Finding the best women’s Western riding boots can be a lot easier than you think.
The 2 Main Principles of Cowboy Boots
#1: They need to be authentic leather.
Steer clear of “fake/fashion” boots and you’re 99% of the way done.
#2: Comfort is king (or queen).
Most western boots will look fantastic on and be flattering – there’s a reason they never go out of style and look great with basically any outfit:
- even wedding dresses!
Every cowgirl (and almost every girl) loves Western riding boots!
You just do not want to be in a situation where you’re getting blisters all day trying to break them in or forced to wear super thick socks and then sweating all day.
My first western show boots were a bit of a disaster…
Western boots are built to last. That is, of course, an excellent quality that you want your boots to have.
But it means they can be overly stiff.
My first boots lasted 20 years (they’re still pristine) but…
They were extremely uncomfortable!
I could only bear to wear them while showing my horse in Western pleasure, equitation and trail classes.
Once my classes were over, I quickly took my boots off and changed into paddock boots.
It’s a shame, too, because those western show boots were gorgeous, with lovely stitching. But they had an extremely pointy toe and were too just too tight.
When I bought them, the clerk brushed aside my concerns and insisted they’d be fine once I broke them in.
Unfortunately, back then, cowboy boots were typically made from a very unforgiving, stiff leather that was hard to break in.
I was just not willing to suffer through the pain I would have had to endure in order to mold them to my feet.
Do Not Ignore Signs of Discomfort (No Matter How Pretty The Boots)
#1: You should always make sure that the western boots you choose fit your feet well.
Of course, if you have a pair of really expensive, fancy boots that you want to keep pretty for a rodeo then that’s fine but you should still listen to your feet if they’re too uncomfortable because you just won’t be able to perform your best.
#2: Buying a comfortable boot is of utmost importance, especially if you want to do more than just pull them on for rodeos.
The whole point of western boots is for them to be so comfortable you could wear them all day working around the barn, in the fields and when riding.
Style is 100% Up to You
Pick boots that you love! As long as they meet the “authentic leather” and the “comfortable” factors we talked about, the rest is up to you.
Traditional Western riding boots will have tapered toes. Some will have extensive tapering and some will have less.
Personally, I veer towards a bit more rounded toe vs. the very pointed toe look look just because I find too much of a point can get uncomfortable and also reminds me more of a men’s boot.
But that’s just my opinion!
The best tip that I’ll give is don’t buy the first thing that you see. Take some time to decide which type of Western riding boot is for you.
Some cowgirls love the higher shaft while some prefer the shorter shaft.
Your first priority should be your comfort.
Remember, even if you LOVE the look, make sure you LOVE the feel too otherwise you will regret it.
Choose a pair that will be comfortable for you even after spending a whole day on a ranch.
The Best Women’s Western Riding Boots for First Time Buyers
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There are many brands of women’s Western riding boots.
My favourite for first time buyers looking for something comfortable, durable and multi-purpose is Ariat.
Here’s a quick video on how Ariat boots are made and what makes them unique:
These boots are gorgeous, they last and they’re suitable for anything you might need to do…
BONUS: How to Make Leather Boots Last Forever
Okay, so nothing lasts forever but you can get pretty close if you take good care of your boots.
Me personally – I’m not great at taking care of my boots.
I find that the boots I buy are so well made that it’s just not necessary.
Whether I wipe them down or not, whether I properly clean the leather with saddle soap – they still last just fine. And I put my boots through quite a bit of wear and tear too:
- I wear them riding
- In the muddy paddocks in Canadian spring and fall
- Just out and about on errands and stuff
As you can see, they’re one of my go-to pairs of shoes.
I find some brands you have to take care better than others. If you do find that your boots are looking like they’re in need of some attention, I would suggest the following:
#1: Do not leave your boots out in the sun.
This will save you so much work and money because they’ll be a lot less likely to age quickly and crack.
#2: Wipe off or at least shake/kick off the big chunks of mud when you’re taking your boots off
Just keeping your boots relatively clean can make a big difference (yes, that means wiping the chunks of mud off when it’s gross outside).
#3: When you clean your saddles, clean your boots
Every once in a while, you’ll want to actually clean the leather off with a leather cleaner.
Most places will try to sell you on fancy leather boot cleaning products. Personally, I hate this.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated like 10-15 products in my mudroom for boots and shoes that I never use and just accumulate dust.
What I’ve found works the best for leather anything (boots, purses, saddles, bridles, etc.) is a good quality saddle soap.
My favourite hard soap is Feibing’s and my favourite liquid soap is Farnam’s. I have both depending on how lazy I’m feeling.
#4: Boot shapers (optional)
You can also use boot shapers to keep your boots upright so they don’t get those creases from bending over. I have a pair of boots I spend over $600 on that are my favourites and if I was to do this with any of my boots, it would be these.
SHOP OUR WESTERN BOOT GALLERY…
Please feel free to comment below with any questions about women’s Western riding boots!
🐴 Happy riding 🐴