Originally made with protection, durability, and style in mind, high quality, comfortable cowboy boots can be difficult to find. Work boots that will be worn for a 10-18 hour work day need to be both exceptionally comfortable and especially well made. There’s nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars on a pair of boots that fall apart soon after purchase or make walking and working a painful experience. To find the perfect pair of cowboy work boots, make sure to choose the right material, find the right boot for the job, and choose the best fit.
Choose the right material
Cowboy boots are made from a variety of materials. Dress boots are designed to impress and often use the skins of alligators, eels, snakes, lizards, and ostriches. However, most experts agree that calf-skin leather gives cowboy boots the most durability and strength while still providing the flexibility needed for comfort. Cheaper material will guarantee that your shoes will fall apart on the job or fail to form to the contours of your foot. Instead, invest in high-quality leather to ensure high-performance.
When searching for the right material for your cowboy boot, don’t forget to inspect the shoe’s sole. Most work boots are soled with either leather or rubber, and both have their benefits. For example, leather soles allow the foot to breathe and can be re-soled as needed, while rubber soles offer more flexibility and will last longer in wet conditions.
Find the right boot for the job
Most western style cowboy boots are made with some kind of work in mind. The perfect boot for you will depend on the type of work you’ll be doing.
- The traditional cowboy boot is versatile and hard-working, usually consisting of a strengthened toe box.
- Roper boots look more like the typical work boot and consist of a rounded toe and broader heel, generally ideal for use in the rodeo.
- The stockman boot is similar to the cowboy. With a shorter heel, the stockman boot is designed to be more comfortable for people on their feet most of the day.
- Western work boots are reinforced with a steel toe and rubber heel but are otherwise similar to the roper boot.
Choose the best fit
Finding the right boot made with the perfect material doesn’t matter if the boot is ill-fitting or uncomfortable. Choose the best fitting boot for your foot to make sure you have a comfortable workday.
When trying on a new pair of work boots, wear the same kind of socks you normally wear to work. After pulling on the boot, the ball of your foot should be at the widest point of the boot. Leather boots will loosen with wear, so you want to make sure the fit is comfortable but snug. For work boots, confirm that the toe box has enough space for you to move your toes easily, and make certain your heel does not slide more than half an inch as you walk.
Understanding what to look for in a pair of cowboy boots and knowing the pro tips for work boot shopping can help you find the perfect pair of work boots and ensure that you have the protection and durability you need.