Who says cowboy boots are only for cowboys?
Western-style cowboy boots are functional clothing for some, folk art for others, and pop culture among many stars. They’re not just for cowboys. Actors and presidents make appearances in the boots, and everyone should give them a shot to add a touch of the Southwest to any American city.
There are many benefits to wearing cowboy boots. According to Real Men Real Style, western cowboy boots provide instant style. The boot is part of a major shoe craze among fashionistas and shopping sites today, no matter what season.
The problem is wearing the boots right. You want to remain stylish and do the boots justice. An excellent trick is to only wear a single western-themed item in your outfit, such as the boots. Otherwise, you might look like you just walked out of a western movie in the flesh.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Choice: Wrangler Men’s 13MWZ Cowboy Cut Original Fit Jean
- Premium Product: Levi’s 527 Slim Bootcut Fit Men’s Jeans
- Best Value Product: Ariat Men’s M2 Relaxed Fit Bootcut Jean
Read on to learn more about these top three options and the rest of our top 10 picks. You’ll find a detailed buying guide to help make your decision easier as well.
How to Choose the Best Jeans for Cowboy Boots
To choose the best jeans for cowboy boots, you’ll need to consider what occasion you must dress for as well as which options look best on your body type.
Who What Wear also offers an article on the best ways to wear your stylish cowboy boots if you’re looking for more tips on what to wear with your boots.
Advantages to Jeans Designed for Cowboy Boots
Wearing the right jeans for your cowboy boots helps you appear stylish. The perfect pair of jeans will:
- Compliment your boots
- Look awesome on your body type
- Be suitable for your outing
- Offer the proper style details like weight and wash
Things to Look for in Jeans for Cowboy Boots
How you wear your jeans with your cowboy boots may depend on gender. Styles fluctuate for each season and events as well. Wherever you plan to go, the end goal is to appear relaxed, comfortable, and capable.
What to Pair with Your Boots and Jeans Based on Event
While many men tend to wear a collard shirt or a T-shirt with blue jeans and cowboy boots, you can also wear boots for special occasions. What you wear with your cowboy boots and jeans may depend on where you’re going and what you’re doing.
You should wear cowboy boots and jeans to:
- Dancing halls
- Casual restaurants
- Comedy shows
- Romantic evenings
- Horseback activities
A trip to the big city, for example, is an excellent reason to appear dressier than normal. Going to a rodeo is a different matter altogether. Pick the clothing and accessories to pair based on your style, but keep in mind that the shoes are already comfortable, and the rest of the outfit doesn’t need to center around the boots exactly.
If you want to appear stylish, wear your boots and jeans with a sleek belt and jacket. Skip the cowboy-themed shirt or bolo tie. You don’t want to appear like you’re in a Halloween costume. Instead, collared shirts or a T-shirt can achieve the look you want. Collared shirts are a must-have for boots, and regular T-shirts can help you blend right in at a country music concert.
For a social event that’s more formal, pair the cowboy boots with relaxed jackets and trousers. Plain white dress shirts or casual shirts with a pattern are ideal. Dress trousers and casual suits pair nicely as well. However, you must make sure the pants have enough legroom to allow the boots to sit flawlessly underneath. You don’t want a bulge up your leg.
If you want to appear like a truly snappy dresser, pair the look with a jacket. You’ll appear stylish and not like an urban cowboy. The jacket balances out the style of the boot in a metropolitan area perfectly. For a jacket that’s not as dressy, try denim or leather jackets. Long trench coats also pair naturally with cowboy boots in the winter.
Avoid wearing cowboy boots and jeans to a business event, unless you’re from Texas and your business involves oil or cattle. We recommend wearing a pair like this to fun social events or semi-formal gatherings, anything that’s light-hearted.
Hats and Belts
As for hats, you might want to skip a hat, depending on the event. A western-style hat compliments the cowboy boots, but you don’t want to overdue to cowboy-theme either. Consider the occasion.
Leather belts with decorative buckles pair well too. Some men have a dress belt for special events with a bit more decoration. However, any belt that goes with your outfit will work.
Many brands create jeans today, but there are a few signature western brands that specialize in denim to consider. Highly ranked jeans to pair with your cowboy boots include:
Each brand offers varying style options.
To Tuck or Not to Tuck
Men typically allow the jeans to sit over the top of their boots. They never tuck the jeans into their boots unless they’re doing work on horseback. Women, on the other hand, tend to select tapered jeans that can tuck directly into the boots. They might also pair them with a dress or shorts.
Overall, both sexes tend to agree that the jeans should be dark in color and fit close to your frame. Instead of selecting the light blue-colored jeans, you commonly see, stick to a boot-cut style in a dark shade.
Dark blue is also the most versatile color when it comes to the clothing you pair with it. You can dress dark blue jeans up with a nice blouse or dress shirt for special occasions or dress them down to fit any other item in your wardrobe.
You may also see selvage used to describe denim. These words refer to the finished edged of the fabric, which keeps the jeans from unraveling. Premium quality jeans may cost more, but they also offer narrow fabric that’s made using a traditional shuttle loom.
Raw denim is unprocessed and are not pre-washed. Over time, the jeans take on natural wear and tear look. Sometimes people refer to them as dry denim because the indigo shade is made directly from the looms.
Avoid acid, vintage, or stonewash jeans with cowboy boots for the best results. The treatments create a pattern on the jeans that don’t pair well with boots for all occasions. Classic wash is staple that’s perfect for everyday wear.
Finally, quality denim material weighs between eight and 20 ounces. It should slightly stretch.
Most jeans that pair with cowboy boots offer labels like skinny, straight, slim, or boot cut. This label explains what body types look best in jeans. Boot-cut jeans are the most obvious style to pair with your cowboy boots. Other styles include:
- Skinny – A newer type of jean, skinny is a style with a tight fit and tapered leg opening. It’s skinny clear from the hem to the hip region and typically fits around low to mid-rise. Expect to find a traditional zipper fly.
- Slim – Unlike the tightest option, slim fit provides a slightly looser feel. The jeans have a zip fly and are generally mid-rise. The material is straight on the hip and slim through your thighs, with a narrow opening at the bottom.
- Regular – Traditional straight jeans have a mid-rise and fit straight from the hip to the thighs and hems. The leg opening is a bit larger, as well.
- Relaxed – Relaxed cut won’t hug your body as tightly. The jeans fit loosely in the leg opening and waist, providing more room for curvy people.
- Loose – The baggiest fit, loose, is a style with plenty of room in the legs, thighs, and bottom.
Men and women alike should select the style of jeans that best works for their body. Think about what you feel most comfortable in and where you’ll most likely wear jeans.
To pull off the style right, men shouldn’t tuck the jeans into your boots unless a situation calls for it.
Women may have more style options, however. You may see them wear cowboy boots over a pair of skinny jeans or leggings, which are popular options today. Ladies often wear cowboy boots under their jeans as well. If you want to do so, remember to buy a wider leg jean.
Remember, style isn’t the most important factor in blue jeans. You want jeans to fit well with your boots. They shouldn’t feel too tight or too loose. The length should cover your boots or tuck in the way you want. To accommodate for the boots, look for a jean inseam length that’s two inches longer than the size you normally wear.
Also, make sure you purchase the right size and rise for your frame. Some sizes may offer a single number, often starting with 00 for women. Others, typically men’s jeans, have two measurements. You may see a size, for example, 32×34. The first number is the waist size, while the latter refers to the inseam length or the measurement from the crotch to the floor.
The rise is known as the area between the crotch and the top of your waistband. Women’s jeans tend to offer more rise options than men’s jeans. However, both genders offer options from high rise to low crotch. How you pair your clothing may also depend on the rise and fit of your jeans. The following options pair best together:
- High rise – Ideal for bigger people because the jeans hide the belly. Don’t tuck your shirt into high rise jeans.
- Medium or mid-rise – Perfect for people who prefer to tuck in their shirt, mid-rise pants have a waistband that sits near your belly button.
- Low rise – A casual fit, low-rise jeans appear relaxed. The waistband sits below the bellow button, low on the hips.
- Low crotch – The lowest rise, the low crotch is a fit that’s worn very low on the waist. Jeans with low crotch appear saggy in the seat and hips, with a crotch that drops low as well.
Over time, expect the jeans to stretch a bit. Denim is known to reach up to a full size bigger after around 10 to 20 years. You may want to buy a size smaller at first, keeping this in the back of your mind.
How to Choose Jeans for Your Body Type
Finding a style of jeans that flatters your body type can take trial and error. Use these tips to find the best outfit for you:
- Thin – Slender people have a smaller torso and lean muscles. Straight and low rise jeans are best, while slim and regular fits also work. Avoid baggy or skinny jeans, which bring more attention to your frame. High-rise also might make your bottom appear flat.
- Athletic – Athletic builds offer muscular legs, slim waists, and round bottoms. People with this body type look best in slim, straight, and boot cut jeans. Low rise styles are more ideal than a high-rise, and the pockets should remain small. Stay away from baggy jeans or regular fits with wide leg openings, which can make your legs appear unproportionate to your upper body.
- Muscular – Stocky people may have larger legs, making them ideal for a regular fit with little extra leg width. Don’t wear jeans too tight, including skinny jeans and boot cut, because they can make you appear heavier.
- Wide hips – Those with wide hips look better in relaxed fit jeans in size larger to feel comfortable, straight-leg jeans with a high rise, or loose-fitting jeans with wide leg and seat options. Casual is ideal over skinny, low-rise, or tapered jeans.
- Plus-size – Larger adults may have a wide midsection, thighs, bottom, and calves. High rise jeans flatten and tuck in some of the curves. Loose or relaxed fits are preferred, while skinny and slim fits can make you appear imbalanced. Boot cut and wide flared openings can also make your legs look much wider.
Fits may also be highly inconsistent among different brands. Unfortunately, there is no general size guideline for all clothing. You must check the store’s size chart or try on the jeans before you buy.
What Boots to Pair Your Jeans With
If you want to wear cowboy boots, start by selecting the color and style you like. Then, think about the type of jeans you prefer to wear, from a classic blue jean look for dark wash jeans.
Zappos offers a few stylish options to pair with dark blue jeans for men and women, including:
- Corral Boots (A2663) for women
- Lucchese (L1661.63) for men
- Ariat Kids Ramblers for toddlers and children
Best Jeans for Cowboy Boots: Reviews
Now that you know what to look for in the jean you pair with your cowboy boots, let’s check out some of the highest-rated jeans available on the market. You’ll notice they all come from top brands in the industry and vary based on the fit and style.
Wrangler is our top pick for the best jeans to wear with cowboy boots because they’re from an industry-leading brand. There’s a reason the Pro-Rodeo competitions call this pair of jeans their top choice!
The jeans are also our favorite because they fit comfortably for many men. The numbers describe the jeans as a cowboy cut style, and these jeans have tons of features that make them perfect for cowboys.
The material is made using a heavyweight 100% cotton denim, which is designed to sustain wear and tear. You can still machine wash the jeans. However, they are classic because they will last no matter how difficult the task at hand. The jeans are breathable and durable.
Wranglers are packed with awesome features for comfort, like an inseam to prevent chafing. Unlike companies like Levi’s, Wrangler uses a double-felled outseam. The result is an inseam that is more comfortable and lasts longer.
Many men claim the brand’s cowboy cut is much better than anything offered by Levi’s or other companies. The high back pockets form fit to the bottom slightly, and the wider, deeper pockets are utilizable. Compared to other Wranglers, the cowboy cut is slimmer in the waist, bottom, and lower belly region.
This pair is an original fit, meaning the jeans can stack over your boots. They feel comfortable in the bottom, waist, and thighs – even on long days in the saddle. The waistline sits at your natural waist and the fit pairs well on many occasions.
The cut also features five pockets for all your needs, such as a watch pocket, front scoop pockets, and back patch pockets. The copper rivets provide added durability.
- 100% cotton heavyweight denim
- Comes in tons of sizes and colors
- Original and comfortable fit
- Durable materials
- A class cowboy jean, made for Official Pro-Rodeo Competitions
- Five pockets for all your needs
- The seams won’t cause chafing on long rides
- Pairs well for multiple events
- The ideal value for a low price
- May feel like a slightly smaller fit than other Wrangler jeans
- Wider users may want to find a different fit
- If you’re new to cowboy cut, you must try on the jeans in a store before you buy
Levi’s offers premium quality jeans for men and women. With over 150 years of experience, they know what their customers are looking for and have cornered top craftmanship. They’re 100% cotton, like all jeans from the brand.
The 527’s are a slim boot cut fit with wide leg openings, so your jeans can fit over the boots. The waistline sits just below your natural waist, and the slim fit extends through your thighs.
The classic style includes a durable zip fly and other hardware pieces along with the five pockets. They’re highly durable, and you can expect the hardware and seams to last a long time.
Levi’s offers a huge selection of colors for these popular jeans as well. You have over 30 colors to choose from, and most of them include dark shades perfect to pair with your cowboy boots. The only downside is that over the years, the sizing options have changed. You may need to try on the jeans to find the right size for your first time.
For the best results, however, you’ll want to be careful when washing these jeans. They are okay for machine washing but tend to hold up better over time if you turn them inside out before each wash.
- 100% cotton
- Over 30 colors to choose from
- Users claim most options fit as they expected
- The brand comes with over 150 years of industry quality
- The slim fit rests below the waist perfectly
- Only free returns on some colors
- Must machine wash the jeans inside out with like colors for the best results
- Sizing has become inconsistent over the years
Excellent value for the money, Ariat’s jeans are ideal for cowboy boots and highly affordable.
The jeans themselves are 100% cotton, made with a five-pocket style. Unlike any other pair of jeans on this list, they even include an added pocket specifically to hold your cell phone. The denim feels comfortable, and it’s ideal for any occasion or event.
They offer a relaxed, bootcut fit. The legs are also stackable, so you can tuck your boots into your jeans when you need them. The M2’s bring an authentic cowboy style to any location. Some men claim the jeans are a bit on the long side, making them ideal for guys with long legs.
Although Ariat attempts to craft high-quality jeans, many users claim the material doesn’t hold up well over time. Compared to some of the other top-named cowboy jeans on the market, Ariat may only last six months or so under heavy use. However, the jeans won’t shrink as much after washing.
- 100% cotton
- Authentic cowboy style
- Relaxed fit for added comfort
- Ideal for men who prefer boot cut that can stack over the jeans
- Includes an added cell phone pocket
- Doesn’t shrink as much with each wash
- Poor durability
- Free returns only on some colors and sizes
- Many users claim the jeans are slightly long, sitting just below the ankle
Another popular fit from our leading brand is Wrangler’s Authentic. They are a regular fit jean with comfort flex in the waist, which provides allows the waistband to move with you for more comfort. That’s why these jeans aren’t completely cotton, like many other durable choices.
The regular fit sits on the seat and thighs, with a traditional five-pocket style. The materials are all durable, creating highly versatile jeans. Wrangler jeans are for everyday wear, but with so many color options, these jeans can look excellent for a night out as well.
The back pocket is embroidered for style, while the material won’t get in the way of your motion. They sit at your natural waist and stretch when you move.
However, many users claim the waistband feels stiff near the buttonhole. It is said to make the jeans difficult to button and remove. There are also many washes available, but you should avoid any that may appear dirty for special events. Expect the jeans to shrink with each wash as well.
- Seven color options
- Most users claim the jeans fit well
- The spandex creates a comfort flex waistband
- Regular and comfortable fit
- Everyday five-pocket style
- Versatile for long-wear and movement
- Heavy-duty zipper fly and hardware
- Fits over boots
- 99% cotton; 1% spandex
- Difficult to button at the waist
- Some washes appear dirty
- Shrinks after the first wash
Like the last option, these jeans come from Wrangler’s Authentic line. Only this option is a relaxed bootcut jean made entirely from soft cotton. There’s no spandex to provide extra comfort and flex on your tummy, but they’re still comfortable and functional enough to wear every day.
You can wear these jeans at the office or in the saddle. They come in six different colors for your preference, and they maintain a classic five-pocket design.
Fit wise, expect the jeans to rest at your natural waist. They will fit over your boots as well, due to the relaxed bootcut leg.
If you’re a guy who needs the highest possible durability, however, these may not be the jeans for you. Some users say the material feels on the thin side, and the length of these jeans can run too long for many men. Sizing differs in terms of width, as well. You might be better off trying on these jeans in person. But if you’re a guy who needs a little more room, you’ll find an ideal match with the relaxed fit.
- Six colors available
- Authentic, relaxed fit
- Low price
- 100% cotton
- Comfortable for everyday wear
- Fits over cowboy boots
- Claim durability, but men say they feel thin
- The length of the legs is too long for many
- Some sizes run wider than expected
The best jeans for cowboy boots for women, Ariat offer a mid-rise fit the ladies love. They’re made with a cotton, polyester, spandex mix. However, they’re highly comfortable.
Unlike regular jeans, this option is for real riding. They’re durable and styled after riding jeans. The back-pocket stitching is an added detail for flare. You can also stack the jeans over your boots and still look great. The double-stitching on the inseam may rub on your legs though.
Designed for tall ladies, Ariat’s straight jeans are on the long side. Expect the regular and long lengths to run on the extra-long side. The company doesn’t currently offer women’s short sizes either. Long, slender women who love to ride horseback will adore these jeans.
- Detailing on the back pocket
- Straight leg fit with a true bootcut
- Contrast stitching
- Real riding jeans, designed for actually working
- Ideal for boot stacking
- 92% cotton, 6% polyester, and 2% spandex
- Double-stitched inseam can rub against your legs
- Regular sizes run a bit long and no short sizes available
Another excellent jean from Levi’s, the 517’s are a classic bootcut fit with extra room between the knee and ankle. The jeans fit slim through the thigh region, then opens to provide a bit more space. They’re ideal for guys who want to tuck in their boots or need to layer multiple socks.
Levi’s 517 jeans were first made back in 1969, and they have been a fan favorite ever since. Men adore the authentic bootcut leg. The jeans are also highly durable and made to last truly. Plus, they look and feel wonderful. The 100% cotton is soft and flexible.
However, because the brand has been along for so many generations, people who have worn these jeans since the beginning note a few differences. Over the years, the jeans have become slightly thinner in material, and the sizes may have changed slightly. Some users claim the belt loops seem smaller.
Times change, though, and that’s not Levi’s fault. The brand manages to keep up with industry trends and offers quality in all the fits, colors, and sizes they offer. Their jean selection is versatile, even if the material isn’t a thick as it once was.
- 100% cotton
- Ten color options
- An industry-leading brand with over 150 years of experience
- High-quality craftsmanship
- Class style with a straight fit
- Provides more room from the knee to the ankle
- Five-pocket style
- Must machine wash the jeans inside out
- Long-time Levi’s fans claim the material and sizing are different
- Have slightly smaller belt loops
Named after the King of Country music himself, Wrangler’s George Strait jeans offer a cowboy cut and original fit. They’re modeled after the styles and embellishments George loved to wear, and the materials can withstand time. Highly durable and comfortable, you’ll love this soft cotton.
Like other Wrangler jeans, you can expect this pair to be comfortable and functional. They fit well and sit at the waist. However, they’re roomier than most cowboy cut jeans. They offer plenty of room in the legs without feeling baggy or too tight.
Most men say the fit is just right. However, some claim the length is a bit smaller. You may want to alter the size you purchase if you’re a short man.
The downside here lies in the pockets. Wrangler’s George Strait jeans feature a common five-pocket design. Without the added hardware, the pockets may not hold up as long as the jeans themselves. Many users also claim they feel shallower than most cowboy cut jeans.
Finally, some men claim the darker shades fade quickly after only a few washes.
- 100% cotton
- Available in six colors
- A functional fit
- Comfortable in the waist, bottom, and thighs
- An original country classic
- Styled after a country music legend
- Ideal for guys who want a loose feel and awesome fit
- The five-pocket design may not hold up over time
- Pockets are more shallow than other jeans
- Dark dyes may fade quickly
- Length runs six inches too long
If you’re looking for some seriously stylish jeans to wear with your cowboy boots for an evening out on the town, the Ariat Men’s M4 low rise jeans may be right for you. They offer a premium style that’s ideal for concerts or special occasions, but not too fancy. The jeans take on a faded look and feature the traditional five pockets.
The best part about the M4’s is the comfort. Created never to rub or annoy you, the jeans are comfortable for long wear. The fashionable bootcut offers a traditional leg opening, and the jeans rise to sit just below your hips.
The downside is that they only come in two color options. However, both shades are dark blue. Dark shades are ideal, especially with intentional fading designs.
It’s a modern take on a classic fitting, relaxed cowboy jean to add style to your wardrobe. You may not want to work or spend time horseback in these jeans, however. They’re comfortable but more ideal for stylish date nights or dressier events.
Many users also claim the jeans don’t fit quite right for their size. You may want to consider trying on the jeans in a store before you buy them. They might run a bit on the long side, especially if you’re a short or average-height man.
- 100% cotton
- Bootcut jeans with a low rise fit
- Added hip room
- Placed fading offers added style for night’s out
- Traditional five-pocket style
- Comfortable, no-rub design
- Anchored belt loops for added durability
- Premium style
- Only two colors available
- Many users claim the jeans run too long
- Not ideal for hard work or horseback riding
While there are many amazing Wrangler options to wear with your cowboy boots, we decided to add the men’s 20x vintage bootcut jeans to our list because they’re a classic. People love the 100% cotton feel, with plenty of comfort and durability.
Wrangler remains an industry leader, with over 70 years of making jeans and casual apparel. The jeans are fashion-forward but designed to remain functional. Inspired by western attire, customers adore the authenticity that comes with buying Wranglers. This vintage bootcut jean is a must-have for these reasons, and they come in over 12 colors so you can wear a different pair each day.
The 20X vintages are so comfortable you will want to wear them every day. The material is stretchy, which makes users say they often feel more like sweatpants than denim. They also fit nicely, with the jeans getting tighter at the knees. The waist is spacious, even if the fit is better for slim men. You’ll have plenty of room to bend over and move without a belt.
If you’re thick, however, you may want to buy another pair of jeans. Users claim some sizes run a bit tight in the legs, making it difficult to tuck in a shirt or wear the jeans with a belt, let alone put them on. These jeans are ideal for tall, slim men. You may need to consider buying a size or two up if you’re thick. Shorter men may also struggle with these jeans.
Perhaps the biggest setback to the 20X’s is that the price doesn’t work the amount of time these jeans last. They claim to feel durable, but long-time Wrangler users say this fit isn’t as long-lasting as some of the brand’s other options. For the money, you might want to purchase something that will last longer.
- 100% cotton
- 12 colors available
- Fits slim in the waist, seat, and thighs
- Ideal for thin men who prefer bootcut
- Comfortable and flexible material
- Sizes may run slightly tight
- Jeans also tend to be long for some buyers
- High price for the quality
Out of the ten excellent jeans to pair with cowboy boots, it’s hard to select a definite winner overall.
While Wrangler Men’s 13MWZ Cowboy Cut Original Fit Jean is our pick for the best overall choice because they offer high quality for a low price, Levi’s 527 Slim Bootcut Fit Men’s Jeans are a more premium product. The best deal, however, comes with the Ariat Men’s M2 Relaxed Fit Bootcut Jean. They might not offer as much in quality, but they make up for it at an affordable price.
With any of these top options, you’ll find a pair of jeans that you’ll love to wear with your cowboy boots – no matter the occasion.