How to Choose the Right Cowboy Boots (That Fit Well and Last a Lifetime)

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With so many options out there for women's and men's cowboy boots, it can be hard to narrow down your choices to find the right style for your needs. And since cowboy (and cowgirl) boots are made to fit differently than some other styles of shoes, it's easy to waste money on uncomfortable boots if you're used to buying sneakers or sandals.

It's also vital to know how to spot differences in quality from one option to another — and a high price doesn't always mean you're buying a good boot! Keep reading to discover what sets long-lasting brands, such as Lucchese and Stetson mens' boots, apart from inferior versions that fall apart after just a few wears.

Six Secrets to Getting the Right Fit

Finding comfortable boots is as easy as following our simple checklist:

  • Slide your feet into the boot using the pull straps at the top of the boot, then stand up. Your heel should audibly pop into place as you put it on.
  • The ball of your foot should be located in the widest part of the boot.
  • The point of your toe should be about one inch from the end of the boot, in the middle of the toe box.
  • Your toes should have wiggle room.
  • The boot's vamp (or instep) should grip your foot like a firm handshake.
  • When you walk, you should feel about a quarter inch of slip in the heel.

Over time, a high-quality pair of boots will soften and conform to the shape of your foot. That's why real cowboys love their old boots as much as their new ones.

Addressing Common Fit Problems in Men's and Women's Cowboy Boots

Do you experience common frustrations such as high arches or athletic calves? There's a boot for that! Check out our guide to buying cowboy boots online to learn how to get the perfect fit for any foot.

Find the Perfect Cowboy Boot by Category

How to Choose the Right Leather

The fun part of shopping for cowboy boots is choosing the right leather. A classic choice for a traditional boot is goat leather, which has a smooth texture. It's tough and durable, yet it softens and breaks in with just a few wears.

If you're experimenting with exotic varieties for the first time, caiman alligator leather is a good choice. It's the most common of the exotic options, and like goat leather, it's tough but still softens over time.

Ostrich and snakeskin are also popular options. Ostrich leather is extremely durable and breathable, and is often mistaken for snakeskin, which requires more maintenance and care.

What Sets Apart High-End Brands Like Lucchese Boots?

Cowboy boots are available at all price points ー but price isn't always an indicator of quality. Some high-end brands, like Lucchese Boots and Stetson men's boots, are a worthy investment because their exacting standard of quality means that with the proper care, they'll look just as good when they're old boots as they did when they were new.

Other high-priced brands are simply over-hyped, and although you may pay a lot for them, your boots won't feel as comfortable or last as long.

All of Pinto Ranch's Premium cowboy boots meet our rigorous standards:

  • A stacked leather heel
  • A leather outsole
  • A hammered steel shank for maximum arch support: Other brands may use narrow polymer and metal shanks that don't support your arches well
  • A channeled leather insole that breathes and forms to your foot over time: Other brands may use synthetic insoles with a leather cover, which don't form to your foot
  • A leather heel counter which forms to your heel for a comfortable fit: Other brands may use synthetic heel counters that slip because they don't break in
  • All-leather quarters: Other brands back their cheaper leather quarters with cloth to imitate the heaviness of good leather

What is the Most Expensive Brand of Cowboy Boots?

Fun fact: Money Inc recently declared Lucchese Boots to be among the most expensive brands of cowboy boots in the world. However, Lucchese also makes simpler, more budget-friendly styles that can still look great and fit well for many years. So, no matter your price point, it's worth checking out Lucchese Boots for their commitment to quality.

Shop Lucchese Boots

Style Considerations for Cowgirl Boots

When shopping for women's cowboy boots, the first consideration is whether you want a plain, durable boot for everyday use, or a fancy pair to dress up an outfit. Cowgirl boots come in many shapes and colors. For example, our Old Gringo Boots are available in black, turquoise and even deep red, like a black cherry.

For dressier boots, look for a pair with embellishments, such as stitching, fringes, inlays or rhinestones.

Style Considerations for Men's Cowboy Boots

Choosing men's boots raises the question: what kind of cowboy boots do real cowboys wear? Do they prefer a square toe or a round toe?

The answer is that it depends on the cowboy. A square toe can be more comfortable for working and may fit better if you have wider feet. On the other hand, rounded or pointed toes may be a better choice if you'll spend a lot of time in the saddle because they make it easier to get your foot in or out of a stirrup.

Don't Forget Your Shoe Shine Box

Our real leather cowboy boots just get better with age, but only if you put your shoe shine box to good use. Every kit should include a boot jack to help you remove your boots easily, plus a good conditioner and polish, as well as a horsehair polish applicator, polishing cloths and a horsehair brush.

Buy Leather Boot Care Accessories

Quality Is A Must in Cowboy Boots

There are many times in life to choose the cheaper option, but shopping for cowboy boots is not one of them. Lower-quality boots are usually uncomfortable, because they won't break in, and they wear out much faster, making them a waste of precious time and money and leaving you with a pair of old boots that are ragged and uncomfortable. Look for boots with all-leather insoles, hammered steel shanks for arch support and other details that indicate that they'll fit well for years to come.

Find Men's and Women's Cowboy Boots In Your Size

Pinto Ranch carries high-quality, long-lasting cowboy and cowgirl boots that will make a style statement you'll love.

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How to Use A Shoe Shine Box, and Other Fun Facts About Cowboy Boots

Don't neglect the most enjoyable part of owning a good pair of boots: polishing them up and making them shine!