Sadly, not everyone is blessed with the slick swagger of a real cowboy. But the best cowboy boot brands can help you wrangle in some smoking hot Western style whether or not you’ve ever ridden a horse. We did the math and found that replacing any kind of shoe with a pair of cowboy boots ends up increasing your style point average by 12 percentage points (that’s a lot, FYI). Think about it. Whether it’s with a suit, a plain old pair of jeans, or some slim chinos, when you throw on some cowboy kicks it’s hard not to feel like a total badass. Could it be because of the generous and objectively sexy heel? Or perhaps the pointy toes? Or the intricate and mesmerizing stitching? Yes, yes, and yes.
Now that you’re undoubtedly convinced you need some cowboy boots, wait just a minute: you shouldn’t buy the first pair that pops up on your feed. Before you start prowling the world wide web guns a-blazin’, you want to make sure you know what you’re looking for. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best cowboy boot brands for everyone. From the cheap and cheerful to the highest-caliber, the safety-toe equipped to the old-school classics, these are the brands to keep an eye on.
You can’t talk about high-end cowboy boots without mentioning Lucchese. The brand’s been a storied name in Western boots for over a century, worn by US presidents and countless celebrities alike. (They’re also the official cowboy boots of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. The more you know!) Though Lucchese makes some of their more affordable boots internationally, their most coveted styles are handmade by artisans in Texas. You can expect full-grain leather cowhides as well as exotic leathers, top-notch welted construction, and a steep price tag.
Tecovas is a new player in the cowboy boot game that operates as any upstart clothing brand does: selling direct-to-consumer. But hold your scoffs because Tecovas is the real deal. Like many higher-end Western boot brands, Tecovas makes their boots in León, Mexico where there’s a longstanding tradition of fine bootmaking. That means high-quality construction like Goodyear welts, traditional lemonwood pegs at the soles, and even exotic leathers like ostrich and alligator. Unlike those rarified luxury bootmakers, though, Tecovas offers their goods at surprisingly affordable prices. And just because Tecovas is a relatively young buck doesn’t mean the brand’s chasing trend after trend: they keep it classic just like their venerable counterparts.
If you’re looking to simply dip your toes in the wide world of Western boots, you probably shouldn’t spend a ton. Justin Boots offers a large selection of cowboy boots and Western-inspired work boots at a more affordable price point.
Tony Lama boots
Like other Western boot stalwarts, Tony Lama has been around since the late 1800s. But while other legendary bootmakers went the high-end route, Tony Lama committed itself to boots that were more affordable—without sacrificing its integrity.
Ariat offers everything from riding boots and ropers to square-toe boots and work boots, all at a decent price point, readily available via Amazon. Traditional bootmakers will often stick to staid materials and techniques, but Ariat embraces modern materials that offer comfort, breathability, and longevity along with leather uppers and old-school stitching.
Frye might be better known for its work boots and dress boots, but their tight collection of Western boots is well worth considering. The styles may lean a little more rock ‘n roll than ranch hand, but each one is made using premium leathers and time-tested construction methods.
Rios of Mercedes Boots
Western boots tend to cause more than their share of double-takes. But for Rios of Mercedes, it’s not about grabbing eyeballs. The IYKYK brand is beloved for boots that are as well-made as they are truly subtle (subtle for cowboy boots, anyway). Each boot is handmade in Mercedes, Texas by master bootmakers who last, inlay, and stitch everything with meticulous attention to detail. They’ll cost you a pretty penny, for sure. But the investment pays off every time you wear them.