9 Best Cowboy Boots of 2021: Black, Brown, Red, & Steel Toe Options (Men’s, Women’s, & Kids)

Cowboy Boots

When you start looking for a new pair of cowboy boots, whether they’re your first or the next, you’re looking for something special. They’re not just work boots. They’re not just for looks. Western cowboy boots speak to a way of life that reflects a deep part of the American spirit – there’s something about their hard-working, self-determination that isn’t afraid to roll up its sleeves and get dirty, have fun, and make its own way. They have a unique flair that isn’t for everyone but makes a statement about you and the places you walk and the way you do what you do.

You might be looking for a new pair for riding, for work, for performance, for business, or to turn heads. Cowboy boots are just as versatile as you. Now find a pair made to go the distance. This review and buyer’s guide is here to help you navigate the different brands, styles, and features that make all the difference in your boots and why you love them. There are so many different ways and places to walk, but all-in-all, these boots all have something in common and something that sets them apart. The best cowboy western boot will be as much a part of you as the country you grew up in and as ready as you are to step into the future. Have a look over our buyer’s guide just below to get a feel for the features that sets one pair of cowboy boots apart from another so you have something to hold onto as you compare the reviews.

Top Cowboy Boots Comparison Chart

ProductMaterialSolePriceWhere to Buy?
Premier Standard Women’s Western Cowboy BootsSynthetic$Check Price On Amazon
Ariat Women’s Gold Rush Western Cowboy BootLeatherDuratread™$$$Check Price On Amazon
West Blvd Women’s Miami Cowboy Western BootsMan MadeSynthetic$Check Price On Amazon
Ariat Women’s Fatbaby Heritage Western Cowboy BootLeatherRubber$$$Check Price On Amazon
Ariat Women’s Heritage Western R Toe Cowboy BootLeatherRubber$$$$Check Price On Amazon
Ariat Men’s Heritage Roughstock Western BootLeatherSynthetic$$$$Check Price On Amazon
Durango Men’s Rebel Western BootLeatherRubber$$$$Check Price On Amazon
Ariat Women’s Zealous Western Cowboy BootLeatherRubber$$$Check Price On Amazon
Ariat Men’s Legend Phoenix Western Cowboy BootLeatherDuratread™$$$Check Price On Amazon

Cowboy Boots Buyer’s Guide

Cowboy boots have their own stylish flair you can’t find in other kinds of shoes. Whether you’re looking for western boots for work, play, performance, or style there is no better choice for functional comfort for the rugged and free spirited. The boots that fit your style have as much to do with where you walk as how you’ll use them and your own personal sense of who you are. And there are boots that suit a variety of budgets and tastes from full-grain leather to imitation leather and even vegan. Cowboy boots are unique in that there are only a handful of brands worth their salt that have so many styles to choose from it could easily get overwhelming. Some are meant for work and others just for looks, depending on the brand. However, once you know the basics of what to look for, the right boots will be easy to find. The features we will be discussing in our review of the Best Cowboy Boots of 2018 are as follows:


The brand of your boots matters because each company specializes in something different and the shoes they develop reflect that philosophy. The brand you’ll see over and over again as we go along is Ariat, which is by far the crowd-favorite and top reviewed brand of cowboy boots you’ll find as you shop. That’s because their boots are for performers and as a result are excellent for riding, work, and the country lifestyle that made the brand famous. The other brands you’ll see are nothing to sneer at though. It’s about what you need your boot to be and the places where you walk.


Fitting for boots is different than fitting for shoes because of the shaft of the boot that reaches up your calf. The boots below are all mid-calf in height. But with different circumferences in the size of the opening you might find the right size for your foot only to be disappointed that you can’t get your foot through the shaft. The tricky thing about choosing boots on the internet is getting your measurements right in consideration of how the boot will stretch, or, break in as you wear them. The same brand might have a slightly different fit from model to model. I would recommend you find a local place to try them on for size then come back and buy them online for a better price. That way you can avoid shipping back and forth just over sizing issues which are more common than you might think.


Some people don’t want a cowboy boot that works just as great in the barn as it looks. They just want the look. So let me tell you right now to be aware that not all boots can handle a full day off the beaten track and in turn neither will your feet. You can mainly tell from the construction – style-only boots are generally made of imitation leather rather than being 100% leather or specifically full-grain leather like a work boot. For those of you looking for work boots in a different style, know ahead of time you won’t find steel-toes here.


The quality of the leather is what will determine the price tag more than any other feature. Also, the ability of the shoe to perform at work and in performance will impact the price. Your lowest price shoe will be imitation leather with an artificial sole made for walking on sidewalks, but they do look good and give enough comfort to wear for fun. On the other hand, you have the full-grain leather boots with upgrades to the sole that would be appreciated by riders, ranchers, and line dancers that will cost you more for the real genuine thing.


Some boots hold up great in the rain, dry quickly, and are ready to go again. Others can handle some hard work but are designed to also look good for business so you may not want them to get scuffed. That said the different kinds of bottoms have better or worse traction on the ground. Also there are upgrades like ATS that help you keep your balance and make the boot comfortable for long days when you’re on your feet. Boots just for style are made for places where you’ll be seen, which are generally paved, and won’t have to be on your feet for heavy work or counted on to keep your balance in rugged conditions. As a rule of thumb, if you’ll be working or wearing your boots for long periods of time in a day, look toward the performance boots.


Style aside, this is where the different brands went all out to set themselves apart from each other. On the in-sole that means comfort, comfort, comfort. From gel-cushions to padded heels and ATS technology that literally cradles your feet, these brands made sure you won’t want to talk your boots off to go to bed. Some higher quality considerations are the actual material the in-sole is made from, leather or synthetic, which affects fit as well as break in period. On the bottom, it means traction. Most of the soles are rubber in the shoes reviewed while others are artificial but the grip is pretty consistent across performance cowboy boots.


This comes down to a matter of taste. You’ll find tassels, overlays of the American flag, specialized stitching, and more. Some are rugged and made to look good scuffed while others are more polished and you’ll take pleasure in applying your leather conditioner to preserve them. You’re sure to find something that makes the statement that expresses your personal style. The nice things about cowboy boots for performance are they aren’t just another work boot, they also look fantastic. But if you can’t afford full-grain leather and don’t need to in-sole upgrades, there are affordable and comfortable options that also look authentic.

Now that you know the features that distinguish one set of boots from another, you’re ready to start walking. Take your time going through the reviews. Check out the pictures. Be careful with your sizing (Ariat, for example, offers a great sizing chart on their website to help you with your accuracy if you don’t feel like going out to get fitted). But most of all, have fun with it because the right pair of cowboy boots will walk with you for years. Scroll down and choose your favorite from the best, customer-favorite cowboy boots of 2018.

Best Cowboy Boots Reviews

Premier Standard Women’s Western Cowboy Boots

If you’re looking for versatile, mid-calf boots with the perfect fit and style, look no further than Premier Standard Westerns. They have a simple, sleek upper made from vegan PU and a low-stacked, 2 inch ankle heel. Comfortable enough to wear to a festival as well as year round. With so many colors to choose from you have no limitations in outfit combinations, whether you pair them with jeans, shorts, dresses, or skirts it will complement your style. They are durable and comfortable for a long time. You can slip them on and off easily and effortlessly with the attached tabs.

They feature a 2-inch thick out-sole constructed of sturdy rubber that add to the comfort, look, and the feel for your legs. Above all, Premier Standard stands for quality. They suit every season and are easy to walk in. The cushioned insole holds your feet on a plush bed of padding that makes every step comfortable. You can wear them all day with a lot of walking without worries. These boots are an eco-friendly option made of 100% vegan fabric, not leather, so you can enjoy them knowing you’re leaving no harmful footprint on the environment.

Premier Standard Western boots fit true to size or slightly large by a half to a full size and match your standard shoe sizing. They look even better in person than in the photos. The boots don’t weigh enough to slow you down on your walks. All and all, they look great, feel great, and are great quality of an affordable price. You may find yourself back again for a new pair in a different color.


  • Stylish with a variety of color and outfit options
  • Extremely comfortable for long walks
  • Eco-friendly with 100% vegan fabric


  • Run up to a full size too large
  • Your foot may slip around inside without thick socks
  • Wearing the incorrect size will hurt your feet

Ariat Women’s Gold Rush Western Cowboy Boot

This 100% premium full-grain leather, mid-calf boot features a D toe profile, Duratread sole, and styles a fringed suede upper. It features a unique ATS Advanced Torque Stability technology with a composite forked shank which helps your foot grip better inside the shoe. The heel measures 2.5 inches tall with a quarter inch platform. Make a grand statement with the luxurious Gold Rush Western Cowboy Boot for women. You’ll make an impression with top-grade, full grain leather foot and collar as well as the beautiful fringe detailing.

The brand Ariat has just one purpose – to make the most advanced riding boots for the best equestrian athletes in the world. And they’ve done just that. Ariat leads in equestrian performance footwear and clothing globally. You can see them at work from show jumping to team penning because they provide athletes the foundation from which they work, ride, and compete. They look great for performing and will turn heads on the street. And they are so comfortable you may find yourself living in them. Gold Rushes provide instant comfort and they break in quickly so they only get more comfortable.

You’ll love how they look, how they fit, and how they feel. They are a perfect fit for wide feet and wide calves, feel like a tall bootie with very little heel, and will have you feeling like a million dollars. Even if you don’t ride, you might enjoy them as a fashion statement alone because they are so tastefully done. The color is just right and they come in two shades of brown. Be aware they are a little heavier than traditional boots but the cushioning and support are nothing short of amazing – they will in all likelihood be the most comfortable boot you own.


  • Stylish boot perfect for riding in competition or looks on the street
  • Absolutely comfortable and well-fitted
  • Fit wider calves and feet nicely even with a narrow toe


  • Fringe may tangle when walking
  • The footbed is tighter than other Ariat boots
  • Not the most cost effective option for fashion use only

West Blvd Women’s Miami Cowboy Western Boots

This is a chic pair of ladies’ cowboy boots boot that are comfortable, cost-effective, and stylish. Look great on a casual date or a night of fun on the town. Miamis feature a rounded pointed toe, faux leather, stitch-detailing, and pull tabs for easy on and off. These boots are all synthetic with a heel height of 2.5 inches and platform height of a quarter inch. They can be worn every season. West Blvd Miami Cowboy Boots include a comfortable, cushioned in-sole that cradles your feet and puts a happy spring in your step.

The sturdy, man-made out-sole help provide balance and stability while you walk around a festival or dance the night away. They fit great, even if you have a wide calf and wide foot, and they run true to your normal shoe size. You may find them a little loose if you have a narrow foot. They are comfortable out of the box with no need to break them in. You can wear them with almost anything, so be prepared to come back for more colors and back up pairs. If you don’t like a super pointy toe you’ll be happy with how the toe is rounded but still pointy enough to look authentic. The heel is not too height for those who don’t like to wear heels and made of a stable block for balance and comfort. They are a bargain for what you’re getting. Even if you’re used to boots that are all leather you will still be pleased with the look of them, how they feel, and how they fit. The colors are only better in person. And they feel great to wear all day!


  • An affordable, fashionable, and comfortable
  • Nice fit for wide calves and feet
  • Comfortable cushioned in-sole and balanced block heel


  • Fit slightly look for narrow feet
  • Inexpensive material is not very durable
  • Occasional manufacturing and shipping mistakes

Ariat Women’s Fatbaby Heritage Western Cowboy Boot

Fatbaby is a comfortable, stylish, handsomely-crafted Western cowboy boot in full-grain leather perfect to make a statement in performance. It features 4LT technology that provides comfort and stability above and beyond your typical Western boot. The Everly sole makes it comfortable for walking, work, and play all day with exceptional cushioning and lends durability against wearing. Beautiful 4-row stitching completes the look and you have your choice of 6 colors so lovely you’re going to want a second pair. In short, you’re going to love these boots.

They’re comfortable right out of the box and fit perfectly within a half size. If you have a wide foot and trouble finding a boot that fits, look no further than Ariat Fatbaby Heritage boot – just order a size larger than your normal shoe size. They disguise how wide they are with a narrow cut that’s sure to compliment jeans, boots, shorts, skirts, and dresses for all seasons. There is no dreaded break in period typical of lesser boots and there is nothing like pulling them out of the box and heading straight out the door to the barn. They are only stiff and tight across the top for the first 10 minutes. After that, they’re all yours and you’ll be amazed how Fatbaby perfectly fits your foot. If you’re a long-time fan of Ariat these will not disappoint. If you’re new to Ariat, be warned: they are so comfortable, you might not want to take them off when you get home.


  • Supportive, flexible, and work-ready out of the box
  • Quality, handsomely-crafted performance boots
  • So comfortable you won’t want to take them off


  • Cheap synthetic lining
  • Generous sizing may be too loose – try one half size smaller
  • Sole is a weak point in durability for heavy use

Ariat Women’s Heritage Western R Toe Cowboy Boot

This 100% leather boot features classic Western embroidery and scalloped entry. It also includes Ariat’s signature ATS Advanced Torque Stability composite shank for stability. This boot features a performance, moisture-wicking footbed with a gel cushioning for shock absorption and Duratread out-sole for maximum wear resistance. The heel is a comfortable 2 inches high. It fits perfectly true to size. The shape of the toe and type of leather make a big difference in the way the boot fits.

Some people with wide feet find a rounded toe as opposed to a square toe irritating because of the way the foot of the boot tapers toward the tip of the toe, but not with Ariat Heritage. When you first put it on the instep may feel tight, but if you use Ariat’s sizing chart and find the ball of your foot rests in the recommended area you should be just fine. The boot will loosen to fit your foot within an hour or so of wearing it, and may continue to loosen to fit a thick sock. The heel slips a little as it is meant to. Brand new boots do need to be conditioned so it investing in a bottle of leather conditioner would be a great way to protect the leather from the start. As a mid-calf boot you have every option for outfit combinations, including pants like skinny jeans that tuck inside the shaft as well jeans that rest over the top. You will be so impressed with the ATS technology and overall comfort you might stop your search right here.


  • Absolutely comfortable insert and ATS stability
  • Breaks in to fit your foot in just an hour
  • Comfortable for wide feet even with rounded toe


  • Difficult to get sizing correct on Amazon – use Ariat’s sizing chart on their website
  • Tends to run narrow in fit
  • Difficult to put on

Ariat Men’s Heritage Roughstock Western Boot

Ariat is the name to beat in effective, comfortable, and handsomely crafted Western boots. These Heritage Roughstock boots are premium full-grain leather with a synthetic sole. The shaft measures about 12 inches from the arch. And it features Ariat’s ATS footbed to support and stabilize your step as well as long-wearing Duratread outsoles. The toe style is square. This is one of Ariat’s most loved models of Western boots. For those of us drawn to unbridled freedom, who know independence, who live out loud outside the lines, and outdoors every chance they get. If you are an untamed spirit, Ariat is for you.

These are by far the most immediately, out-of-the-box comfortable cowboy boots you can get. They break-in during the very first use, within the first hour or so. And they look even better after they get that kicked around look about them. It’s hard to tell if they’re better looking or more comfortable. They look great, feel great, and you will continuously receive compliments on the look of them. Heritage Roughstocks have Duratread soles. They are quality down to the stitch and durable enough to last you for years. At the end of a long day of hard work, when the rest of you is sore, your feet won’t be. You won’t be disappointed. They’re great for wide feet just be sure the width of the opening at the calf is enough or they’ll be difficult to put on. You can wear them year round going out for daily wear, chores, riding (horses or motorcycles), and even getting rained on they dry out quickly and are ready for another day of use and riding. These boots are so good you can buy a pair for your girlfriend and she’ll love them too.


  • Rugged, durable boots that can take a beating
  • Comfortable enough to wear all day for hard work and dancing alike
  • Fit right on the money with practically no break in time


  • Be sure to use the Ariat sizing chart or the fit may be off even if you have other Ariat boots of the same size
  • Boots may stretch too much after breaking in
  • May be difficult to put on depending on the width of your foot relative to thickness of calf in the shaft

Durango Men’s Rebel Western Boot

Durango Rebel Western Boots for men are all leather with rubber soles. The shaft measures about 10.75 inches from the arch while the heel stands at about 1.5 inches tall. The platform is about .75 inches with a 14 inch boot opening circumference. This is a pull-on Western style boot with an American flag overlay stitched into the shaft with a striped out-sole. Pride and patriotism is on full display with the Durango Rebel, all the way down to the footprint on the bottom of the sole. Durango rolled up its sleeves and made itself a reputation in quality Western footwear for the whole family starting in 1966.

They produce a wide variety of lines ranging from farm and ranch products to Western fashion styles in multiple models, Durango’s focus is on durability, comfort, and style in every single one of its products. They lead the industry with their innovations, such as the Comfort Core Insole Technology as well as SPR leather which has become known as one of the very most durable leathers in the entire footwear industry, not just western. Durango is part of Rocky Brands which also owns Rocky Outdoor Gear, Georgia Boot, Dickies Footwear, as well as Lehigh Safety Shoes.

Wear these boots with pride and in memory of those who defend it or other worthy cause. For heavy use, you’ll probably want to replace the included insoles with something more supportive. These boots fit true to size. They break in nicely and you might find them comfortable enough straight out of the box – no discomfort. These stretch quite a bit as they break in so you might buy them a half size smaller than your usual shoe size. Durango Rebels fit wide feet as well and are easy to put on. They are much more comfortable to wear than a leather bottom boot. The sneaker-style bottom has a rubbery grip, gives great traction, and are more versatile to wear in a variety of situations.


  • Unique, stylish, patriotic choice with American flag overlay
  • Good fit true to size and short break-in period
  • Comfortable for wide feet and straight out of the box


  • Included insoles are thin and have no support
  • Instep too tight and inconsistent with the size of the boot
  • Not durable like a work boot should be

Ariat Women’s Zealous Western Cowboy Boot

This imported, 100% leather boot has a rubber sole, 12 inch shaft from the arch, with a 2 inch heel. The platform measures just about half an inch while the boot opening measures about 13 inches around in circumference. It is a beautiful Western boot with its full-grain leather upper, featuring an ornate wingtip and upper collar overlay. It has a Goodyear welt, Duratread outsole for better grip and stability in a variety of terrains, and the scoured and distressed heel gives it a rugged, kicked around look that suits such a beautiful, mid-calf cowboy boot.

The lavish embellishments and unique, decorative stitching make this boot one of a kind. The craftsmanship is clearly superior and only matched by the technology that makes it an excellent performer ready for work, play, riding, and relaxing. Even if Ariat is your go to brand and you know your size in it, be ready to purchase a half size to one full size larger for the Zealous model because it fits on the snug side. These are beautiful boots and they only look better in person – the pictures just don’t do the details and workmanship justice.

They continue Ariat’s tradition of quality that’s become standard and expected over the past ten years. If you have a larger foot it may be difficult to put on because the shaft is so long – be prepared to get one of those devices for removing boots or, optionally, having a zipper installed after purchase. On the flip side, they are comfortable even if your foot is a little wide and they break in easily if you buy the correct size. Be sure to check Ariat’s sizing charts on their website if you’re ordering online, just to be sure of the fit and to avoid back and forth shipping (even though the returns are free to get them right).


  • Beautiful, uniquely styled boot
  • Quality Ariat craftsmanship cowboys know and love
  • Comfortable for slightly wide feet


  • Long shaft makes it difficult to put on for large feet
  • Flaws in the leather occasionally
  • Fit on the snug side and may not match typical Ariat sizing

Ariat Men’s Legend Phoenix Western Cowboy Boot

Ariat Men’s Legend Phoenix Western Cowboy Boots are 100% leather, imported, and feature Ariat’s standard, highly durable Duratread sole for stability, balance, and traction that protects from the ground up. The shaft measures about 11 inches from the arch, the heel measures about 2 inches, and the boot opening measures about 14 inches around in circumference.

This is constructed of premium, full-grain leather in the foot with a four-row stitched patter in the upper. Ariat built in their ATS Advanced Torque technology with composite forked shank that only makes it more comfortable as it cradles your foot, supportive, secure, and enhances your balance to keep you going on long work days. This style of boot has a square toe profile, which is great for people with wide feet who aren’t comfortable with a snip or rounded toe because of the way it narrows to the tip. Even the lining of this shoe is leather which is a mark that it was crafted in Mexico with superior quality. Comes with Goodyear leather welt.

Ariat’s Legend Phoenix is an uptown styled boot that means business. This is a working boot that will take on the town. Another winner from Ariat – the brand known for high performance apparel for equestrian athletes around the world. The heel is very soft and makes walking quite comfortable. The boot is fine to wear all day, actively, with less aching than if you wore dress shoes for the same period of time. The style definitely lends itself to both rugged blue jeans as well as more sophisticated formal suits. All in all, the Legend Phoenix is a handsome, comfortable boot at an average price tag. They look great and feel even better. The leather feels soft and supple. They may turn out to be the best black leather boots you’ve ever had.


  • Uptown style in a hard working boot
  • Ariat performance features
  • Leather insole quality-crafted in Mexico


  • Soft leather easily scuffed
  • Not much cushion in the forefoot
  • Width of the boot may stretch the bottom of dress slacks

Conclusion And Final Cowboy Boots Recommendations

Now you’ve seen the buyer’s guide and reviews of the very best, customer-favorite cowboy western boots of 2018. By now, I bet you have a feel for what you need your boots to be and probably have at least one or two that are calling your name. These boots will be with you for a year or more to come. Now you have the know-how to choose a pair to ride with you starting from where you are that’s also ready and prepared for where you’re going. Every cowboy boot we talked about has a shaft and a sole and a heel, but there is one with a special something that stands all on its own. This review and buyer’s guide showed you your way around the various brands, styles, and features that all add up to the boot that fits you just right. Now grab the pair that’ll stick with you where ever you may find yourself. Each boot is specialized for a different sort of person and designed for where and how they walk. Some of them are made for a performer, others hard workers, business men, and those of us who like to strut our stuff. Cowboy boots are unique in that they represent a way of life that isn’t going anywhere – but you certainly are, and in style. So when you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work, have fun at a festival or line dancing with pals, you can make your own way with the right pair of Western cowboy boots – it is in your spirit to live free and the heritage of these boots speaks to that. They look good but it’s not just about the looks. They’re tough enough to handle a job well done, but they aren’t your typical work boots. Your cowboy boots are something special, and whether you’re just getting started or continuing down the trail, this new pair will get you there.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cowboy Boots

Which brand of cowboy boots are just as comfortable as Ariat?

I own two pairs of Ariats and one pair of Luccheses. The Luccheses are my ‘real’ or ‘nice’ cowboy boots and they are that, nice but boy are they uncomfortable. The fit and all that is right on. They just make my feet sore at the end of the day and there is no room for an after-market insole. I’m looking for something with a shaft no longer than 11″. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

A: Sounds like you’re looking for something comfortable and authentic. I don’t know if you’ll be using them for work or performing. But for a different brand with a quality boot just in general? I would recommend you take a look at Durango Men’s Rebel Western Boot.

Got recommendations on casual cowboy boots?

A: If you want comfortable, casual, handsomely crafted cowboy boots for formal and rugged occasions, Ariat is the first brand that comes to mind. One of their most popular styles for men is Ariat Men’s Heritage Roughstock Western Boot which is on the rough side of style because they look better the more they get kicked around. An option by the same brand for a more formal look is Ariat Men’s Legend Phoenix Western Cowboy Boot. If you like unique finishes the Durango Men’s Rebel Western Boot has a nicely overlaid American flag pattern on the shaft.

Need cowboy boot recommendation for riding motorcycles.

A: Out of any cowboy boot for riding motorcycles, I can’t think of one better than Ariat Men’s Heritage Roughstock Western Boot because they’re tough. They look great, feel great, and they’re quality down to the stitch. They’re rugged and look better the rougher they get from use. Even when you wear them in the rain they dry quickly and are ready to use again. They break in quickly. And they’re super comfortable so your feet won’t hurt after a long day.

Long lasting cowboy boots?

My grandfather has worn the same pair for 40 years but they were custom made in his hometown. I want a new pair I can wear like my grandfather but where do I look? Which companies? Any help would be appreciated.

A: I don’t know of any brand that will last you for 40 years. But for quality that’s durable and will last you, definitely look at Ariat. Ariat built their brand on outfitting rodeo performers so they have special upgrades that make them more comfortable and wearable for a long time. They have quite a few styles all in full-grain leather. Some popular ones are Ariat Women’s Fatbaby Heritage Western Cowboy Boot or Ariat Women’s Heritage Western R Toe Cowboy Boot for women and Ariat Men’s Heritage Roughstock Western Boot or Ariat Men’s Legend Phoenix Western Cowboy Boot for men.

How to do cowboy boots the right way?

I’m not a country boy by any means. I have no idea what I’d wear them with. But I’ve been wanting a pair of cowboy boots for at least a year now. Is there any way to do cowboy boots the right way? I’m genuinely curious.

A: There are two people who wear cowboy boots – one buys them for work and wears them everywhere, and the other wears them for style. The boots vary hugely between these two groups. Style boots won’t handle a day at work on a ranch or for a rodeo performer and your feet won’t be happy. Conversely, a genuine pair of cowboy boots can definitely make a fashion statement and keep you comfortable in your day to day life. Cowboy boots go with a lot of different clothing choices. Most popular though? Jeans by far, but probably not shorts for men. Your pants will cover the shaft and whatever stitching and overlays may be there, so from a distance they actually read like dress shoes. In some places, like Texas, a nice pair of boots can be worn with a suit.

What should I look for when buying cowboy boots?

I live east of the Mississippi and most work boots here are Red Wings or similar. I can see the utility of cowboy boots with no laces for waterproofing and durability. I have no idea what brands or build quality I should be looking for. I want a good all-rounder boot. Something I can wear casually with a pair of jeans that I can also get a little dirty doing some work on the weekends.

A: For a quality brand built for work that still has casual style, I would recommend checking out Ariat Men’s Heritage Roughstock Western Boot or Ariat Men’s Legend Phoenix Western Cowboy Boot. The difference is the Roughstock is just that – rough, tough, but still handsome in a rugged way. Definitely comfortable for work and made to get dirty and look good doing it. Versus the Phoenix can definitely hold its own but it’s a much softer leather that will tend to scuff. You can wear it uptown with nice clothes. It is definitely the more casual of the two that can still handle work with comfort. How much you work versus play with them is up to you, but those are your best options.

Let’s talk about cowboy boots and fashion!

What do you think about boots in the spring/summer time? How do you implement your cowboy boots in an outfit? Do you have a favorite design or type? What are your thoughts on them in general?

A: Boots are the perfect shoes to wear year round. They are nice and warm and waterproof for those spring rains and puddle jumping. And they are also cool enough to wear on a nice summer day. But maybe not on the hottest of days because they’re generally made of leather. You have so many options for your outfit with boots. Jeans are the ever popular choice, but for a lady, you could try different styles of dresses from summer dresses to lace or different patterns and cuts of skirts. The contrast would be stylish, rugged and soft together would be bohemian. You could go tough with a leather aviator coat and unique belt. You also have cowgirl style with a tank top under an over shirt. And of course as many options for hats, scarves, and jewelry as you can imagine. It’s hard to pick a favorite because it’s difficult to imagine what you couldn’t do with them. Especially because many cowboy boots come in so many colors, overlays, and stitch patterns not to mention tassels. In general, cowboy boots are a classic American fashion choice with a country flair and free-spirited attitude.

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