Yee-Haw! A Cowboy Boots Buying Guide for First-Timers


Cowboy boots never go out of style.

Every time we think we’ve heard the last of them, they come back stronger than ever.

We can thank Gen Zers for their most recent resurgence. As of October 2021, the hashtag #cowboyboots on TikTok had a whopping 139.7 million views. A sub-trend of traditional cowboy boots—an all-white version—has nearly 1 million views of its own.

Cowboy boots are for everyone. From TikTok influencers to ASAP Rocky and Princess Di, there aren’t many who haven’t tried this trend yet. And if you’ve landed here today, you’re next in line.

Here’s what to consider as you shop for your first pair.

It’s All About the Toe

One of the most important elements of cowboy boots is the toe.

Cowboy boots typically come in three different styles—pointed (the traditional form you’re probably thinking of), rounded, and squared. If you’re a visual person, click here for a better idea of what we mean. Otherwise, keep reading.

Pointed toes are the most classic option, and boot makers know to accommodate the point with some space so your toes aren’t too cramped. You can safely buy cowboy boots in your true size if going for pointed.

Rounded cowboy boots are exactly what they sound like: a more casual, rounded toe. You might choose this option if you have wider feet or want something that’ll be comfortable for long days.

Square-toe cowboy boots mimic the traditional look of pointed toes but offer a little bit more wiggle room. They typically come in a standard or broader size, allowing you to find your perfect fit.

The Heel Matters, Too

When it comes to the heel, you want a relatively snug fit, as your boot will form to your foot over time.

Most experts recommend no more than a half-inch or less extra space. In general, you should buy cowboy boots in your regular size and be prepared for a breaking-in process.

The biggest factor to consider with the heel is height. Most cowboy boots come in two types: lower heels that resemble a dress shoe, and higher heels, which are ideal for riding as they secure nicely into stirrups.

This decision is an easy one to make. If you want something more casual and versatile—a daily wearer—opt for a lower heel, called a roper-style. Riding heels can be up to two inches high, so only go for those if you’re okay with some height (or you ride horses).

Leather, Leather, Leather

Finally, you’ll have to decide on the type of leather.

Both women’s cowboy boots and men’s cowboy boots come in a variety of types, both exotic and non-exotic. Non-exotic types, like cowhide, tend to be the most accessible and affordable. Another non-exotic type includes goat leather.

Exotic types run the gamut, including but not limited to: snakeskin, crocodile, lizard, horse, or kangaroo.

Some cowboy boots offer the choice of rough-side out or smooth-side out, too. That means the flesh will either be facing outward (rough-side) or inward (smooth-side).

These Cowboy Boots Are Made for Walkin’

Finally, buy a pair that you love!

The most important factor when buying cowboy boots for the first time is whether they’re comfortable and you like them. If they check those two boxes, you’re golden.

Now, if you’re wondering about how to style cowboy boots, you’re in luck.

Head back to our homepage now for more on-trend fashion advice.

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