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Many modern-day fashion items often have an autonomous origin. They were designed to fulfill a practical purpose, and that’s it. But things are different now.
You don’t have to be a biker to wear moto jackets or a British soldier to wear a trench coat – and you certainly don’t have to ride a horse to rock the finest cowboy boots of 2022. A pair of cowboy boots is a unique and standout addition to your shoe collection. Not only do cowboy boots grab others’ attention, they also can add a few inches to your height or even keep your feet warm in the colder months.
To save you the trouble of going through all of the options and brands on the market, we’ve curated a list of the top cowboy boots of 2022 that are worth your hard-earned money.
Editor’s choice: Ariat Fatbaby Western Boots
These Fatbaby cowboy boots from Ariat strike the perfect balance between durable construction and impeccable design.
These boots are just as functional as they are aesthetically pleasing. With their quality leather material and durable outsole, you can wear these to your riding sessions for years to come!
Their suede finish is a total vibe. Then there is the pretty embroidery and internal lining that gives these boots a very fashion-forward look. Rocking these under common legwear like jeans and skirts is a breeze, but other outfits, like dresses, work just as well.
This near-universal compatibility, combined with their industry-leading durability is why these cowboy boots are a cut above the rest.
Impressive long lifespan
Fashion-forward dual finish design
Suede part needs regular cleaning
Most stylish: ROPER Women’s Riley Boots
The ROPER Riley Boots show how stylish this type of boot can be.
For example, their rustic brown color works flawlessly with jeans and trousers of almost every wash, dark or light. On a similar note, the blue embroidery on these cowboy boots is mixed with white to minimize its vibrancy and increase versatility.
Their 12-inch shaft length makes them ideal for outfits with skirts and shorts, too.
Where Riley cowboy boots reign is in the service of their style. For example, their comfy insoles and breathable synthetic lining allow you to wear them all day long without putting any strain on your feet.
Excellent outfit compatibility
Comfortable to wear all day long
It takes some time to remove them
Most universal: Soda Western Cowboy Pointed Toe Boots
Soda cowboy boots are one of the most popular options globally and for a good reason. These boots work under any outfit you can think of.
Their pure black color makes them compatible with every color. All the while, their straight-cut design allows them to look great under every type of legwear like jeans, shorts and maxi dresses.
In addition to their amazingly versatile looks, these boots are quite durable as well. With their high-quality faux leather and lightweight yet durable rubber outsoles, the impressive stitch work promotes a longer lifespan.
Low maintenance faux leather material
Long-lasting, high-quality construction
Comfortable and cozy design
Require some time to set in
Most budget-friendly: Coconuts By Matisse Gaucho Boot
Shopping for cowboy boots on a budget? Look no further than the Coconuts By Matisse Gaucho Boots.
Thanks to their ideal blend of functionality, style and durability – these are functional cowboy boots that you can wear to horse riding sessions and around town.
Their leather construction, combined with the thick leather outsole, will keep them pristine for a long time. Finished with a brown leather hue, they are excellent for styling with different outfits.
Their brown color works flawlessly with most colors of legwear but has a special connection to regular blue jeans.
Another plus? The pointed-toe design and artistic embroidery make these cowboy boots stand out from the crowd.
Fashion-forward pointed-toe design
Shock-absorbing leather outsole
Eye-catching artsy embroidery
Takes some time to put on
Exceptional design: WOLVERINE Men’s Rancher Cowboy Boot
The Rancher Work Boots from WOLVERINE raise the bar for quality in cowboy boots. They are made out of real full-grain leather that can easily last for over a decade if you take care of it properly.
This leather is then joined with masterful perfection to a rubber lug outsole that keeps you grounded even in the slipperiest conditions.
On top of the sole is a long ASTM standard steel toe, the moisture-wicking lining keeps them cool – so you won’t have to worry about sweaty, stinky feet!
The style of these cowboy boots is nothing to scoff at either. Their rustic brown color, combined with the multi-shaded embroidery will enhance any look. Not to mention, their versatile measurements make wearing and removing these boots a breeze.
Industry-leading lifespan and construction quality
Slip resistance due to rubber lug outsole
Exceptional style and outfit compatibility
A bit on the heavy side
How to buy quality cowboy boots: a buying guide
Cowboy boots are such a stylish statement piece to add to any outfit. Whether you horseback ride regularly or just need amazing footwear for a night out at a bar, they are extremely comfortable and have surprisingly long lifespans – making them the go-to style for most occasions. But don’t worry! They’re also mostly budget-friendly for even high-quality options.
These are the factors to consider if you want to invest in a pair of quality cowboy boots.
Construction material is the first factor you have to consider. This choice will affect everything from durability and lifespan to looks and price, and you have two key options to pick from.
Real leather is the historically accurate material for cowboy boots, and it is as durable today as it was back in the day. Boots made from real leather often have a decade or even longer lifespan.
The sole will wear out before the leather starts falling apart.
However, keep in mind that there are several varieties and finishes within the real leather category, each with its pros and cons. For example, while full-grain leather boots will be some of the most durable they will also require active maintenance. Similarly, suede leather cowboy boots look the best with modern clothing, but they tend to be quite fragile (at least compared to other types of leather).
Whatever variety of real leather you choose, it will be quite an investment as the average price of a quality pair tends to fall above the $100 range.
The biggest benefit of choosing faux leather is its price. Decent-quality faux leather boots are available for as low as $30, so don’t think that their inexpensive price means low quality. Faux leather used to be extremely low quality, but things are different now.
Modern faux leather cowboy boots can last several years with ease and even longer with proper care. Faux leather is also easier to work with, resulting in a larger variety of designs and colors.
That said, if you care about authenticity, then faux leather cowboy boots are not for you. Even the best of these boots cannot match the look and feel of real leather.
Size and fit
Cowboy boots are quite large and heavy compared to regular boots. So the smallest discrepancies in fit can cause short-term discomfort and long-lasting aches in your feet.
Here’s how the different parts of cowboy boots should fit.
Your toes should not feel cramped inside the shoes. A great way to see if you have enough toe room is to lay them flat on the sole. Notice if they are getting cramped together from the sides or if they are snug against them.
Once that’s clear, try to raise your toes upward. They should only have enough headroom to move up and down slightly.
The width of the cowboy boots should be snug against the sides of your foot. A larger width will allow your foot to move around inside the boots, which will make them feel unstable. On the other hand, a smaller width can get the leather unstitched and worn out over time.
The instep of your cowboy boots needs to be loose enough for unrestricted movement, but fit well enough to not cause unnecessary wrinkles. Wear the boots and try to pinch the instep leather between your thumb and index finger horizontally to test this.
If the resulting wrinkle is slight, the instep is at the right measurements.
The choice of sole material depends on your use case. If you plan to use cowboy boots for work, then rubber is the obvious option. Rubber is generally lightweight, provides better traction on slippery ground and does not conduct electricity (even when wet!)
They are also good at stopping nails from reaching your foot.
In contrast, if your cowboy boot investment is for the look and feel, then leather soles are the way to go. They are the historically accurate choice and provide the classic cowboy walking sound. Just remember that leather soles will require maintenance and are not as water-resistant as rubber.
The only right option for insoles is a soft insole. Hard insoles do not provide any benefit and only result in foot inflammation.
Before you pick a pair of cowboy boots with a soft insole, think about their long-term softness. If they are too soft at the start they will settle down over time and become hard – so you’re ideally looking for a soft sole that isn’t too soft.
The internal lining of cowboy boots might seem like a small detail, but it can have a huge effect on your comfort. Ideally, you want a lining with moisture-wicking properties so your feet stay cool inside the boots.
The softness of the lining doesn’t matter much if you’d wear socks – so you can just look for lining materials that are soft to touch and won’t become coarse when wet!
Cowboy boots are mostly available in traditional leather colors like brown, tan and black. If you’re looking for cowboy boots for work, brown is the way to go. They will hide things like dirt and sawdust perfectly and don’t require much effort to clean.
On the other hand, black cowboy boots are better for fashion. Their neutral black color makes them compatible with almost all other colors in your wardrobe.
Black boots are also the right choice to keep your look somewhat understated. Other unusual colors like tan, gray and even white are great when you want to make a fashion statement.
Finding matching outfits for these will be more difficult than standard black or brown.
People also ask
How can I clean my cowboy boots?
While cleaning cowboy boots doesn’t require much work, it’s important to not rinse them under water. Especially if your boots were made with real leather – the water exposure can lead to splotches.
For the best results, just wipe them down with a soft cloth dipped in a mixture of water and mild dish soap. Once cleansed, do another wipe down with a dry cloth and let the boots sit for a few hours before using again.
Are cowboy boots uncomfortable at first?
Yes and no. This can vary drastically from one pair to the other. While there is a chance that your cowboy boots may be a bit stiff at first, it will take a few wears to soften them. To stretch your cowboy boots, consider walking with them around the house on a day you’ll know you’ll be home. For best results, you can also experiment by wearing two pairs of socks under the boots for a couple of hours to expand the material.
Is it OK to wear skinny jeans with cowboy boots?
Yes, you can totally wear skinny jeans over a pair of cowboy boots! Just tuck the jeans inside the boots for a sleeker look.
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