If you were to ask most real-deal cowboys what boots they wear, it’s likely a pair of Ariat boots. They’re favored by folks who need a pair of boots that can handle some hard labor since they’re built with comfortable insoles and durable lugged outsoles. The Sport Big Country is a perfect hybrid of old-school looks and new-age materials, so if you’re after a pair of boots that can rough it and not leave your dogs barking at the end of the day, consider these.
Frye might be better known for its work boots and dress boots, but their tight collection of western boots is well worth considering. They may not have the same sort of fervor of other brands, but their commitment to classic silhouettes and high-quality materials and construction make Frye a seriously underrated brand that deserves more shine. Though the styles may lean a little more rock ‘n’ roll than ranch hand, each one is made using premium leathers and time-tested construction methods.
Frye’s Harness boots take after the boots worn by the American cavalry. They may be seen on motor-fueled hogs than on horses, but their history as a boot of the west still remains. The harness hardware might be a vestige of its past, but the attitude it gives will turn any western outfit even more badass.
Yes, RRL. The spittoon-hawking western sub-brand of Ralph Lauren actually makes some of the choicest cowboy boots you’ve ever seen. Ralph’s been known to use the best factories around, whether it’s for jeans, suits, shirts, or even cowboy boots. Though the details on the exact factories they use are understandably hush-hush, they do make their boots in the USA and judging by the supremely fine stitching, real leather welts, and lemonwood pegs, they’re not skimping on anything.
RRL’s lineup of boots has its core players that return every season, but the limited edition boots are what true Lauren-ophiles obsess over. Case in point, the Plainview hand-tooled boot. It features gorgeous cowhide with a mesmerizing array of painstakingly hand-tooled details throughout as well as wingtip broguing panels for a masterful blend of classic menswear and rough-and-tumble western flair.
As the name would suggest, Unmarked is kind of a low-key brand. The Léon, Mexico-based label crafts their shoes and boots with a multi-generational pedigree. And though the brand is by no means strictly a cowboy boot brand, they make some of the best-quality western boots around (whenever they get to it). Complicated embroidery stitching, lemonwood pegs at the soles, super clean welt stitching—the works, as they say.