Ultimate Guide to the Western Boot

Ultimate Guide to the Western Boot

The Club has “gone country,” for this blog! Since we’ve got a pair of western boots we thought it would be a great time to educate ourselves about where western boots started, what is their function other than being stylish, and how many styles are out there! The cowboy image is embedded in the U.S’s culture and nothing screams the west more than John Wayne in a pair of boots riding a horse through the plains. Our knowledge of the west has since been updated and encompasses more of a world view but the iconic staple remains the same. The boot is a reminder of the culture that puts food on our table as well as a bold fashion move for city dwellers. Western boots come with a hefty price tag and so many options so refer to this guide to help you out. 

Every boot has some similar and defining characteristics even if the style and designs change. The basics are as follows: 

  • Unique shape: 
    • Square 
    • Traditional 
    • Snip 
    • Rounded 
  • Added height: The Western boot is usually heeled. 
    • Cuban Heel: It’s rare to find a cowboy boot that doesn’t have at least a ½ inch boot. If you're wondering why a man would be comfortable in a heel, well it's not just for that extra inch of height it's also functional. More inches on the heel is supposed to help in the stirrups when you're riding. A stirrup is essentially a foothold on the girdle to hold your foot in. Check out these common sizes which all come in a slant form for style as well as it makes it easier for your foot in the stirrups. 
      • Cowboy / Riding Slant Back 
      • Cowboy / Cowboy Slant Back 
      • Walking 
      • Fowler
      • Roper
  • Shaft
    • The shaft is so important to the cowboy boot. This is another part of the boot that has so much creative freedom because of the wide space. For a traditional boot style you want to get one that is calf length, but other boots have ranged from lower to past thighs. 
  • Pull Up Straps
    • If you’ve seen a few styles of western boots you’ve probably noticed that they have these loops that extend from the inside to the outside. This might be seen as a fashion accessory but it's all for function. Western boots have no zippers! Modern and more high fashion boots do have zippers and don’t have these pull up straps but they are for that, to pull the boots up. Western boots are supposed to fit snug and if you're working on the ranch for hours, or if you’ve been to a baile or dance hall, even a concert, your calves are drenched and you're gonna need some help. 
  • Sole
    • Soles are important for numerous reasons and just like in any shoe, it’s best to know what you’re going to be doing in these boots before you buy. If you’re going to dance the night away or go horseback riding leather soles are great. Synthetic soles with good tread are good if you’re doing a lot of walking but not much riding. 
  • Materials
    • This is what makes your boot stylish! Imagine an ostrich made boot with a nice sleek heel! We are pro the animal over at The Club, so we are sad at the amount of animals that can become boots and if it has skin it seems like it can be used. Alligator, fish, Sturgeon, snakeskin you name it. You might fall down the rabbit hole so be careful and have a snack on hand. 

Styling your Western Boots: Tips to know now rather than later 


Be bold, that is what this boot is about. You need confidence to pull this boot off. It’s a must. The range of western boots is so wide that the styling possibilities are endless. Don’t be overwhelmed, going for a class and simple look is a great way to start. Wear your boots with dark wash slim fit jeans. If your boots are flashy and you want to show off the shaft, don’t tuck your boot in, just pull them up and show them to people. Tucking them in apparently is a big no no, especially if you're not doing some sort of work. 

Styling your boots really comes down to where you are going. If you're going to the bailar, a western concert, or some event where you know that western boots are essential then you can get away with leaning into this look. If you want to try taking your boots out in the city and you don’t feel comfortable looking like a cowboy then you’ll need to cut this down a bit. 

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