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Different Types Of Heels On Cowboy Boots | 3 Main Styles

Different Types Of Heels On Cowboy Boots | 3 Main Styles

One of the most striking features of cowboy boots is the heel. Each type of heel usually determines the type of cowboy boot.

For example, cowboy boots with high heels are for fashion or horseback riding.

Meanwhile, cowboy boots with lower heels are good for running, walking, farming…

Each type of heels will significantly affect your decision of using cowboy boots, for work or just fashion only.

How do you know about the heels of cowboy boots? We are going to tell you about different types of heels on cowboy boots in this article!

Different Types Of Heels On Cowboy Boots

We will divide cowboy boot heels into 3 main types according to their height: high heel, standard heel and low heel.

High heel is in traditional cowboy boots (riding boots) and fashion boots. Standard heel may belong to western work boots and low heel refers to Roper boots.

1. High heel

High heels of cowboy boots are generally 1.75 inches tall or more. You can find high heels in many kinds of cowboy boots like riding boots, fashion boots and buckaroo boots.

Riding heel

Cowboy boot with a riding heel

Cowboy boot with a riding heel | Click for more info

Many cowboys and cowgirls love this heel type because of its good aesthetics. The best part of riding heels is that they make you look taller, more confident and a little arrogant! It’s the cowboy standard that you should look for in a cowboy boot.

Riding heel is also the most original heel of cowboy boots as it is constructed very well for a cowboy to ride the horse.

However, as its name implies, a riding heel is only best for riding (it is comfortable, balanced and stable). If you are an active person and just want to walk comfortably and flexibly, high heels are probably not a good choice. Because the bottom of the riding heel is quite narrow compared to other types of heels.

Since the riding heel is also commonly known as the cowboy heel, it tends to lean from 60 to 70 degrees to the ground – Slanted heel is also used to keep cowboy boots from slipping through the stirrup.

Cowboys often put the ball of their foot on the stirrup bar while riding. But the outsoles of cowboy boots are usually smooth and slip (to slide easily into the stirrup) that the riding heel appears like a hook, which holds the bar to prevent the foot from sliding forward too much.

Fashion heel

Carlos by Carlos Santana Women's Paisley Fashion Boot, Tan, 6 Medium US

Cowboy boot with a fashion heel | Click for more info

Fashion heels usually appear in cowboy boots for women and are very tall (over 3″). Note that this heel type will not be able to assist you in horseback riding.

This is the favorite heel of many girls because of their femininity and beauty. However, like the above, they do not bring flexibility and convenience for you to walk.

Note: Fashion heel is a common name. Also, the Spiked Heel can also be considered a fashion heel. Unlike other cowboy boot heels with wide and flat bottoms, the spiked heel has a very narrow bottom.

Ellie Shoes Women's 418-cowgirl, Brown, 8 M US

Spiked heel cowboy boots | Click image for more info

In general, fashion heel comes in many different shapes, depending on the imagination of the bootmaker.

2. Standard heel

Standard heels refer to cowboy boots with heels about 1.5 inches high. They typically have flat and wide bottoms.

You can find these heels on stockman, western work boots, western boots… Standard heel cowboy boots are the most used of all types of heels.

Walking heel

Dan Post Boots Mens Milwaukee Round Toe Boots Mid Calf - Black - Size 11 D

Cowboy boot with walking heel | Click image for more info


If you can’t use a riding heel because it’s too high, you should consider using a walking heel. The walking heel is quite similar in style to the riding heel but has more outstanding advantages.

The walking heel helps you walk and balance better, making you more stable when using it. Because the walking heel is about 1 1/2 inches tall, is slightly slanted and has a wider bottom than the riding heel.

This is one of the most used heel types because it is easy to use, versatile and gives the wearer a beautiful, confident and attractive look that is not inferior to the riding heel.

However, the standard heel type cannot support you for riding a horse like the riding heel. You can still use a walking heel for riding, but it won’t be as great as a riding heel.

Stockman heel

Cody James Men's Stockman Cowboy Boot Wide Square Toe Copper 11.5 D(M) US

Cowboy boots with stockman heels | Click image for more info

The stockman heel is also a very popular heel in the cowboy boots world. It offers better balance and stability than a walking heel due to its block shape with a wide and flat bottom and a standard height of 1.5 inches.

However, the block shape of the stockman heel can’t give you a standard cowboy style like the walking heel and riding heel do. It makes you look no taller than when wearing regular shoes or boots.

Laredo womens Spellbound 5661 Western Boot, Tan, 12 US

Block heel | Click image for more info

If you need a pair of cowboy boots for function rather than fashion, then stockman heel boots are a great choice, you can walk, work or use them every day.

3. Low heel

Low heel cowboy boots come with heels about 1 inch high. Not many cowboy boots have 1-inch heels, but you can find them on roper boots with roper heels.

Roper heel

Roper womens Riley Floral Fashion Boot, Brown, 10.5 US

Cowboy boot with a roper heel | Click for more info

The Roper heel is a typical example of low heels. Roper boots are a hybrid of cowboy boots and dress boots, so they both have British elegance and the wild, powerful style of West American cowboy boots.

It can be said that the roper heel is a mix of walking heel and stockman heel when it has both slanted and block shape with wide bottom. However, the roper heel which is only about 1 inch tall, is usually about half an inch shorter than the walking heel.

Ariat Men's Heritage Roper Western Cowboy Boot, Black, 7.5 Wide

Roper heel with block shape

Roper heels are quite versatile, they are often used for working, walking, fashion purposes, and even specific roles such as supporting cowboy boots when riding horses.

Many people like to use roper-style cowboy boots to work on the ranch and farm because they are light, easy on / off (low shaft). Whereas, some people prefer to use them for office work because they have an elegant look.

What kind of heels should you choose?

Each heel type has different advantages and disadvantages, you should choose one based on your purpose.

You need a pair of cowboy boots that give you a confident and arrogant cowboy look, then the high heels will give you that.

But if you need boots that keep you comfortable all day long and are flexible to use, then you should go with low or standard heels.

Anyway, it’s your purpose that decides your heel type.

Types of heels

Overall look

Riding heel

  • Around 2 inches tall, traditional heel style
  • Provide a sharp and confident look, making you taller
  • Support horse riding, high aesthetics
  • Don’t provide a good balance for walking and working on the ground
  • Slanted shape, pretty narrow bottom

Walking heel

  • Around 1.5 inches tall
  • Support walking, working and casual use well (and maybe horse riding as well)
  • Provide a great balance and stability
  • Provide a good look
  • Slightly slanted shape, wider bottom than riding heel

Stockman heel

  • 1 to 1.5 inches tall
  • Support walking, working and casual use even better than walking heel
  • Provide a great balance and stability
  • Not provide a good look like walking heel or riding heel
  • Block shape and wide, flat bottom


  • Around 1 inch tall
  • Support walking, working and casual use well
  • Provide a great balance and stability
  • Provide a pretty good look
  • Block or slanted shape

Fashion heel

  • Around 3 inches tall
  • It’s a variation of heel
  • Almost only women’s cowboy boots have this type of heel with high aesthetics
  • Provide a poor balance and stability
  • Various shapes

What are the heels of cowboy boots made of?

The heels of the cowboy boots are made of many different materials. They could be made of rubber, leather or synthetic.

Also, cowboy boots with rubber heel caps will increase stability for you.

To choose the suitable type of heels, you should base it on your purpose.

If you need cowboy boots that provide balance for your job, choose rubber heels or synthetic heels for anti-slip and stability. In addition, rubber or synthetic heels will have better durability.

If you need a pair of cowboy boots for line dancing, then you probably need cowboy boots with slip soles and slip heels. In this case, leather heels will be the right choice.

Why are cowboy boots so slippery?

We need to go back to the past when cowboy boots were friends of the farmers as they roamed the pasture with their horses.

Cowboy boots needed slick outsoles to slip in or out of the stirrup easily and smoothly. And making the cowboy boots hooked tightly and not slipping out of the stirrup were the task of the high heels and the wide nook of the heels.

Besides, when attending the line dance party, to perform kicking and spinning to get the best line dancing moves, the outsoles of cowboy boots need to be slippery (leather soles usually have good slippage).


Each heel type will have different heights as well as be made from different materials.

In general, to find the perfect heel, you should identify which heel type of cowboy boots will serve your needs.

Also, you should research the different toe types of cowboy boots. Heel and toe shape are two characteristics that make up a pair of cowboy boots.

In addition, the way of matching with cowboy boots also tells your style, what type of pants are suitable for men or women to wear with cowboy boots?

Hope you find the right cowboy boots for you!

What's The Best Cowboy Boot Heel Size?