Gear Riding

5 Best Western Boots for Riding Horses & Kicking @ss

western riding boot
mm
Written by Laura V

Saddle up for pain-free fun!

No matter how beautiful the landscape, or how well behaved your horse, even the best ride can be ruined by uncomfortable boots. With the right footwear, though, good outings feel even better. 

Before you make a new riding boots purchase it’s important to take into consideration what kind of western riding you’ll be doing, and whether you need a pair for showing or everyday use. Styles can vary based on different kinds of riding. We’re going to review some of the best western boots for riding across a range of categories to help you make the best decision,

Boot Basics: What to Look For

There are a few things to take into consideration before purchasing a new pair of riding boots. A big factor is likely going to be price. Like other clothing items and shoes, the price of the boots is going to correlate to how high or low the quality is.

If you know you’re going to wear your boots frequently and put them through a lot of wear and tear, you may want to consider investing in a pair of high-quality boots.

The next thing to consider is if these will be boots for the show ring or more casual everyday riding boots. Boots for the show ring tend to have a rounder toe, while more casual boots have a square toe.

The last thing you’ll want to consider is the height of the boot. This is generally a personal preference, and you may take your height and leg size into consideration. You can either get tall, mid-calf, or roper boots.

Mid-calf is the most common length and is the most popular choice for riding.

Shopping Checklist

  • Fit: Overall fit is going to differ from person to person. The most variation tends to come in the toe and calf areas. Make sure you try on a few different styles to find what fits your foot the best.
  • Budget: High quality boots are going to start around $100 and go up from there. Of course, you can find great options that are going to be comfortable and won’t break the bank. You can expect to pay at least $60 for a decent pair of riding boots.
  • Style: Western boots generally follow the same style and will vary on material and design. The biggest style difference comes with the toe shape, discussed above.

Our Top Picks

Category  Option Price Point Key Features
Best Men’s Boot Ariat Rambler Western Boot $$
  • Rubber sole
  • All weather boots
  • Dureatread outsole
Best Women’s Boot Ariat Heritage Dapper Fatbaby Boot $
  • Made of 100% leather
  • Duratread outsole
  • Very comfortable
Most Comfortable Ariat Heritage Roughstock Boot $$
  • Goodyear welt construction
  • Features a taller shaft 
Most Stylish Lane Lexington Mid-Calf Boot $$$
  • 100% leather
  • Minimal break-in needed
Best All Around Boot Ariat Women’s Round Up Rio Boot $$
  • Rubber sole
  • Midshaft boot
  • Premium full-grain leather

Ariat Men’s Rambler Western Boot

At the top of the men’s list is the Ariat Men’s Rambler Western Boot. This is a great boot that can take you from winter to summer and is great for everyday on the farm or showing.

The 90-degree heel gives you additional support, while the boot overall provides maximum support and traction on any terrain.

ariat rambler boot

Click to see them at Amazon

PROS:

  • Can be worn in any weather
  • Great traction
  • Very lightweight

CONS:

  • Does not have a steel toe
  • Not insulated
  • May be hard to break in

See them at Amazon

Ariat Women’s Heritage Dapper Fatbaby Western Boots

The Ariat Heritage Dapper Fatbaby Leather Western Boots is a great boot if you are looking for one for everyday use. They are incredibly durable and come in bright bold colors that look great!

The Everly sole provides comfort, cushion, and wear resistance for female riders.

ariat fatbaby boot

Click to see them at Amazon

PROS:

  • Very comfortable sole
  • Good for everyday use
  • Base is made of 100% leather

CONS:

  • Not waterproof
  • Shorter shaft may not be comfortable for everyone

See them at Amazon

Ariat Heritage Roughstock

The Ariat Heritage Roughstock is one of the most comfortable western boots on the market. If you’re looking for a boot that you can wear all day, we suggest looking at this one!

It features Goodwell Welt Construction making them extremely well-constructed and durable.

ariat heritage roughstock boots

Click to see them at Amazon

PROS:

  • Very durable
  • Very comfortable insole
  • Non-marking and hear and abrasion resistant sole

CONS:

  • Toe may be a bit narrow for some
  • Runs a bit big

See them at Amazon

Lane Lexington Mid-Calf Boot

The Lane Lexington boot is a beautifully styled boot option. While they come at a higher price point, they are expertly crafted and fit the bill if you’re looking for a dressed-up Western boot. These boots require almost no break-in period and are comfortable to wear right out of the box. Made of 100% leather, these quality boots are sure to last years.

These boots look great at the rodeo or for a dressed-up night on the town.

lexington boot

Click to see them at Amazon

PROS:

  • Leather sole
  • Beautifully stitched details
  • High-quality that will last for years

CONS:

  • Highest price point on our list
  • While the foot fits true to size, the calf is on the narrower side (14″ circumference)

See them at Amazon

Ariat Round Up Rio

If you’re looking to splurge on a boot, we would definitely recommend the Ariat Round Up Rio. This Southwest-styled boot is made from quality, full-grain leather. The Duratread™ outsole provides both durability and flexibility. Attractive enough to dress up but comfortable for the barn, this Western boot checks all the boxes.

This boot offers great support with the ATS lightweight forked shank and Pro Performance insole.

ariat primtime boot

Click to see them at Amazon

PROS:

  • Made of full-grain premium leather
  • Oil and slip-resisting durability
  • Textile lining adds even more comfort

CONS:

  • Leather may stain your feet if wet
  • Very square toe may not be flattering on all feet

See them at Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you ride horses with cowboy boots?

Yes! Western disciplines typically ride in cowboy boots.

Q: What kind of boots are good for horseback riding?

There is a wide variety of boots that can be used for horseback riding. Which ones you use are going to depend on the style of riding you are doing.

Q: Are Ariat boots good for horse riding?

Ariat boots are a very popular, and well-made, brand of riding boots. They are generally at the top of most people’s lists in terms of quality and durability.

Q: Do you need cowboy boots to ride a horse?

If you are riding western, you generally will need western boots. However, they are not required for all disciplines of riding.

Parting Thoughts

With so many amazing boots on the market it can be a hard choice to make! We recommend taking price, overall fit, and durability into consideration when making your purchase.

And of course, always check with your trainer for their recommendations regarding your style of riding. Happy shopping!

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About the author

mm

Laura has showed competitively on the A/AA circuit in hunters, jumpers, and equitation, including in major equitation finals like WIHS, ASPCA Maclay Finals, and USEF Hunt Seat Medal Finals. She was also recruited to ride on the Division 1 Equestrian team at the University of South Carolina. While she does not ride anymore, horses are still a big part of her life. She is involved with the NCEA and college riding, and she has worked professionally as a marketer for an online horse care retailer.