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Are Cowboy Boots Good for Hiking? 3 Best Handpicks for You

Are Cowboy Boots Good for Hiking? 3 Best Handpicks for You

Cowboy boots can be used in farm work, appear on fashion stages, or work on construction sites…

It can be said that cowboy boots are very versatile boots. As a hiker, you might wonder “Are cowboy boots good for hiking?”.

Hiking is one of the activities that are very popular with outdoor masters. However, are cowboy boots good enough for long journeys?

Let’s find out the answer with me. There are also some interesting suggestions for your hike!

Are cowboy boots good for hiking?

The answer may be disappointing, but traditional cowboy boots aren’t a good choice for hiking.

Cowboy boots can be a good choice for farm work, fashion, and horse riding, but they can hardly be a good companion for hikers.

Most traditional cowboy boots have a design including high heels, leather outsoles (which are quite smooth and slippery).

There is not much support for the arch and ankle and the pointed toe shape doesn’t have too much room.

The above designs of cowboy boots make it difficult for hikers to be balanced, stable, safe and comfortable to conquer difficult and endless roads.

Men tighten his cowboy boots at leather areound the calf

Besides, cowboy boots are also quite heavy compared to other types of boots, which will make hikers consume more energy.

Hikers often prefer specialized boots such as hiking boots, or other types of boots like military & tactical boots, work boots…

These boots have very good arch and ankle support, plus they have non-slip outsoles, reinforced heels and toes, and shock-absorbing insoles.

Also, they are breathable, lightweight, wear & tear-resistant… These traits are great for hiking and ensure the hikers are safe, comfortable, stable and balanced on their feet.

Meanwhile, traditional cowboy boots are designed for horseback riding than for hiking, such as:

Yes, these designs will give you great support for horseback riding and an arrogant look, confidence and great charm as you walk, but aren’t ideal for hiking.

Hiking is not only about flat roads, but also slippery forest roads, hot desert trails, and dangerous mountain roads.

So, the design of traditional cowboy boots is not suitable for hiking.

What cowboy boots are good for hiking?

I’ve stressed quite a few times as traditional cowboy boots are not really good for hiking, but did you know there are still many new cowboy boots styles available for hiking?

Many types of cowboy boots these days come with anti-slip rubber outsoles, low heels for good balance, square toes or broad square toes for more room for toes and good arch support.

Among them, western work boots (or cowboy work boots) are typical cowboy boots that hikers may love.

Western work boots feature non-slip outsoles and low heels. Some pairs are waterproof, lightweight with good arch support and the heels and toes are reinforced safely…

If you are looking for cowboy boots for hiking, you should think of western work boots first because they provide high comfort, safety and balance and stability.

However, you should also consider carefully before using cowboy boots for hiking. I recommend cowboy boots for light hiking trails, not for extreme treks on steep, rocky terrain.

Click image for more info on Amazon

How to choose cowboy boots for hiking?

In general, you shouldn’t wear traditional cowboy boots for hiking, but you can opt for some of today’s modern cowboy boots for hiking, and they should have the following design traits:

  • Low heel: The heel of a cowboy boot should be 1 inch to 1.5 inches high to ensure the best balance.
  • Square toe or round toe: You should choose cowboy boots with round toe, square toe or broad square toe as they will have enough room for your toes. That will not cause uncomfortable cramping when moving for long periods of time.
  • Good arch support: Traditional cowboy boots may not have too good arch support, but modern cowboy boots do, choose them.
  • Rubber sole: In general, the base of the cowboy boot made from rubber will be more durable, quieter, not slippery and make the wearer easily balanced and safer.
  • Well-reinforced heel and toe: For hiking or trekking through treacherous rocky areas, it’d be better to find a pair of well-reinforced and secure cowboy boots at the heels or toes.
  • Good ankle support: Not many cowboy boots can provide good ankle support (even if they have a high shaft). But if you are hiking on a mountain trail, it would be better to find such a pair of cowboy boots.
  • Comfortable insole: Long journeys will be very difficult if cowboy boots do not have good insoles, choose boots with cushioned insoles for the best comfort.

man wear cowboy boots to walking

Some notes when using cowboy boots for hiking

  • Good fit: You need to choose the right size of cowboy boots to have the best fit, so you can be highly flexible when hiking. Choose one that fits well on the instep, neither loose nor tight.
  • Break in your cowboy boots: For maximum flexibility and comfort when using cowboy boots for hiking, you need to break in them. Make sure they fit perfectly and comfortably, then you can start conquering long roads.
  • Wear socks with added cushioning, good heels and arch support.
  • Do not use cowboy boots for hiking on mountainous terrain as it will require specialized boots with better ankle support.

3 Best handpicked Cowboy Boots for Hiking

If you still haven’t made up your mind on cowboy boots for hiking, we recommend 3 pairs of boots that match the criteria outlined.

1. Ariat Rambler Western Boot

The Ariat Rambler is one of the first cowboy boots that I would like to introduce to you in the western work boots line.

With a distressed, solid appearance, these boots provide very good safety for the wearer. They are made of 100% leather with Duratread sole, wear-resistant and anti-slip,…

These cowboy boots have low heels so you can completely balance and stabilize well when hiking, along with a square toe to ensure that your toes have more space to be more flexible and comfortable.

Flexible outsoles are key to explaining why these boots should be used for hiking because you need the flexibility to traverse a variety of terrain, and these boots do the job perfectly.

In addition, Ariat Rambler boots also bring very high comfort to wearers in all kinds of weather, along with moisture-wicking, gel-cushioned insoles, heel stabilizer and especially their light weight.

These elements are perfect for hiking in comfort and safety.

2. ARIAT Women’s Fatbaby Western Boot

One of the top choices for cowboy boots for girls to join in hiking is Fatbaby, a great cowboy boot line from the famous Ariat brand

Wide and plenty of room at the toe box, 4LR technology support and cushioning – these features are perfect for wearing all day long.

With a low-heel design and a thick sole, the Fatbaby cowboy boots provide very good balance and stability.

Besides, the outsoles have high strength and good grip so you can confidently conquer any road.

These are innovative cowboy boots that are very versatile, used for many jobs: farming and ranching, riding, running… and of course, hiking, because they provide great support for the wearer.

In addition, the unique design will give the girls a unique and youthful look.

3. Ariat Heritage Roper Western Boot

ARIAT mens Heritage Roper Cowboy Western Boot, Distressed Brown, 10.5 Narrow US

When thinking of cowboy boots with features suitable for hiking, you should also think of Roper-style cowboy boots.

Today’s Roper style cowboy boots are identified by low heels, round toes and usually go with rubber soles – all of these designs are exactly what we need for hiking.

Made from 100% leather, together with Duratread soles, these boots are anti-slip and tear-resistant. This will make sure your feet are safe.

These boots are also considered one of the western work boots product lines, so they are very durable, undoubtedly.

The full-grain leather material brings durability, and flexibility to these boots. What’s more, low heels, rubber soles and round toes are what contribute to the comfort, balance and stability of these boots.


In short, traditional cowboy boots with leather soles, pointed toes, high heels and no very good arch support will not be a good choice for hikers.

You should choose modern cowboy boots with square toes or round toes, low heels for good balance, rubber soles with good grip, insoles with good arch support, reinforced heels and toes… Western work boots (stockman, roper boots) can be a good choice.

However, do not use cowboy boots for hiking on difficult terrains, it is better for taking them on light hiking trails. Cowboy boots are comfortable, but aren’t a good choice for hiking on mountain terrain.

Good luck!