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Do Cowboy Boots Have A Shank?

Do Cowboy Boots Have A Shank?

A shank is one of the common parts of footwear today, but few people notice or know about it.

Simply because shanks don’t appear on the outside but are hidden inside the footwear. They are thin and long pieces usually located between the insole and outsole.

One of the main reasons for their location is to give the boots extra stability and sturdiness.

Shanks can usually be made from leather and plastic. In some heavy-duty work footwear, shanks can be made from steel.

In general, depending on the use, each type of footwear will have shanks made from a specific material.

Useful as it is, many people wonder if cowboy boots have a shank or not. Because in general, cowboy boots are often used as a kind of work boots.

Well, today’s post will give you the answer you need!

Is there a shank in cowboy boots?

You can find cowboy boots with shanks, however, you will have to do your research because not all cowboy boots have them.

As far as I observe, the main cowboy boots with shanks are usually those for outdoor work purposes, i.e. cowboy work boots.

Cowboy work boots often have a steel shank to ensure high stability, in addition to making the boots stronger and more durable.

A pair of cowboy work boots on the wood fence

Steel shanks can also prevent the soles of cowboy boots from being punctured if you work on a site with a lot of sharp objects.

Those characteristics make cowboy boots more comfortable, safe, and stable for work!

In addition, you can also see some regular cowboy boots with composite shanks. Besides increasing stability, these shanks also help reduce foot fatigue.

Usually, you can’t find shanks in traditional cowboy boots brands with classic construction.

Instead, Ariat should be your destination! Cowboy boots of this brand are often applied with advanced technologies, so their construction is more prominent than the boots of traditional bootmakers.

In addition to Ariat, Durango is also worth considering. This is also a brand that mainly offers cowboy boots for work. They give you extremely comfortable boots and many of them include shanks made from steel or fiberglass.

Usually, when buying cowboy boots online, you should go over the product description. If the boot has a shank, most bootmakers will tell it there.

What kind of shank is right for your cowboy boots?

There are quite a few different types of shanks on the market, the difference mainly comes from the material that makes the shank. As mentioned above, they can be made from plastic, leather, plastic, steel, composite, etc.

However, the choice of cowboy boots with shank should depend on the requirement of your job.

Men wear cowboy boots sit on the wood fence

If you work at construction sites then you really need heavy-duty cowboy boots as armor.

They should have a steel shank because, in addition to properties such as stability, a steel shank also prevents cowboy boots from being punctured from the bottom by sharp nails.

Meanwhile, if you walk or stand all day, you can use boots with composite shanks to reduce foot fatigue.

If you choose to wear elegant cowboy boots to the office (mostly sitting), then a leather shank or even no shank is fine. Since shanks made of steel or composite can accidentally add weight to the boots, they are not essential for office work.


In general, not all cowboy boots have shanks. You will need to spend some time searching.

When searching, avoid looking for traditional brands of cowboy boots. Otherwise, modern cowboy boots brands tend to add shanks to their boots.

There are many types of shanks with many different functions, using the right type for the right job will ensure you are more comfortable.

For jobs that require a lot of stability, balance, or safety support, you should choose cowboy boots with steel or composite shanks.

Meanwhile, casual wear or office work is not necessary, you can use a leather shank or no need for a shank at all.

Good luck!