You don’t have to work on a ranch to enjoy the comfort and convenience of a western-style work boot. In fact, many people benefit from the pull-on style and high-quality workmanship of cowboy boots regardless of their professions.
The best cowboy work boots have the same features you’d want in the best general work boots. They come with steel toes, reinforced seams, and non-slip soles. They are comfortable and safety-focused, but more than anything, they are simple to get on and are sure to last for a long time.
It can be challenging to find the right work boots to fit your needs, but especially so when you narrow your search to a western style. Fortunately, we’ve got some great options for you from some of the top brands in the business to ensure your feet are still ready to roll no matter how long your shift or what environment you’re working in all day.
In this article, we’ll look at the best cowboy work boots you can buy. We’ll give you all the stats and in-depth reviews on several options. Whether you’re looking for the absolute best boot you can buy, a budget-friendly option, or getting a good value for your dollar, we’ve got a boot for every foot.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Ariat Workhog H2O Pull-On Composite Toe Boot
- Premium Product: Tony Lama Men’s TW1018 11-inch Waterproof Western Work Boot
- Best Value: Old West Men’s SRM4051 Roper Cowboy Boots
If you’re looking for more reviews or our in-depth buying guide, continue reading ahead.
How to Choose the Right Western Work Boot
There are plenty of considerations to keep in mind when you’re shopping for the best cowboy work boots. Probably the most important distinction you’ll see is the type of boot. There are five basic types of work boots you’ll want to choose from before you begin shopping.
- Water-Resistant or Waterproof: These boots work best for folks who are outdoors and in sloppy or uncertain terrain most of their day.
- Steel-Toe: If your job brings you near heavy objects that could damage your feet in the case of a fall, or if you’re around large livestock often, then you may want to consider protecting your toes with steel.
- Insulated: Working outdoors in potentially inclement weather is a lot less fun when your feet are cold, so you may want to consider insulated boots to ease the burden.
- Electrical Hazard: Electricians, linemen, or people who work around electric fences may all benefit from a boot that won’t allow you to become the ground of an electrical line.
- Slip-Resistant: Although most work boots are slip-resistant, some have more grip than others. If you’re on uneven terrain or near slick surfaces often, then check these out.
Deciding which boots you’ll need requires you know exactly what your job entails and where you’ll be. You will probably work in a combination of the above scenarios, at least occasionally, so keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind that more protection is better than less in the grand scheme of things.
Choose the Best Materials
More often than not, work boots of all kinds are leather on the outside. Cowboy work boots have almost exclusively leather materials with various styles of the outsole in either rubber or another durable material.
The three most common types of leather used in work boots are calfskin, pigskin, and goat or kidskin. The three are known for flexibility, smooth suede texture, and strength, respectively. In addition to these three types of leather, there are usually also man-made materials involved to strengthen the outsole or waterproof the boots.
You should look for a boot where the majority of the materials used are not manmade. Even though those materials offer some unique advantages, the durability and flexibility of leather are beyond compare, especially when you’re looking for a comfortable fit for a long day of chores.
Consider Special Features
Although many things can draw you to the cowboy style of work boot, some features will decide whether or not this type of boot is right for you. For instance, if you value a pull-on design over zippers and laces that can fail or get wet, then cowboy work boots might be right for you.
Other features to consider are the durable construction of this type of boot and the decorative details etched in most every pair. We also have to mention that safety features aren’t lost in this style of work boot, since steel toe, rubber-soled, and waterproofed options are all available.
Finally, you can find western work boots with slip-resistant soles or that have synthetic materials on the outsole to help keep your feet firmly planted on the ground in otherwise tricky situations.
Focus on Safety
When it comes to workwear, we want the safest options possible. The work boots you choose will set you up for success or failure regarding safety, so you must understand the features for which to look.
ASTM Electrical Hazard Certification
You’ll see the terms “EH Rated” or “ASTM Certified” on many of the boots we’ll review here. These designations mean that the boots in question are non-conductive footwear. Basically, this means that the boots feature a secondary protective layer when you come into contact with electrical wires or lines that are live.
You’ll find EH rated boots with steel toes and composite toes, so don’t assume that a steel toe won’t meet the certification requirements. You will notice that most, if not all, EH rated boots come with a rubber outsole. This is another layer of protection, but it also contributes to safety in other ways, like reducing fall risks.
Steel and Composite Toes
Although both steel and composite toes in your work boots will protect your feet, there are some reasons you may prefer one to the other.
Composite toe boots are lightweight and often include additional comfort features. Composite toes can be Kevlar, carbon fiber, plastic, or fiberglass. The lack of metal in a composite toe boot might mean electricians, engineers, and individuals who work on sites where metal detectors are a part of daily life will find them simpler than steel toe boots.
Steel toe boots have their advantages as well. They offer much more protection for impact and cuts than composite toe boots. Steel toe boots are heavier, but that is a trade-off for the level of safety they bring to the job site.
If you work with heavy parts that could regularly fall, like a mechanic, or if you work with large livestock that may step on your feet, steel toe boots may be ideal.
What Are the Benefits of Western Style Work Boots?
You might wonder why you should choose cowboy work boots over other styles of work boot available on the market, especially the heavy-duty laced kind that the military and police wear. There are a few reasons you might want to opt for a western work boot, and those reasons might surprise you.
First of all, the heel lift that is common in western footwear can reduce the naturally occurring stress on your Achilles tendon. Those heels are also good for your plantar fascia, which is the connector between your heel bone and your toes. When either of those tendons is unhappy, it can cause serious pain.
Another benefit of western-style work boots is their pull-on nature. Although you can find some other types of work boots that slip on easily, cowboy work boots almost exclusively slip on for quick transitions between shoes and add comfort and durability.
Western work boots are usually leather, like regular cowboy boots, which can help to keep the weather out and prevent fungus and frostbite in the right conditions. The leather can also help prevent snakebites and can keep out rocks and thorns.
Finally, the best cowboy work boots provide the same safety features you’ll look for in a regular work boot. They help protect you from projectiles and punctures, they can protect you from electrical hazards, and they prevent slip and fall accidents. They are also generally just as comfortable and prevent foot fatigue as well as general work boots.
Cowboy Boots and Cowboy Work Boots Aren’t the Same Things
It’s important to note that when you hear negative things about cowboy boots and foot health, they aren’t referring to cowboy work boots.
The flat, thin sole that is typical of general cowboy boots doesn’t provide arch support and can lead to health issues. The lack of laces and wide shaft can sometimes allow your heel to slip and lead to irritation. The narrow, pointed toe that is a popular style in cowboy boots can compress toes and lead to nerve pain.
All of these things are easily avoidable with cowboy work boots. The work boots have thicker, specially designed soles for comfort, but keep the heel lift that makes cowboy boots good for your Achilles tendon.
Cowboy work boot’s lack of laces can be advantageous as well because it keeps out pests, rocks, thorns, sparks, and the elements.
Keep these positives in mind when you’re looking into the right types of work boots for you. Cowboy work boots provide benefits that other work boots simply cannot match without keeping the unfortunate characteristics of normal cowboy boots.
Who Benefits Most From Cowboy Work Boots?
Although any working person who wants to can probably find cowboy work boots that work for their job, some professions benefit more from this style.
Cowboy work boots are hardy, comfortable, and convenient, more so than other types of boots. They often pull-on without the use of zippers or ties, which means they are equally insulated all the way around, and there aren’t weak spots like some other boots may have.
Farmers, ranchers, and veterinarians have known the benefits of these types of boots for a long time. Cowboy work boots are perfect for these professions because they protect from the elements, help to keep you steady on iffy terrain, and keep snakebites and other pests out.
These days other professions are beginning to see the glory of cowboy work boots. Electricians might enjoy the EH rated boots that protect their legs from live wires higher up than most typical work boots.
Lineman may appreciate the rugged cowboy boots when they are climbing a pole that might catch a laced boot.
Railroad workers, mechanics, engineers, and other professions that require workers to stand for long hours or hike out to a job site on the rough ground could also benefit from the use of cowboy work boots.
People who work outside in environments where snakes are present may enjoy the safety that the leather shafts provide on these types of boots.
Finally, western work boots often look good enough to go straight from work to dinner or out on the town. The versatility of the classic cowboy look of these types of boots is a big bonus that you don’t want to overlook when you’re searching for your next pair of work boots.
Cowboy Work Boot Reviews
Now that we’ve discussed the basics of cowboy work boots, let’s get into the nitty-gritty and discuss some of the best-selling and highest-rated boots currently on the market.
The Ariat Workhog H2O is a nice mixture of classic western style with a modern, heavy-duty work boot. The pull-on design leaves no space for wet laces or leaks when you’re out in the field. It might be a good option if you work most of the time outdoors, especially if you’re concerned with keeping the weather out.
The Workhog’s outsole looks tough with aggressive lugs for extra traction when you’re dealing with unpredictable terrain or working on a potentially slippery floor. The outsole is oil and slip-resistant, which means you can use these boots in a wide variety of work environments both indoors and out.
The dual pulls on either side of the boot can help to make slipping them on much easier. The leather upper is layered with waterproofing to help control the elements.
The toe box has steel reinforcement, and the framing adds extra strength to help keep your feet safe.
These boots also feature an insulated interior for cold mornings and winter work.
On the inside, the Workhog wicks moisture away from your feet, so sweating won’t leave your feet slipping or chaffing inside during a long workday. You’ll also notice a nice gel cushion for comfort and a wider than normal shank to provide stabilization for your heels.
We chose the Workhog Pull-On H2O Composite Toe boot as our best overall, and the features we’ve relayed here probably tell you why. The durability of these boots is almost unparalleled, and we really love the safety features that Ariat was able to build in as well.
- Oil and slip-resistant outsole
- Shockproof gel insoles
- Dual pulls for easy entry
- EH rated
- Might be too insulated for summer work
- You may have to size up for more room in the composite toe
Waterproofing, moisture management, and breathability are all available in Irish Setter’s Wellington work boot. These boots even meet the ASTM standard for electrical hazards, which means they are a good all-around option that can meet many needs at once.
The outsole is heat resistant and features StableFlex technology, which can add stability and comfort. The whole boot is full-grain waterproof leather for durability.
Extra traction on the one-inch outsole and one and a half-inch heel means these boots could be a good option for you if you’re out on rough terrain regularly. The centrally located lugs are a bit shallow, but they do the trick and are easy to clean.
This boot has an 11.5” shaft with dual pulls and a 15.5” opening. The larger opening and heavy-duty pulls can help make entry easy and quick when you’re in a hurry. The overall fit is a bit snug, so you may want to go a half size up.
The Irish Setter Wellington boots look just a tough as they act, which is a bonus. If you need to transition from work to a night out, then you might like these boots for their ability to achieve both looks.
- Electrical hazard protection
- Water and weatherproof
- Full-grain leather design
- Wide opening with reinforced pulls
- Can be uncomfortable for high-arched feet
- Run small
- Wide opening can be difficult to fit pants over
Justin Original’s Double Comfort boots are ideal for flat feet or individuals who have other foot conditions that can otherwise cause discomfort during a long workday.
The shaft and upper are 100% leather with reinforced stitching for added durability. The shaft is a short 10”, which is nice if you’re looking for a boot that will fit under your pants easily but may not be ideal if you spend your days ankle-deep in the muck.
One cool feature of this boot that sets it apart from the rest is the adjustable circumference. You can get in and out of this boot much easier than most with these adjustments.
The outsole is slip-resistant and meets ASTM safety standards for electrical hazard safety. The insole utilizes orthotic inserts that provide support and comfort using Orthotic Texon/PORON in what Justin’s calls their “double comfort” system.
The boots usually run true to size, but if you’ve got a wider foot or ankle, then you may want to go up a half size. The toe shape is roper style, which shrinks the space for your toes, as does the steel toe insert.
The style isn’t too overtly western, but it does have a cowboy vibe with the angular stitching on the shaft that works both as a design feature and a way to keep the boots together as time passes.
- Double comfort system
- Electrical hazard certified
- 100% leather
- Adjustable circumference in shaft
- No lugs for gripping on outsole
- May be too thin for wide feet
- Steel toe is exposed enough to rub
If you listen to country music, then you’ve probably heard of Tony Lama’s. These boots have a reputation for superior quality and craft that’s well known in the music community and beyond, which is why they received our vote for a premium product.
This boot is 100% Cheyenne leather with a distinctive western design stitched onto the shaft and upper piece. They are waterproof, lightweight, and durable.
The rubber outsole features shallow lugs that will help to reduce slipping both on hard floors and out on rough terrain, and the 11” shaft allows more of your leg to stay dry than many of the boots on our list.
The insole features Tony Lama’s TLX Performance Comfort package, which utilizes multi-density foam to encourage shock absorption and overall comfort.
These boots protect against up to 18,000 volts or less if conditions are dry, but they do not hold the full ASTM certification for electrical hazard safety. They will protect you against a high-powered electric fence, but not while working as a lineman, in other words.
- 100% Cheyenne leather
- Comfortable insole
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Extra-wide round toe
- Fit large; not true to size
- No steel toe
Ariat made the Sierra boot for durability under harsh, high-heat conditions. They claim these boots will work well for people in occupations like welding and railroad. That doesn’t mean they won’t work for anyone else, though.
Sierra is ASTM certified, has a steel toe, and utilizes Ariat’s extreme durability platform to help keep you safe under the harshest conditions.
These boots aren’t made for comfort as much as safety, although they do have padding on the insole. The steel toes can cramp your feet a bit until the boots are worn in, but you may want to go a half size up anyway or opt for a wide option if you are concerned.
These boots are a middle ground price range, so you may find that they are a good value for your dollar. These don’t have reinforced stitching in the same way that some of the other boots on our list are, so they might not be quite as durable for hard, active work.
These boots come in three colors to match your work attire. They also come in medium and wide widths.
- ASTM certified
- Steel toe
- Heat and abrasion-resistant
- Square toe for extra room
- Wear out fairly quickly
- No added comfort on insole
- Not weatherproof
Justin Original is on our list a few times because of their high quality boots. The Stampede steel toe boot is no exception.
The Ortholite Dual Density insole utilizes an egg crate style insert to keep air moving and increase comfort and foot support. The insoles are also shock absorbent, which means less foot fatigue throughout your workday.
The rubber outsole is flexible and oil and slip-resistant. Although these boots don’t have the grip that comes with large lugs, they can still provide some safety on the job. We wouldn’t, however, recommend them for hiking out on rough terrain daily.
As far as safety, this boot is top-notch. It is ASTM certified for electrical hazard safety, waterproof, and features a steel toe.
Justin Original boots have a reputation for durability, and these keep that reputation going. The outsoles are of high quality, as is the stitching. Although you may experience some slouching in the shaft after consistent use, the stitching appears to remain intact.
The shaft of the Stampede is 11” of pure leather and features multi-colored stitching for a western flair that is more overt than many we’ve found.
- Shock-absorbing insoles
- ASTM certification
- Unique, western-style stitching
- Steel shank
- Skinny in toe, wide in heel
- Run large
- Grip isn’t oil resistant
These boots by Old West are traditional and basic in style. They are our pick for best value because of the low price, but high quality construction.
The rounded roper-style toe is not only stylish but also comfortable to wear compared to square or snipped toes.
Genuine leather upper and reinforced stitching means these boots have the potential to last a long time, even through long days on the job. They do occasionally squeak as you walk, but if you’re working outdoors or in a loud environment, it might not be an issue.
These boots do run a bit small, as is the trend with work boots, so you may want to go a half size up, but the roper toe does allow more room.
The outsole is rubber and flexible, but they aren’t as slip-resistant as others on our list. These boots do not have a certification for electrical hazard safety, and they are not waterproof, but they are nice, simple work boots at a great value.
- Value price
- Genuine leather
- Flexible rubber sole
- Comes in four unique colors
- No grippers or lugs
- Not ASTM certified
- Run small
Georgia Men’s Athens Wellington is an excellent all-around boot option for almost any type of work in almost any environment. They look just tough, but they are the least western stylistically that we’ll feature here.
These boots have rounded toes for comfort and leather uppers with a 15” cuff. The leather is mixed with suede panels to give you more flexibility at the ankle, which is great if you’re changing positions regularly.
You’ll find stitching through the length of the foot to increase durability, which means these boots are likely to last you longer than most.
The dual pulls and wide cuffs make entry quick and easy, but that also means you’ll need wider pants to fit over them.
The whole boot is covered in a waterproofing layer to help keep the weather out, while the rubber outsole provides traction. The traction on this boot isn’t quite as tough as some others with shallow lugs, but that does mean the lugs are easier to clean.
The sole on the Athens is comfortable with layers of thermoplastic urethane and advanced memory polyurethane. These materials make the shoes durable like hard plastic, but soft and comfortable like silicon.
- Leather and suede upper for flexibility and durability
- Oil resistant outsole
- Rubber composite outsole
- Not steel toe reinforced
- Run narrow
- Shallow lugs
Another boot from Justin Original is the Hybred Joist Comp Toe work boot. This boot has it all from both a safety and comfort perspective.
For comfort, this boot features a J-Flex Flexible Comfort System insole, an Achilles relief system, Justin Stabilization Technology, Ortholite Comfort Foam insole, and a Dri-Lex cover.
For safety, you’ll find that the composition toe gives you the right amount of security without weighing you down or adding metal that could work against you in a situation where electrical currents are flowing. These boots are electrical hazard safety certified, and the inside is both moisture-wicking and anti-microbial.
The shaft and upper are 100% leather. The shaft measures 11” high to protect more of your leg than most work boots.
These boots are also stylish with a classic western flair and multi-colored stitching. The heel is a deeper color, which stands out nicely and adds sophistication to the boots.
Although these are on the higher end of the price range on our list, they are quality boots that Justin Original’s made to ensure comfort and safety were top priorities in every season.
- Electrical hazard safe
- Stable design
- Removable orthotic insole included
- Run large
- Stitching may not be strong enough to last
- May be better for light use, not hardcore work
Lightweight is the name of the game with Caterpillar’s Revolver boots. These boots weight only two pounds, which is great if you don’t want to waste precious energy lugging around heavy boots. To achieve this lightweight style, though, Caterpillar had to give up the steel toe and trim down the toe box. This isn’t the boot for you if you’re at risk for a foot injury on the job.
The upper is full-grain leather, which adds durability. The shaft is 12” which makes it taller than most of the boots on our list.
Once these boots are broken in, they’ll give you good support, but you might have trouble getting into them before that. There is no inner lining, so these aren’t the best for working in super cold weather, but a warm pair of socks does the trick in mild to chilly temperatures.
The outsole has durable treads, but it’s pretty straightforward. This isn’t a boot for hiking in harsh terrain, but it’s a reliable and good quality option for less grueling conditions.
These are reliable and simple boots, so if your main concern is weight and you’re less worried about the extras, then we recommend checking these out.
- Full-grain leather upper
- Shockproof outsole
- Oil and water-resistant outsole
- No steel toe
- No insulation or interior lining
- Runs narrow
Best Women’s Cowboy Work Boots
Of course, Justin Original doesn’t just make great boots for men; they create some durable options for women as well. The Gypsy western work boot has a classic country look with a round toe and a relaxed fit.
The J-Flex Flexible Comfort System is nice for long days on the job. The insoles are removable so you can use them when you need to and save them when you’d rather have a flatter sole.
These boots are 100% leather on the shaft and upper with a rubber sole. They don’t feature the grip we generally see from the men’s boots by this brand, but they are still slip-resistant.
- Round toe
- Decorative stitching
- Several colors available
- J-Flex technology on removable insole
- Run small all around
- Short shaft won’t work in deep muck or mud
ROPER’s Amelia western work boots are less work and more western, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take a beating.
These boots are stylish with a pointed toe and one and a half-inch heel. They are synthetic materials versus leather, but the designs on the shaft and upper are quality pieces that add style and sass to the boots.
These boots are only ankle height, so they won’t work if you’re out in deep trenches regularly, but if you need something for around the barn or worksite that adds style and function, these might be a good option.
The outsole features a slip-resistant heel, but the front of the boot’s outsole is a typical cowgirl style, which means you could slip if you aren’t careful near water or oil. The sole is flexible and easy to maneuver.
The 13” opening and dual pulls make these boots easy to get on quickly, which is important when you are in an environment where you may need to jump up to work at a moment’s notice.
- Comfortable insoles
- Wide opening
- Narrow toe
- Not slip-resistant
- No real safety features
We’ve seen a lot of options here for a variety of work environments and needs. It’s hard to pick a single winner from such a wide breadth of options, so we’ve selected three category winners instead.
Although it was difficult to choose, the Ariat Workhog H2O Pull-On Composite Toe Boot is our favorite overall. This boot has safety and comfort built-in in almost every way. They are highly rated all around for durability, as well.
Ariat is a brand with a good reputation, and although these boots are pricier than some on our list, you’ll definitely get what you pay for with this brand.
The shockproof and comfortable insoles help to keep you comfortable all day long without adding stress to your feet. The genuine leather and waterproof shaft can keep the weather out even in extreme conditions.
The outsoles are tough to match uneven terrain without a second look, which is excellent news if your work environment isn’t steady. This boot is built with quality in mind, and we truly believe it deserves the number one spot.
The name alone could tell you that the Tony Lama Men’s TW1018 11-inch Waterproof Western Work Boot would be our pick for a premium product. Tony Lama’s are boots that need no introduction in the cowboy community because of their high-quality and excellent reputation.
Of course, these boots come with a larger price tag than almost every other boot we’ve looked at today. The quality and comfort they provide might be worth the price, especially if you’re looking for the positive associations the brand provides.
These boots are 100% Cheyenne leather on the shaft and upper. They feature slip-resistant outsoles and comfortable insoles. They do not have a steel toe for safety, however, and they don’t run true to size.
If you’re looking for value, then the Old West Men’s SRM4051 Roper Cowboy Boots are the way to go. These boots are simple and classic in design, but they provide decent stability and comfort for a much lower price than the rest of the boots on our list.
These genuine leather boots come in a few different colors to personalize your look. They feature a slip-resistant outsole, but no lugs or additional grippers for tough terrain.
These are easy to wear boots that don’t have a lot of bells and whistles to add to their resume. Instead, they focus on solid stitching and overall build quality.