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Why Do Truck Drivers Wear Cowboy Boots? | The 6 Main Reasons

Not all truck drivers wear cowboy boots and jeans, but most do. These boots can be worn all day in the cabin and also all night in bars in the town. This idea has won the trust of truck drivers, who could even drive for a month.

Cowboy boots are also practical enough to help you feel the brake when you need to brake hard in the middle of the road or whenever you need to step out of the cab and climb onto the top of a truck.

My friend has a vegetable farm in Georgia, and he often has to do barn chores, pick vegetables every morning, and drive the truck to bring those fresh foods to the center of town, dozens of miles away.

He wears cowboy boots out of habit, and he told me that I wouldn’t find a better alternative. That’s also true because you rarely find any work boots that last more than 5 years with little care and maintenance, like cowboy boots.

Truck driver jobs don’t just require workers to sit in one place all day. Their feet are even busier than those of a salesperson.

Carrying heavy loads up and down frequently in the off-loading bins encourages them to look for durable and resilient footwear. That’s why my friend wore cowboy boots during his 20 years working on his farm.

What’s more, if you are new to this field, you may find several reasons why you want to give your cowboy boots a try when it comes to driving trucks.

Cowboy Boots 1

Why Do Truck Drivers Wear Cowboy Boots?

There’s some concern about wearing cowboy boots while driving trucks, but there are also a variety of good reasons to do so.


men wear cowboy boots with spur are standing

The durability of cowboy boots is one of the most important reasons. This benefit is established for those who wear cowboy boots thanks to the real leather construction of these boots. It is not surprising that real leather materials can last more than 10 years.

This allows you to add a few zeros to your passbook account each year.

The durability of cowboy boots is also reflected in their ability to resist stabs, scratches, and snake bites quite well. You can’t predict when a cobra will crawl into the cabin and attack you suddenly as you drive your truck through the jungle.

At the very least, you can rest assured that your feet are still safe from the potential of snakes and insects.

Besides, the parts of cowboy boots are attached together by a stitching method. This design makes the structure of the boots more resistant to water and water-based stains.

Most work boots used today use the gluing method to attach the components of the footwear together, making them easier to separate when exposed to direct water for long periods of time.

High-end cowboy boots are also reinforced with double or triple stitches to reduce the possibility of thread breakage after a long time of use.


man wearing jeans and cowboy boots with arch and heel support

Cowboy boots have the ability to invoke a sense of warmth and coolness at the same time. My friend loves to wear cowboy boots every day as they help keep his feet heavenly warm in the early morning when he is harvesting fresh vegetables.

You may feel the cold below 30 degrees Fahrenheit in Atlanta very early in the morning. My friend just wore thick winter socks with mid-calf cowboy boots to protect her feet from frostbite in cold weather.

Like my friend, other truck drivers are likely to spend cold nights in their cabins in sub-zero temperatures. That’s when you know deep down that you have made the best decision of your life by wearing cowboy boots in winter for your long-day driving trip.

If you intend to wear cowboy boots in the winter, choose rubber outsoles. Not only are these materials water-resistant and slip-resistant, they also don’t conduct heat, so they’re better at keeping your feet warm.

If you drive a truck in the summer, leather outsoles with grooves will be a good choice. Leather construction has more ventilation and air conditioning inside the boots than you think, making your driving experience under the sun much more enjoyable.

Feel the brake well

How to Stop Cowboy Boots from Squeaking

Some of my friends do not believe that cowboy boots can effectively support their truck driving. This is because when they look at wide-shaft cowboy boots, they find the idea ridiculous.

The point is, no matter how wide the boot shaft is, the vamps, heels, and toes all fit your feet snugly.

This will make you feel your toes and feet better every time you need to hit the brakes or accelerators. Cowboy boot experts recommend adapting to this fit even if you want something more spacious.

But cowboy boots will stretch out over time and mold to every corner of your feet way better than any other footwear. I bet you would really love this feeling while most work boots tend to fit your feet well after a long time of regular wear.

Additionally, the laceless system will not cause entanglement around the brake areas and accelerator, as laces are likely to mess around these areas badly.

You also don’t have to bend down to tie your shoes in the middle of your drive; it sounds much more serene, doesn’t it?

All you need to do is slip on the boots and wait for the “pop” sound. Your feet are easily fixed inside.

Classy enough for parties

How to put on cowboy boots

Drivers love to gather around at bars in the evening. This is probably the only way to keep them entertained during the day when they have spent up to 20 hours in their van.

You now don’t have to think about what you should put on your feet to appear way more attractive and interesting to women here.

Just a few scratches on your cowboy boots with leather polish and you get your look done with elegance and masculine on the boots. I bet this is the biggest reason why male truck drivers love wearing cowboy boots.


How to put on cowboy boots

After all, comfortability matters. You may have the opposite opinion of me on this point. That’s probably because you haven’t really experienced a pair of high-quality cowboy boots.

I would agree that traditional cowboy boots are really lousy at comforting your feet while in the middle of work. Modern cowboy boots are completely different.

They incorporate a midsole system as well as cushioning in the heel, arches, and ball of the foot. You will not encounter burnions, calluses, or blisters when wearing cowboy boots for up to 10 hours a day.

The comfort of cowboy boots also does not work with pointed toes or snip toes. But round toes or receding square toes will give you a different experience.

These designs make you even more comfortable than wearing dress shoes. You can feel the stability and comfort in your every step.

Your toes and foot joints can stretch freely inside the boots to their maximum without affecting the structure of the boots.

No need for constant maintenance

Tall vs Short Cowboy Boots

Last but not least, what makes a lot of people love wearing cowboy boots when doing heavy-abused manual jobs is that they don’t need to spend too much time taking care of the boots every day.

Many truckers may have to make cargo trips for weeks or months. That’s why regular work boots may not be a good choice.

They need something more rugged and tough when exposed to different types of weather throughout the trip. I don’t mean to talk about glossy leather cowboy boots, but what’s best in this case is distressed leather cowboy boots.

The surface of this material has been heat treated to become more resilient to external aggressors. You can simply use a damp cloth and dust off your boot uppers every day. They will still look perfect for many years to come.

What types of cowboy boots are good for driving?

I would say that not all cowboy boots are worth investing in when it comes to wearing them to drive a truck. If you are seriously looking for a pair of boots that will function well for many years to come, here is what you need to look for!

Well-grooved outsoles

One of the very important things when getting a new pair of cowboy boots is that you need to break in their leather outsoles. Traditional cowboy boots with leather outsoles can absorb moisture very well, which makes your feet breathable and bring a comfortable feeling. However, leather soles have the weakness that they are very slippery, and not everyone can balance easily in them. The most basic way that most people use to break in the leather sole is to scuff it up. By rubbing the leather sole surface onto the concrete pavement to create more traction for it. Or some people use sandpaper to rub on the leather sole surface to increase the grip. If you do not want to damage the beautiful leather sole with the boot manufacturer’s signature, there are several other methods you can use such as a protective sole, rubber heel cap, traction spray, changing walking style, etc. We have an interesting tutorial on how to increase grip for leather sole cowboy boots here! However, this method only applies to leather soles. Why not the rubber sole? Because it already has a good grip!

You can feel your feet well when pressing cowboy boots while driving, but you won’t feel good anymore seeing the boots slip off the brake or accelerator. This will be extremely dangerous because it can create potential accidents for the driver and the other road users around him.

Stay away from cowboy boots with sleek outsoles, which are unlikely to provide slip resistance on the surface of the brakes or accelerators.

They can also cause you to fall if you jump out of the cabin and step into a small puddle. Every possibility of slipping and falling in the middle of your work is going to happen with this type of outsole.

Grooved outsoles are often applied mainly to rubber outsoles because this material is easier to shape or inlay than leather outsoles.

If you don’t often have to leave the cabin and move heavy goods manually, you can go with semi-grooved outsoles. Otherwise, you should pick deep-grooved outsoles for better slip resistance.


lightweight short shaft cowboy boots

When it comes to driving a heavy truck, you may not need some steel toe caps or exceptional protective heels very much since you don’t often encounter a high risk of sharp objects falling on your feet or compression issues.

Wearing cowboy boots and sitting firmly in one position will probably make you want to stick with lightweight cowboy boots.

They do not add weight to the toes, ankles, and heels, and therefore reduce stress and pressure on these areas. As a result, you are less likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.

However, this may mean that you will have to compromise on the foot support features in the cowboy boots’ construction, thus contributing to a reduction in the overall weight of the boot.

Personally, I encourage you to find a balance between your ideal boot weight and the support your foot needs.


moisture cowboy boots

I met a lot of truck drivers when they stopped at my cafe on the way to Douglasville. Most of them live in truck cabs for a few months or even a few years.

Wearing cowboy boots for up to 20 hours a day requires them to look for highly breathable and moisture-resistant features in their footwear.

Therefore, cowboy boots with removable insoles that are treated to wick away moisture and perspiration are the best solution to keep their feet dry and comfortable all day long.

In addition, driving all day in a cabin at low temperatures will stimulate the body to sweat more in the feet.

If the boot’s insoles, vamps, toes, heels, or any other area that comes in direct contact with the skin of your feet doesn’t absorb sweat well, your boots will be likely to become a breeding ground for mold and odors. This will also cause your feet to develop further symptoms of fungal, itchy, or flaky skin.

Low, square-off heels

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 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.

The fact is that small and high heels are very bad for your heels, ankles, and arches under any circumstances. Therefore, truck drivers should not go with cowboy heels.

You guys should rather stick to Stockman heels or Roper heels. These designs help your feet move more flexibly when pressing while reducing pressure on the ankles and heels.

This also contributes to promoting maximum blood circulation in the areas around the feet. You will not experience numbness or cramping in the middle of driving, one of the most frequent causes of traffic accidents.

In addition, square heels provide wider ground contact. This causes them to hold up firmly and stably on the surface of the brakes or accelerators. Your feet won’t slip off these devices when it comes to functioning quickly and accurately.

Roomy toe boxes

There’s a popular concern when it comes to cowboy boots: How are Cowboy Boots Supposed to Fit? Every time a cowboy boot was returned to the manufacturer due to not fitting your feet, you wear unsatisfied, we were sad, and of course, cowboy boot makers also were unhappy at all. The fact that 80% – 90% of cowboy boots are returned is because they don’t fit your foot size. So, how are cowboy boots supposed to fit? Let’s find out with us! Shall we?

Roomy toe boxes are a must for truck drivers who are seeking a great pair of cowboy boots for their job. This feature comes from the round toes or comfortable square toe design of cowboy boots.

Most drivers will often experience swollen feet at the end of their working day due to having to move their feet continuously while driving for more than 20 hours a day.

Round toes will provide truck drivers with just enough comfortable space to wiggle and stretch their toes appropriately. This also promotes blood circulation in the toes and reduces back pain.

However, the wearer should not choose round toes that are too wide for their toe size. This will limit how your foot feels when you need to press the brake. Over time, the toes of cowboy boots will stretch and mold to your feet well.

Therefore, choose a toe size that fits snugly right from the start.

Exceptional foot support

Do cowboy boots provide good ankle and arch support?

You may need this feature more than you think when you have to drive a truck every day. Most truck drivers won’t sit in the cab all day. You will probably have to carry heavy loads from the farm and move them to the truck’s cargo.

You may also have to climb onto the top of the truck to unload the containers onto the ground. This can leave you wanting the ultimate foot support features from cowboy boots, reducing the risk of foot fatigue at the end of the day.

Some cowboy boots that emphasize this feature will be provided with cushions or gel pads around the area under the heels, arches, or ball of the feet.

These will act as the perfect support to reduce foot fatigue regardless of whether you are moving on the ground or immobilizing your feet on brakes and accelerators.

Comfortable boot shaft

Cowboy boot's shaft

Way too narrow or way too many extra cowboy boot shafts are all pretty bad for your feet’ movement while driving. You should choose boot shafts that are 1-2 inches wider than your calves’ size. Let me explain!

When driving, the right calf tends to expand, and thus the calf size increases. If cowboy boot shafts fit too well when you stand, they will no longer fit well when you sit.

This can cause discomfort and numbness in the calves and feet afterward. It also restricts blood circulation around the area unexpectedly!

Sturdy construction

The sturdy construction of cowboy boots is often made from full real leather inside and out. In addition, the seams that connect the various components of the boots should also be stronger. This ensures that the boots will hold your feet perfectly throughout the long working day.

Poorly constructed cowboy boots can cause you to walk in the wrong posture, cause foot pain, or twist your legs. These boots also won’t last long in heavily abused conditions. You will probably have to quickly change into a new pair of cowboy boots.

Less decorative details

Comfort Cowboy boots

As hygiene conditions are limited for long-time truckers, you may want to find a pair of cowboy boots that require minimal cleaning. Therefore, having less embellishment on the boot shaft will reduce your attention to how to get rid of the dirt on this dense embroidery.

If cowboy boot embellishments are your inspiration, you can opt for heat or laser leather inlays instead of thread embroidery. This also provides the same benefit as wearing non-embellished cowboy boots without interrupting your work inspiration.

Waterproofness (optional)

You don’t get it wrong, cowboy boots can be used at construction sites that are full of dangers. But, there is only one type of cowboy boots that are eligible for this condition: cowboy work boots (western work boots). Cowboy work boots can be said to be a hybrid of cowboy boots and work boots, so they can protect you very well with safety toe (composite or steel toe), anti-puncture, non-slip outsole, sturdy structure, etc. In addition, cowboy work boots also provide great support to the foot with their waterproof features, good arch support, etc.

If stepping out of the cabin and immediately getting wet in water or puddles annoys you too much, waterproof cowboy boots can be a good choice. Even if you have to move in the rain during work, your feet will stay warm and dry all day long.

However, this can mean that the breathability and ventilation of cowboy boots is significantly reduced. Most real leathers will have moderate water resistance.

Outstanding water-resistant features require covering the entire upper with an industrial water-resistant layer. This will reduce air exchange through the leather’s porous structure. As a result, your feet may get heated up inside.

Fitted size

Man wear cowboy boots with jeans stand on the wooden floor

Last but not least, picking the right size of cowboy boots is the best way to tell your feet to function well all the way. The excess or lack of any space inside the boots will result in wrong walking gaits, foot fatigue and less effective pressing of the brake during driving.

Final thoughts

Since truck drivers are a sort of heavy-abused occupation, you may want to equip yourself with some footwear that will last longer, require little cleaning, and provide lasting comfort. Modern cowboy boots are all you need. Not all cowboy boots are good for truck drivers, but the best boots should have the features I listed above.

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