Western Boots Are Always in Style—Say ‘Howdy’ to 8 Pairs That Are *Actually* Good for Your Feet

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ICYMI: You don’t have to live on a ranch to wear cowboy boots. These days, the western-inspired footwear pops up well beyond the barn, from the concrete jungles in New York and London, to sunny coasts in L.A. and Australia, and everywhere in between. As much as we love the look of these pointy-toed, heeled boots, it can be hard to find a western boot that holds up on the comfort front. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many western boots just aren’t comfortable, let alone good for your feet. That's why we set out to lasso a handful of the best western boots around (that won't send your feet out to pasture).

Experts In This Article
  • Brad Schaeffer, DPM, board-certified foot surgeon at Sole Podiatry NYC and star of TLC’s My Feet Are Killing Me
  • Jackie Sutera, DPM, podiatrist and member of the Vionic Innovation Lab

The best (actually comfortable) western boots, at a glance:

What to look for in western boots

“Trendy cowboy boots can be uncomfortable and harsh on your feet; their toe boxes, heels, and stiff materials can be uncomfortable and harmful to some,” says Vionic Innovation Lab Member and nationally renowned podiatrist, Jacqueline Sutera, DPM. But that doesn’t mean that all western boots are worth overlooking. Here is some podiatrist wisdom to wrangling a pair of western boots your feet will adore:


Though the sharp, pointy look of classic cowboy boots is cute, it's not necessarily the most comfortable on your precious toes. “Look for styles with softer, more flexible leather, a comfortable heel height, and a toe box that is accommodating to your foot shape,” Sutera suggests. “For example, if you have a wide forefoot, bunions, or hammertoes, you should really avoid the narrow, pointy, and stiff versions. Instead, opt for round, wide, or even square toe boxes.”

Heel height

Brad Schaeffer, DPM, who is a board certified foot surgeon at Sole Podiatry NYC, a spokesperson for Dr. Scholl's, and star of TLC’s “My Feet Are Killing Me,” says to keep your boot's heel height to under three inches. (If you’re already accustomed to wearing cowboy boots, you might be able to comfortably go a bit taller.) “As a general rule, the higher the heel on the boot the more strain they will put on your feet,” he explains. “I always say, if you can’t walk in the shoes, don’t buy them.” Noted.


Then there's the insoles, which are included, but oftentimes, less than stellar. “I always recommend proper insoles to help prevent foot aches and pains, especially for shoes with heels and [unsupportive] soles, like cowboy boots,” Dr. Schaeffer says. “For boots or high heels in general, I often recommend Dr. Scholl’s Invisible Cushioning Insoles, which create a cushioning and a protective barrier between your shoe and the ball of your foot. This can help absorb shock, and make the boots more comfortable.” This is particularly true for anyone who needs additional arch support.

Shop 8 western boots that'll make your feet say 'Yeehaw!'

Tecovas Jamie Western Boot
Best overall: Tecovas, The Jamie Boot — $275.00

Available sizes: Women’s 5-12, in half sizes

Available colors: 3

Tecovas are one of the most popular boot brands among folks who wear cowboy boots day in and day out. They’re crafted with the highest quality leather with Goodyear welt construction (the footwear’s industry gold-standard to increasing durability—it’s a little strip of material along the outsole that allows the sole to be resoled over time without altering the core shape of the shoe) which makes them particularly durable and rugged.

The Jamie ankle boots feature a low, 1.75-inch heel and are made with durable goat leather, so you can wear them with confidence in any situation. You’ll also notice the toe isn’t as pointed as other options, making them more comfortable for wider feet and toes.

Heel height: 1.75 inches


  • Timeless silhouette
  • Quality made-to-last design
  • Lower heel and rounded toe provide comfort


  • Goat leather naturally patinas quickly, which may or may not be your intended look
Alvies the rainey short western boots
Best short boot: Alvies, The Rainey — $299.00

Available sizes: Women’s 5.5-12, in half sizes

Available colors: 5

If the idea of breaking in a pair of western boots feels daunting, Alvies are for you. The brand is renowned for its short break-in time, not to mention its extremely well-made silhouettes, which also feature a Goodyear welt construction, so you know they’re durable as can be. The Rainey style is a short, side-zip boot with a stacked 1.75-inch heel. Since there’s a zipper, you won’t have to fight them to get them on and off (another annoying part of the break-in process.) Wear ’em with jeggings, skirts and tights, or a chic sweater dress—really anything you want to give some western flair too.

Heel height: 1.75 inches


  • Softer for quick break-in time
  • Durable Goodyear welt construction


  • May run large
Ariat prime time western boots
Best for wide feet: Ariat, Prime Time Western Boot — $200.00

Available sizes: Women’s 5.5-12, in half sizes and two widths

Available colors: 3

Ariat boots are beloved in the equestrian community for being high-end, well-made, and up for both casual and work (as in, on a ranch) wear. Per podiatrist recommendations, the Women’s PrimeTime Western Boot sports a smaller heel that’ll equally distribute weight while you walk, plus a cushioned insole and a square toe box for un-cramped comfort. They also come in standard and full widths, making them a solid option for those who need a more spacious fit.

Heel height: 1.4 inches


  • Two width options
  • Square toe prevents bunching
  • Cushioned insole (that’s also removable in case you need orthotics)


  • No solid (patternless) color options
Ranch road presidio short western boots with stars
Best design: Ranch Road, Presidio Short Boots — $548.00

Available sizes: Women’s 5.5-11, in half sizes

Available colors: 4

Heel height: 1.5 inches

Don’t take your horse to Old Town Road—take it to Ranch Road, where where modern style trends and top-notch materials meet. The Presidio Short Boots sit atop a 1.5-inch heel and feature that tough-as-nails Goodyear welt construction, so you know they’re designed to last. They also feature a cushioned heel and a cork footbed that molds to your unique foot shape over time. And unlike most cowboy boots that feature the iconic, lasso-like leatherwork and desert imagery, these are adorned in adorable stars that will stay on-trend season to season.


  • Cork footbed molds to your foot
  • Goodyear welted for durability
  • Heel cushion helps absorb shock


  • Toe may be too narrow for some
  • Priciest pick on this list
roper riley western boot
Best budget: Roper, Riley Boot — $80.00

Available sizes: Women’s 6.5-11, in half sizes

Available colors: 7

Heel height: 1.5 inches

Yep, you can get cowboy boots on Amazon. If you do, make sure you get the Ropers, which are revered for their ruggedness, comfort, and cuteness. Less clunky and heavy than traditional boots, the Riley boot is a great option for anyone who wants something light on their feet and their wallets. They also sport a rounded toe, a padded insole to keep feet sweet, and a lower heel to take pressure off your forefoot.


  • Budget-friendly option
  • Variety of colors
  • Rounded toe and cushioned heel add comfort


  • May not be as durable as other picks on this list
frye june western boots
Best dressy Western boot: Frye, June Western — $328.00

Available sizes: Women’s 5.5-12 (in half sizes)

Available colors: 6

Heel height: 2.5 inches

For a boot that’s durable and comfortable but has a more elevated look, check out the June Western boots from Frye. The stacked, cone-shaped heel makes them perfect for dressing up, while the Western stitching and pointed toe keep that timeless cowboy look alive, no matter which of the six colors you pick. They do have a higher heel (2.5 inches) than most of the other boots on this list, though, so that’s something to keep in mind.


  • Sleek look for dressing up
  • Available in a variety of colors


  • Higher heel may not be for everyone
thursday boots rodeo western boots
Best tall boots: Thursday Boots, Rodeo Boot — $199.00

Available sizes: Women’s 5-12 (in half sizes)

Available colors: 4

Heel height: 2.75 inches

These taller boots are absolutely made for walkin’. The Rodeo boots from Thursday Boots are made with hand-stitched, full-grain leather and feature a non-slip bottom. They also have shock-absorbing insoles to help keep your feet cushioned while you strut your stuff. Just note that the toe on the Rodeo boots is a little more narrow than some other designs on this list, and if you’re between sizes Thursday recommends sizing up.


  • Mid-calf silhouette
  • Shock-absorbing insole helps with cushioning
  • Durable rubber outsole


  • Toe may be too narrow for some
white matisse freya western boots
Best vegan boots: Matisse, Freya Western Boot — $60.00

Available sizes: Women’s 5.5-11 (in half sizes)

Available colors: 3

Heel height: 1.5 inches

Love the look of a western boot but don’t love the leather? There are plenty of vegan cowboy boots out there, like this PETA-approved pair from Matisse. They’re made with synthetic materials to mimic the look of real leather and feature a padded insole for added cushion. The Freya boots are also a lower-priced option, which is great for anyone looking to dabble in western fashion without investing a chunk of change.


  • Low heel and padded insole for comfort
  • PETA-approved vegan design
  • Zipper for easy on-and-off


  • May not be as durable

Other ways to keep your feet comfortable in western boots

Even with insoles and a silhouette suitable for your foot shape, discomfort is possible. After all, most cowboy boots require a break-in period to get that stiff leather (vegan or otherwise) to soften up. As such, Schaeffer suggests having products on hand to help prevent and treat potential blisters your boots may cause. And I can attest! As someone who personally loves cowboy boots and has sensitive, blister-prone feet, I always keep a box of the Band-Aid Hydro Seal Blister Heels ($5) in my medicine cabinet, not to mention a few in my purse when I actually go out. Then, if I ever develop a bad blister, I keep corn cushions (like the Comfort Zone Corn Cushions ($5) on-hand because the hollow center works perfectly around blisters.

The point is, with proper planning, you can both buy a pair of more comfortable western boots and prevent any pain during the break-in process. But remember: like any shoe, you will have to break them in, so be patient and trust the process.

Frequently asked questions

Is it OK to wear cowboy boots every day?

As long as you feel supported and cushioned in your western boots, there's no reason you shouldn't wear them on the reg. Just be sure to listen to your body and keep tabs on your overall foot health. If you start to develop pain in your feet, ankles, or legs, or notice changes in your gait, it might be time to reevaluate your shoes.

Which cowboy boots last longest?

There are a handful of western boot brands on our list that are known for their durability. Boots from trusted brands like Tecovas, Ranch Road, and Alvies are made with real leather (which often costs more money but will likely last longer than synthetics) and are typically constructed using a Goodyear welt technique—this ensures a durable design from the get-go, but also allows the shoe to be resoled over time without compromising the upper materials.

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