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The 15 Best Cowboy Boots for Riding Horses in 2023 | Expert Advice

The 15 Best Cowboy Boots for Riding Horses in 2023 | Expert Advice

It’s summertime! You are preparing for riding horses in the great Texas savannas.

You have done the preparation and are ready for this exciting outing. But there is something stuck in your mind: cowboy boots.

You don’t know what cowboy boots are good for horse riding…

Then you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re going to recommend 15 best cowboy boots for riding horses.

Shall we begin now?

Top 3 Picks for you

Ariat Men's Sport Square Toe Western Cowboy BootAriat Men’s Sport Square Toe Western Cowboy Boot
  • 100% Leather, Synthetic sole
  • Beautiful & Comfortable
  • Used by many athletes
Check Price On Amazon
Ariat Women's Women's Desert Holly Western Cowboy BootAriat Women’s Women’s Desert Holly Western Cowboy Boot
  • Comfortable, stylish, and great for riding
  • Gorgeous stitching, beautiful motifs
  • Perfect to go with dresses, skinny jeans, shorts
Check Price On Amazon
Ariat Men's Heritage Western R Toe BootAriat Men’s Heritage Western R Toe Boot
  • Flexibility and cushioning
  • Comfortable right out of the box
  • Subtle details
Check Price On Amazon

What are the best cowboy boots for riding horses?

Well, when coming to the best cowboy boots for riding horses, we need to look for the most important thing: the harmony between boots and saddle stirrups. This will ensure comfort and safety for riders.

Nowadays, you are easy to confuse with too many types of cowboy boots, but in general, just choose cowboy boots with the below instruction:

This instruction is based on the advice of Kenny Stone – a real cowboy and professional horse trainer with a great experience. Cowboy boots and spurs are his best friends!

Kenny contacted us via email on a beautiful day in November. Thank Kenny for the great advice! – In case you find this article.

Narrow toe shape (round toe, snip toe or pointed toe)

First and foremost, cowboy boots should have a narrow toe shape to make it easier to slip in and out of the stirrup. That is why you should go for cowboy boots with round toes or pointed toes.

Even if you get on or off the horse, you need your boots to help you do that easily. That is why the traditional cowboy boots come with round and pointed toes, the original purpose of cowboy boots is to support riding for cowboys.

Nowadays, some types of cowboy boots have snip toes and square toes (or broad square toes). Snip toes are fine due to their narrow end. But if you opt for square toe boots, you should try to feel if they get in / out of the stirrup easily before you really get into the game.

By the way, I like using cowboy boots with a narrow toe shape and slight curl-up, it makes your feet get into the stirrup easier.

Slippery outsoles

The second important thing is you should opt for cowboy boots with slippery outsoles. And leather soles are the best way to go.

The leather soles have a flat surface that slips into the stirrup smoothly! This is so important!

What I said above is you need to make your boots and saddle’s stirrup have great harmony. And leather sole cowboy boots support that!

If you want to jump on horseback, you need to slip your feet into stirrup, and vice versa. So, making this progress smooth is important. Suppose your cowboy boots are stuck in the stirrup bar, what could be worse or more dangerous than that?

Nowadays, many people like to use rubber sole cowboy boots rather than leather sole ones because of their shock absorption, durability, and anti-slip. Rubber sole cowboy boots make walking, working or standing all day more comfortable.

However, when you wear cowboy boots for horseback riding, leather soles should be the first choice. Or at least, rubber soles with enough slip.

Some people still use cowboy boots with rubber soles for riding, but you need to be more careful with your step!

Suitable heel style (high and slanted)

When surfing any e-commerce site, you will be overwhelmed with a ton of cowboy boot styles. Nowadays, brands mix and match so much, so if you are a newbie, you will surely get a headache!

One of the important features to identify a cowboy boot style is looking at its heel! A slanted heel with a height of about 2 inches is your great pick. And this heel style is called: riding heel!

The reason why the heel is important for riding horses is it keeps your feet from slipping forward and out of the stirrup. The nook of the heel can help the stirrup firmly hook into it and won’t slip out.

It’s so important because it ensures your safety, and it’s the main reason behind the question of why cowboy boots have heels.

In fact, many riders always put the ball of their foot on the stirrup bar gently. This is a good way to balance and stabilize while riding. But who knows when something out of control happens and your foot slips forward too much!

You may be confused by many heel styles nowadays. I can list so many styles besides riding heels such as walking heels, stockman heels, roper heels, etc.

However, if you notice, the main shape of the cowboy boot heel is block and slanted. For riding a horse, just go for a slanted heel. Its height should be around 1 ¾ inch, 2 inches or 2 ¼ inches.

Some people still wear cowboy boots with block-shaped heels for riding (I saw it on Youtube). I’m not sure about this. But if you do that, make sure you know what you are doing or you are supported by the instructor.

Hold up well

You should go for cowboy boots with traditional height (about 11 inches to 14 inches) and they should fit well around the calf.

I have a pair of cowboy boots that my calves almost fill the leather around the calf of them, but not too tight or loose. I love how they look and how harmonized they go with my jeans. Besides, that fit can make sure cowboy boots hold up well.

This makes a lot of sense when wearing cowboy boots, you can’t ride a horse with a pair of cowboy boots that always tend to slip off your feet.

Also, you should wear cowboy boots that fit snugly at the instep, which is the most important thing to make sure your feet stay in place.

In general, there are quite a few things to note about the fit of cowboy boots. You can see more here!

Spurs (optional)

Press and release, press and release and press and release! That is how a cowboy use spurs to contact and communicate with a horse when he tries to make it spin, bend through its body or other movements.

However, as Kenny said, a real cowboy knows how to ride a horse all day without using a spur to touch the horse.

Nowadays, not many people use spurs anymore. So, the spurs are optional!

What kind of boots should I wear for horse riding?

Cowboy boots with riding, buckaroo or roper style are the best way to go!

As I said above, cowboy boots should have slippery outsoles, decent height (more than 1.75 inches) and slanted heel, and narrow toe shape (pointed toe or round toe).

Roper heels may not have that heel height but they are still good enough to use for riding.

It will ensure your boots easily slip in/out the stirrup, making your feet not slide forward too much nor slip out of the saddle stirrup.

Besides, cowboy boots should fit and hold up well to ensure your comfort and offer full control for you while riding without any risk.

In fact, you still can use other types of cowboy boots for riding, like stockman boots with block heels with 1 or 1 ½ inch height, a square toe shape and non-slip outsoles. But honestly, you will have a lot of trouble and can’t get the best experience.

riding horse with cowboy boots

15 Best Cowboy Boots for Riding Horses

Now we come to 15 awesome cowboy boots for true cowgirls and true cowboys.

Choose the best, coolest boots to help you tame fastidious horses!

1. ARIAT Women’s Western Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, Handcrafted from top to bottomNot too comfortable for people with flat feet or high arches
4LR technology, Synthetic sole, air mesh lining
Six-row stitch pattern
Comfortable right out of the box

Let’s begin with a pair of cowgirl boots that is full of wild and distressed colors.

A pair of Ariat standard cowboy boots offer you the flexibility to climb on horseback. You can add spurs to these Ariat boots easily.

These boots get all features of good riding boots: high heels, and high shaft, although the toe shape is square toe but not too wide.

2. Ariat Men’s Sport Square Toe Western Cowboy Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, Synthetic soleA bit difficult to get on and off
4LRTM four-layer footbedFairly stiff, need to break in
Beautiful & Comfortable
Used by many athletes

Ariat Men’s Sport Square Toe Western Cowboy Boot gives you complete safety on horseback. What’s more, the  4LRTM four-layer footbed technology offers incredible comfort.

The design features pull holes for easy on / off with the wide heel’s nook for easily hooking cowboy boots into the stirrups to prevent feet from slipping out. These boots are made from 100% leather for a smooth and comfortable feeling.

Also, the high boots will catch your eyes with their masculine look.

3. Canyon Trails Women’s Classic

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Classic design and easy to outfitLittle tight if you have wide calves
Rubber outsole, durable
Cushioned footbed, good price
Fit: True to size

Canyon Trails’s best-selling cowboy boots will give you the classic look of wild west America.

It has a perfect design for riding horses: pointed toe, the wide nook of the heel, high heel and high shaft.

In addition to the standard design for riding a horse, the feminine, chic and sleek look of the boots make them shine in a wonderful way that many other shoes or boots have longed for.

4. Soto Boots Mens Classic Round Toe Cowboy Boots H7001

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Leather sole, leather lining, genuine leather throughout
Elegant western stitching, stylish and striking
Perfect for special occasions
Comfortable right out of the box

Soto cowboy boots for men are quite different from ones for women.

Soto cowgirl boots are very colorful and classic. On the other hand, these cowboy boots have simple colors but get a sophisticated look and still retain a classic style.

The H7001 boots have round toes, simple but eye-catching colors, along with a streamlined design for riding a horse easily and flexibly.

5. Ariat Women’s Magnolia Western Cowboy Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, Full grain leather constructionA bit tight around the top of the foot
Long-lasting and flexible
Striking motif, beautiful light chocolate brown
Fit: True to size

Sunflower motifs are quite new and rare on cowboy boots. But Ariat Women’s Magnolia Western Cowboy Boot owns that strange pattern.

The sunflower pattern in cowboy boots isn’t bright yellow, obviously, but it is classic and wild dark brown. This strange and unique look will definitely capture the hearts of many girls.

Magnolia’s design will also give you a comfortable, safe riding feeling with high heels. The sole with a riding heel is perfectly fine to give you good balance and stability while riding.

6. Laredo Men’s London Western Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, Full-Grain LeatherNeed to break in
Affordable price, comfortable insoles
Sturdy, stylish, fit wide feet
Durable, fit well

Simple but bold gentleman style – Laredo Men’s London Western Boot gives you an elegant look than any dress boots.

With a traditional stylish western look at an affordable price, Laredo cowboy boots always bring a complete Western American experience for wearers.

7. Roper Women’s Dusty Riding Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, padded insoleSlick bottoms
Distressed detail, Snip toe
Comfortable,  affordable price
Durable rubber sole

In addition to the traditional cowboy boots, you can refresh your wardrobe with short cowboy boots.

Here’s the Roper Women’s Dusty Riding Boot.

It is easy to put on. The dusty look will give you a novelty in style.

The short cowboy boots provide flexibility and comfort to riding a horse.

8. Ariat Men’s Heritage R Toe Western Cowboy Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Full grain leather uppers, leather liningNarrow for wide feet
Flexibility and cushioning
Subtle details
Comfortable right out of the box

The Ariat Men’s Heritage is a symbol of Ariat success.

The beauty of these boots is a great charm in a simple and neat design.

Not only suitable for riding horses, but you can take them to the office, hang out, or flirt with girls. Girls can’t resist these charming boots as well as your distressed style.

9. Roper Women’s Amelia Western Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Padded insole, Rubber soleYou should consider when choosing a size
Fit perfectly and look adorable on
Look good with jeans and dresses
Good for riding, dancing all night

Showing your liberal style with the Roper Women’s Amelia Western Boot is the best way to conquer guys.

The Roper brand is very famous for its short cowboy boots. These boots are feminine, liberal and wild beauty.

Wear a pair of short cowboy boots and wander with a horse on the vast steppe – this is really an experience that you should try at least once in your life.

10. Ariat Men’s Legend Phoenix Western Cowboy Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, leather is soft and suppleNeed break-in period
Stylish and comfortable
Soft leather,
Looks good with bootcut jeans, regular straight-leg jeans

Ariat Men’s Legend Phoenix often appears in the Rodeo and is spreadly used by athletes. If professional athletes trust this Ariat boot, then why don’t you?

With a durable and strong design, it ensures your balance and stability on the saddle.

You just cannot go wrong with these boots.

11. Ariat Women’s Legend Western Cowboy Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, rubber soleNeed breaking in
Fit good even wide calf
Comfortable right out of the box
The color is perfect

Girls don’t envy men with their Legend Phoenix cowboy boots. We grab you another pair of Ariat: Ariat Women’s Legend Western Cowboy Boot. You ladies may be overwhelmed by the amazing outlook of these boots.

These boots are sharp and own sophisticated patterns with Russet Rebel skin color to bring you unforgettable charm.

12. Durango Dream Catcher Women’s Teal Western Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Full-grain leather, Rubber soleThe leather is little sturdy
Sock lining cushion innersole, soft mesh lining
Eye-catching distressed brown
Fit perfectly even large calves

Durango has always been a brand of cowboy boots with high comfort and cool looks.

The Durango Dream Catcher Women’s Teal Western Boot is such a boot, with a design and motif that can captivate any girl.

This boot features distressed brown and tan color with the standard design for riding (high heels, the nook of the heel wide, high shaft, and pull straps). These boots are great to go with a pair of skinny jeans to wander in the meadow with your horse.

13. ARIAT Women’s Heritage Roughstock Western Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, Full-grain leather foot and upperNeed a few days to break in
Cushioning insoles, air mesh lining
Comfortable even high arches or flat feet
Gorgeous color

One of the main reasons you should love Ariat cowboy boots is that they are very diverse in design, appearance, construction, etc. And the ARIAT Women’s Heritage Roughstock is the boot you’ve been looking for.

Besides, the structure of these boots is also completely fine and satisfactory as we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

With a luxurious look, sharp, feminine motifs and sexy curves, Heritage Roughstock is the perfect choice for you.

You’ll fall in love immediately!

14. Ariat Women’s Desert Holly Western Cowboy Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather, Goodyear leather weltNot for wide feet (and maybe wide calves)
Comfortable, stylish, and great for ridingHard to get them off
Gorgeous stitching, beautiful motifs
Perfect to go with dresses, skinny jeans, or shorts

Ariat Women’s Desert Holly Western Cowboy Boot is for girls with narrow calves. It can highlight your slim, long legs.

These boots have an upper stitch pattern inspired by Western textures.

They own a standard riding boots design, allowing you to easily slip into the stirrups and balance on the saddle.

Not only is it suitable for horseback riding, but this is also a great pair of boots for a line dancing evening, a party or a wedding.

15. Soto Boots Women Cheyenne Cowgirl Boots M50041

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Leather sole, leather lining, handcrafted from genuine leatherNeed break-in period
Handmade snipped toe
Comfort and durability
Great to go with boot-cut western jeans, skinny jeans

The Soto brand is a brand that adores the traditional values of western boots.

The lively evidence is their handcrafted cowboy boots that are great for horseback riding and line dancing.

Soto Boots Women Cheyenne is a prime example of the above. The design of the leather sole, snip toe, high heels, the wide heel’s nook – all these features are standards for riding boots.

Besides, Soto cowboy boots are affordable with a classic style that many people love.

Which cowboy boots are the best for horse riding?

Traditional cowboy boots are the standard boots for horse riding. It’s the original purpose of cowboy boots!

They were born to assist farmers on horseback, so their designs are absolutely perfect for riders. Traditional cowboy boots are made from cowhide which is a very versatile, durable and sturdy material.

Besides, their heels are usually about 2 inches high, slanted and they have a wide heel nook. These things prevent your feet from slipping forward and getting out of the saddle’s stirrup.

The traditional cowboy boots have pointed toes and round toes, making it easy to get into the stirrup.

Lastly, cowboy boots don’t have laces, you won’t be afraid of the laces getting entangled with the stirrups.

Read more: Best Cowboy Boots for Line Dancing


To summarize, to get a comfortable ride on horseback, your cowboy boots need to have:

  • A narrow toe shape. I recommend using a pointed toe, snip toe, or round toe. The goal is to get cowboy boots into the stirrup easily.
  • Smooth outsoles so you can easily slide your feet into the stirrup.
  • Heels that are high enough to hook into the stirrup, supporting your balance and preventing your foot from sliding forward too much.

The last thing is they should hold up well, a good pair of cowboy boots will need to fit snugly at the instep.

Wish you have a pleasant trip.