7 Best Ways to Wear Cowboy Boots
No pair of men’s footwear makes a statement like a good pair of cowboy boots. And right now, we’re living in the new golden age of western wear—pearl snap shirts, bolo ties, wide-brimmed hats, and cowboy boots.
Now, if you grew up outside of Texas, you might find cowboy boots intimidating. Hey, maybe you grew up thinking that the only people who ever wore cowboy boots were country singers, bull riders, and that one kid in your high school always had a wad of dip in their cheek.
It's time to forget all that.
In 2022, cowboy boots are for everybody. But how exactly do you wear them without looking like a rodeo clown? You can certainly get away with wearing cowboy boots with run-of-the-mill boot-cut jeans. But we think there are better, more creative ways to incorporate them into your wardrobe. With so much variety, you have an opportunity to add a unique element to your style.
To help you get started, here are six of our favorite ways to wear cowboy boots.
1. CUFFED JEANS WITH COWBOY BOOTS
Cowboy boots often feature decorative stitching on the boot shaft that gets covered up by your pants. One of the ways to counter this, and show off the design on your boots, is to cuff your jeans. That cuff allows the decorative part of your boots to get a little attention while sitting.
Practically any pair of relaxed-fit, straight-leg jeans will work for this look. Go for a slightly longer length than you usually wear to give yourself enough denim to cuff.
Pair your cuffed jeans and cowboy boots with a t-shirt or button-down layers, and that’s all there is to it.
2. RAW HEM JEANS WITH COWBOY BOOTS
The hem of your jeans is the stitching at the bottom of each pant leg. Raw hem jeans don’t have that stitching and are left unfinished, allowing the bottoms to fray. This style has become increasingly popular recently, and not just among cowboy boot aficionados. You can wear raw hem jeans with anything—sneakers, Birkenstocks, and definitely cowboy boots. Raw hem jeans look best when they’re a little on the shorter side, and when paired with cowboy boots, this is a winning combination. Like with the cuffed jeans, the shorter, raw hem allows more of the boot shaft to be exposed when you sit.
Any pair of relaxed-fit, straight-leg jeans works, but a raw hem tends to look best on lighter washes. The challenge is that you can’t really find raw hem jeans off the rack. Your best bet is to buy a pair of jeans a little longer than you would typically wear and cut the bottoms of the legs to your desired length. Some Levi’s stores will make that alteration for a small fee.
3. WHITE DENIM WITH COWBOY BOOTS
There’s something immaculate about white denim with brown or tan cowboy boots. Pair the look with other earth tones or vintage oranges and yellows for a simple way to keep your white jeans in rotation throughout the fall. You can opt to give your white denim a raw hem or just wear them as is. Just stick with a relaxed fit and no taper on the legs.
4. FLARED TROUSERS WITH COWBOY BOOTS
Believe it or not, you have more options than just a pair of jeans to wear with your boots. And when you start to venture into different cuts of trousers, that’s where you can get really creative. The easiest place to start is a vintage pair of trousers that are relaxed through the hip and thigh but flared through the leg. You're not looking for bell bottoms but just something with a higher waist and moderate flair on the legs. You’ll have to hit the vintage stores to find a pair, but they’re out there.
5. PLEATED TROUSERS WITH COWBOY BOOTS
You might typically associate pleated trousers with boxy-fitting suits from the 1990s or your old khaki pants from high school, but pleats are back in a big way. You can absolutely pair pleated trousers with cowboy boots. The key is to have them tailored with no break in the leg. You want a strong, clean line from waist to toe.
6. SUITED AND COWBOY BOOTED
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a Dallas businessman or Lyndon B. Johnson to wear cowboy boots with a suit. Pairing a good snip-toe boot with a suit is the ultimate flex. Nobody does it better than country singer-songwriter Charley Crockett, who has developed a reputation for his stellar vintage wardrobe. But you don’t need a custom-made nudie suit to pull this look off. Opt for a classic cut suit (no slim-fit pants) and get the trousers tailored to have a straight leg that hits right at the top of the vamp with no break.Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
7. CHELSEA BOOTS WITH A WESTERN HEEL
A cowboy boot with a full shaft isn’t always practical—especially in the summer when the heat is blazing. Some bootmakers, like Heritage Boots in Austin, have started making hybrid cowboy boots. They are ankle-high like a Chelsea boot but feature a western heel and the same stitching you’d find on a traditional cowboy boot. This is the perfect middle ground if your wardrobe is full of slimmer-fitting denim.
COWBOY BOOT SHAPES AND STYLES
There is tons of content on toe shapes and boot styles, so we’re not going to get deep in the mud on that. That said, here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a pair of cowboy boots.
1. Toe shape: For style purposes, a narrower toe will always look better than a box toe boot. Pointed, snip, and round-toe cowboy boots are all classic options that will look killer no matter what you pair them with.
2. Material: Cowboy boots come in various types of leather. The standard is cowhide or calfskin, but you can also find goat leather. The better the leather used to make the boots, the softer the boot will be. Aside from being significantly more comfortable and durable, better quality leather is more supple, and the boot shaft will be less noticeable beneath your pants. Roughouts are another good option for material and shouldn’t be confused with suede. Ostrich leather is another popular exotic leather due to its softness, durability, and unique look.
3. Price: A new pair of cowboy boots made from high-quality calfskin can get pricey—and fast. And exotic materials, such as ostrich and snakeskin, can cost well into the thousands. In other words, don’t purchase a pair of boots if you’re on the fence. When spending that kind of money, you want to make sure you love them. You’ll know it when you try on the right pair. However, don’t be too dismayed by the price. A good pair of cowboy boots will age well and last a lifetime if cared for properly.
4. Consider Vintage Boots: Good cowboy boots are built to last, so if you’re working with a budget, you might be able to find a pair of boots you like at a vintage or thrift store. In states like Texas or California, practically every vintage store has some assortment of pre-owned cowboy boots. You can get these pre-worn boots for a fraction of the price of a new pair. Don’t worry if they’re beat up; that’s half the charm.
COWBOY BOOT BRANDS TO KNOW
Lucchese is to cowboy boots what Stetson is to cowboy hats. There simply isn’t a brand that has a stranglehold on the high-end boot market the way Lucchese does. Lucchese’s are undoubtedly some of the best boots you can buy. With a multitude of boot styles and materials, there’s something for everyone. Expect higher prices for the brand name, but Lucchese's have proven their worth.
Heritage Boots in Austin, Texas, is a boutique bootmaker specializing in hand-made, vintage-style cowboy boots. Every boot they make is a work of art. The limited quantities and exquisite designs place these boots on the higher end of the price spectrum. But this is the place to look if you want a boot that stands out.
Since its founding in 2015, Tecovas has become one of the most popular brands by disrupting the cowboy boot industry and offering quality boots at an entry-level price. They’ve expanded beyond their Texas origins to have storefronts as far west as Arizona and far north as Fairfax, Virginia. Your boot selection is limited with Tecovas, but if you’re just getting into cowboy boots, they can be a good place to start.
Chisos Boots is another Austin, Texas-based upstart that launched in 2019. Their focus is on producing damn comfortable cowboy boots that are high quality and affordable. They have just a few boot offerings but don't let that dissuade you. The Chisos No. 5 in roughout is a killer boot that looks good dressed up or down.
Have questions about style or need some beard advice? Text "STYLE" to 512-879-3297 for a free personalized consultation. We’ll be happy to help you out.
Keep on Growing.
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