Western Boot Guide

Western Your Way: Find Your Perfect Boots at Murdoch’s

Cowboy boots come in a variety of styles, each with its own unique features and characteristics. Here is a guide to some of the most popular cowboy boot styles and fits so you can find your perfect pair.

Are you ready to turn an ordinary day into a rootin’ tootin’ adventure? With the perfect pair of cowboy boots, you can make your everyday errands feel like a ride into the sunset. We see cowboy boots at the grocery store, cowboy boots on the streets of every major city during Fashion Week, and cowboy boots at all those mountain-chic weddings you’re attending this summer. Whether you are a cattle rancher who needs boots to function, a rodeo and country concert frequenter, or a cool cowgirl who styles western boots with every single outfit, this guide is for you. Once you find your perfect pair, grab your hat, and get ready to two-step through life with a little extra twang and a whole lot of fun.

Style

  • Traditional: The traditional cowboy boot is a type of footwear worn by cowboys and ranchers for generations. It typically has a pointed toe, a high shaft that covers the ankle, and a low heel. The heel is designed to help the rider keep their foot securely in the stirrup.
  • Work Cowboy: A work cowboy boot is specifically designed for rugged, outdoor work. These boots are typically made of high-quality leather, which provides durability and protection against the elements. Others may have steel or composite toe caps and slip-resistant soles. This is especially important for those who work in slippery or wet conditions, such as on farms, ranches, or construction sites.
  • Roper: Roper boots were originally designed for rodeo cowboys and ranchers who needed a comfortable, versatile boot for riding and working on foot. A roper boot typically features a lower shaft and lower heel compared to traditional cowboy boots.
  • Short Cowboy Boots: Short cowboy boots, also known as booties, are a variation of the traditional cowboy boot with a shorter shaft that ends above the ankle. Short cowboy boots offer a unique and stylish option for those who want the look and feel of cowboy boots but prefer a shorter shaft that is easier to wear with a wider range of outfits. They can be paired with jeans, shorts, skirts, and dresses, making them a versatile footwear option for both casual and dressy occasions.
  • Exotic Cowboy Boots: Exotic cowboy boots are a type of cowboy boot made from unusual or exotic materials, such as alligator, ostrich, snake, or lizard skin. These materials offer a unique and distinctive look that sets them apart from traditional cowboy boots. Exotic cowboy boots are often more expensive and worn for more formal occasions, but they are a great choice for anyone who wants to stand out from the crowd.
  • Dress Cowboy Boots: Dress cowboy boots are designed for more formal occasions. These boots typically feature high-quality leather construction, intricate stitching, and decorative detailing such as embossed designs or inlaid leather. These fashionable and stylish boots offer a unique blend of Western style and formal elegance.

Toe Type

Now you know the cowboy boot styles, but toe type is also something to look at when trying to find your perfect boot. Toe type won’t necessarily help you to be a better rider but is another element to look at when discovering which boot you prefer.

Round Toe

Round Toe

Round-toe cowboy boots are a classic, timeless boot style with a rounded, gently curved toe shape. Unlike pointed or snip-toe boots, the round toe provides a more spacious and comfortable fit for the toes.

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Pointed Toe

Pointed Toe

Pointed-toe cowboy boots are a distinctive style of cowboy boot characterized by a sharply tapered, pointed tip at the toe. This design element gives the boots a sleek and elongated appearance.

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Square Toe

Square Toe

Square-toe boots have a square-shaped toe box, giving them a modern look. They can be found in a variety of styles, from classic Western to contemporary fashion.

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Snip Toe

Snip Toe

A snip-toe boot is characterized by a squared-off, angular tip that comes to a point, resembling the shape of a cut-off triangle, adding a distinctive Western flair.

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Heel Type

Much like the toe shape, the heel type is preference-based. At Murdoch’s, we carry a roper heel, a cowboy heel, and a dress heel. The roper heel is the shortest style, while the cowboy heel and dress heel are taller.

Shaft Height

Outside of the buckaroo boot, which stands about 15 inches tall, shaft height is mostly your own preference. Short cowboy boots, or booties, are trendy, but classic shaft heights for men’s and women’s boots are 11-12 inches.

Leathers

Western boots can be made from various materials, such as leather, suede, or synthetic. Choose a material that suits your preferences and needs.

Many cowboy boots are considered exotic or non-exotic. Exotic skin boots are made of snakeskin, alligator, or ostrich. They are often more expensive than traditional leather boots and are considered a luxury item. At Murdoch’s, we carry a few exotic-style boots, but mostly cowhide leather boots.

Boot Care

Find out how to clean and condition your leather boots here: Boot Care | Justin Boots

Sources: A Guide to Cowboy Boot Styles by Ariat | What Are Roper Boots? by Ariat

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