Which Style of Cowboy Boot Is Practical for Your Lifestyle?

The world of cowboy boots can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to wearing them. If you’re from a big city, chances are you haven’t been around many cowboy boots… or cowboys for that matter.

Charles Hyer of Kansas is said to be one of the first to invent the cowboy boot in 1870 shortly after the Civil War. Others say it was a shoemaker in Texas. We don’t actually know for certain who and where the iconic footwear was invented.

We DO know, however, that cowboy boots were made for men working in harsh conditions. Throughout the years, a wide variety of boots have emerged for every cowboy, cowgirl, and yes, even fashionistas alike.

From cowboy boot heel types to finding the most comfortable boots, we’re here to give you everything you need to know about types of cowboy boots for every lifestyle.

Western Boots

Western cowboy boots are the classic cowboy boots you see every day. From the wild west to the boardroom, the western boot is timeless.

These boots have a tall enough boot-shaft to cover your calves right under your knee. They’re made tall to offer protection against the elements. They usually have a 2-inch heel and feature a pointed toe.

Of course, nowadays you can find western boots with a variety of different toe shapes. But the classic point is still a favorite of the masses.

Even if you’re not working on the range, these boots always look great with different outfits and styles. Jeans and a t-shirt is a must for any cowboy boot ensemble.

Riding Boots

Cowboy riding boots are specifically designed for stirrups and horseback riding.

They have a distinct heel and smooth sole to make it easier to slide your foot in and out of the stirrup and also helping to prevent your foot from getting hung up.

Riding boots are a little bit taller than western boots, and also a little less expensive.

Whether you’re a casual weekend rider or a daring barrel racer, or if you prefer English riding instead of Western riding; there’s a huge selection for whatever your riding style may be.

A really GOOD pair of riding boots should last 3-5 years and even longer if you take extra good care of them. And with ALL boots, you need to take care of them for maximum life.

Roper Boots

Like riding boots, roper boots are built for riding horses and protecting your shins and feet. Roper’s were made with rodeos in mind; worn by cowboys while roping cattle.

These boots are comfortable and make it ideal for chasing down a loose cow and jumping on and off your saddle.

With a more comfortable shape and shorter boot-shaft than the classic western, it stops above the ankle instead of covering most of your shins. Making these a little more comfortable than western and riding boots.

Roper boots also have a shorter heel than the western boots, which would make it easier on your feet if you’re walking in them for long periods of time.

Work Boots

These are exactly what their name implies; they’re meant for work. Whether you work in construction or on a farm, there’s a vast amount of jobs that require work boots.

Regardless of what your job is, having the best boots can make all the difference. You’ll want comfort most of all, durability, slip resistance, and of course, some style never hurts.

Work boots have a much shorter heel, making them more practical for your day to day wear.

Walking Boots

The walking boot will be your most comfortable out of all the boots on this list, because well, they’re made for walking. Just because something is comfortable doesn’t mean they’re boring or plain though.

Quite the opposite when it comes to cowboy boot design. Walking boots, a lot like western boots as far as flare goes, can get as fancy and eye-catching as your heart desires.

Walking boots are generally wider than more traditional cowboy boot styles and have a squared, short heel and a shorter boot-shaft.

Speaking of Fancy

Let’s talk about exotic boots and fashion boots. If you like fringe, sequins, snakeskin, and alligator skin; these styles are for you! And those are only a small handful of options to choose from.

These cowboy boots are just for fun and don’t serve any practical purpose. Being the most elaborate and embellished they wouldn’t be something you’d want to wear for working in muddy or harsh elements.

Fashion boots and exotic boots can be the most expensive and are really works of art. Some have sold for thousands and yes, even millions of dollars and are prized possessions for their buyers.

And it’s easy to see why, when you look through pages of boots online.

The attention to detail and the intricacy that the bootmakers put into these boots are astounding and will have you fantasizing about strutting around town in a sparkling pair.

Which Types of Cowboy Boots Are You?

Now you’re better prepared for going boot shopping and you probably have a clear idea of what you’re looking for to fit your lifestyle.

Take your new knowledge of the different types of cowboy boots for a ride. Check out our article about finding a great pair of boots today to see what you may be able to get your feet into next.