The 15 Best Cowboy Boots for a Little Western Flair

Saddle up.

Words by Shelby Ying Hide

Edward Berthelot / Getty Images

In a literal sense, cowboy boots can be tricky to work into your wardrobe. Unless you live in a place where the sturdy silhouette is part of the dress code, they have a tendency to feel (and look) out of place. But over the decades, designers of all sizes have started churning out their own spins on the Western style, giving those who want something a bit more fashion focused the chance to take part in the trend, regardless of their geographical location. Then there’s street style, where showgoers at fashion weeks from New York to Copenhagen have taken to pairing their dresses, jeans, and knit separates with cowboy boots.

Though the famed workwear boot may be designed with function at the forefront, if you’re familiar with the process of purchasing an authentic pair, then you know they’re meant to be unique. From the classic Western stitching to the pops of color to the embroidered or embossed details, each pair is infused with personality. Meaning, you’re bound to find a set that aligns with your personal aesthetic.

If you’re not sure where to begin, just ahead is a breakdown of the five types of cowboy boots currently on the market—plus a well-curated selection of the best cowboy boots to help you re-create the look yourself.

Christian Vierig / Getty Images

The Wear-with-Anything Boot

The thing about cowboy boots is that at first glance, they’re not all that versatile. Luckily, there are more pared-back options with all the makings to become your new everyday signature—but with a Western twist. Khaite’s Dallas ankle boots have remained a fan favorite for seasons, while Isabel Marant’s signature style with the cone-shaped heel dates back to the mid-2000s, perching them on the cusp of the nostalgic Y2K bubble.

See also
Andrew Tan Opens Up About Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week 2023

BEST BLACK EVERYDAY COWBOY BOOTS

Khaite

Dallas Leather Ankle Boot

A core staple in Khaite’s collections, the Dallas ankle boot is available in a range of iterations, including black leather and camel-colored suede.

BEST WHITE EVERYDAY COWBOY BOOTS

Isabel Marant

Luliette Embroidered Suede Ankle Boot

Isabel Marant’s ankle boot is instantly recognized by the manageable cone heel and subtle Western stitching.

 

BEST TEXTURED EVERYDAY COWBOY BOOTS

Shopbop

Schutz

Maryana Tall Boots

Schutz’s Maryana boot is updated with a slick reptilian leather, making it a striking alternative to classic cowboy boots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeremy Moeller / Getty Images

Devil Is in the Detail

Intricate details are a key feature of all the best cowboy boots. Whether that means embroidered flowers or paisley whipstitching, each pair is carefully crafted with an eye-catching design that will pop against monochromatic outfits. Wear a detailed boot with light-wash denim and a T-shirt to complete an all-American, off-duty ensemble that’s as chic as it is laid-back.

BEST TALL EMBROIDERED COWBOY BOOTS

Nordstorm

Billini

Urson Knee High Western Boot

This pair demands to peek out from beneath a midi skirt or prairie dress.

BEST EMBROIDERED COWBOY BOOTS

Ranch Road

See also
The 22 Best Blazer Dresses You Can Wear Everywhere

Rosette Black Cowboy Boot

Between the intricately stitched design and sturdy leather, this Rosette boot has all the key features of a classic Western pair.

 

BEST FLORAL EMBROIDERED COWBOY BOOTS

Larroudé

Larroudé

Thelma Boot

Floral detailing adds a romantic touch to these rustic leather boots.

 

 

 

 

 

Raimonda Kulikauskiene / Getty Images

Making a Statement

When you think of the Western trend in present day, it’s likely that bright colorful boots with metallic leathers come to mind. But in 2022, the fad presents itself in more modern ways, like fold-over boots from R13 and graphic sceneries à la Brother Vellies. One foolproof way to successfully pull off more eccentric pairs is to wear them with something equally as fun—think: exaggerated silhouettes and bold prints that complement, rather than clash, with their uniqueness.

BEST ILLUSTRATED COWBOY BOOTS

Brother Vellies

Eve Doodle Boot

Handmade in Mexico, Brother Vellies’ Doodle boot is the definition of a conversation starter.

 

 

 

BEST COLORBLOCK COWBOY BOOTS

Toral

Flex Boot

There’s something so distinctly ’70s about the design of Toral’s Flex Boot.

 

 

BEST FOLD-OVER COWBOY BOOTS

R13

55mm Knee-High Leather Boot

Those looking for something completely unique should consider R13’s fold-over cowboy boot.

 

 

Melodie Jeng / Getty Images

A Vintage Appeal

To feign a vintage feel, many designers finish their cowboy boots with retro details and distressed materials that resemble something you’d find in your favorite secondhand shop. Consider styles made from materials meant to get better with each wear, like nubuck or pebble-grained leather. And those who are looking for something a little bolder should opt for tactile, faux exotics.

See also
LIVE: Louis Vuitton Men's Fall/Winter 2022 Runway

BEST SUEDE COWBOY BOOTS

Dolce Vita

Solei Western Boot

Follow model Amar Akway’s lead and wear yours with denim, tucked in, of course.

 

 

 

 

BEST LEATHER COWBOY BOOTS

Nordstrom

Marc Fisher LTD

Natara Western Bootie

Crafted from pebbled leather, this Natara boot will only get better with each wear.

 

BEST ANKLE COWBOY BOOTS

KNWLS

Serpent-Print Ankle Boot

The It-girl label’s take on the Western boot is emblazoned in a snake-printed leather and a sharp pointed toe.

 

 

Raimonda Kulikauskiene / Getty Images

The No-Pants-Necessary Boot

To be clear: By no pants, we mean bare legs. One can achieve this look with oversized pullovers, T-shirt dresses (with or without biker shorts), or micro miniskirts and denier tights to underpin the over-the-knee height. Remember, the boots are the star of the look. So keep the rest of the pairings minimal and let them shine.

BEST KNEE-HIGH COWBOY BOOTS

Farfetch

Ganni

Western-Style Knee-High Boots

Emulate the Danish brand’s cool factor by styling your boots with biker shorts and your favorite collegiate sweatshirt, off duty.

 

 

BEST STUDDED COWBOY BOOTS

Revolve

Jeffrey Campbell

Amigo Boot

The studded Amigo boot finds the perfect balance between tradition and style.

 

 

 

 

BEST EMBOSSED COWBOY BOOTS

Bootbarn

Dan Post

Seductress Western Boot

Dress it up or down—your choice.

 

– – – – – –

This article originally appeared in harpersbazaar.com