboy boots

Boot Best for Brand Estimated price Where to buy
Ariat Legend Women Ariat $179.99
Ariat Rambler Men Ariat $149.95
Smoky Mountain Monterey Girls Smoky Mountain $29.99
Swift Creek boys’ Boys Swift Creek $33.97
  • Boot Barn
Johnny Popper baby Babies John Deere $34.00
Laredo Access Wide calves Laredo $144.95
Ariat Men’s Workhog Pro Work boots Ariat $179.95
Country Love Budget for women Country Love $49.99
Justin 10″ Ropers Budget for men Justin $70.95
  • Boot Barn

Bottom line

Cowboy boots are versatile footwear for pardners and ladies looking to saddle up, work the farm and get out into town. Compare how you’ll wear this iconic style when deciding on materials, fit and price.

How did we choose these products?

To choose the best cowboy boots in each category, we researched features, versatility, materials, and prices online, including in customer reviews.

Frequently asked questions

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