You can tell a lot about a man by his footwear. In that regard, cowboy boots and cowboys are synonymous—both are durable, useful, and won’t quit until the job is done. Here are 14 kicks that fit the bill.
Payton Western (women’s) The Payton has wrung the weak from pink. These kickers survived the sloppy stockyard abuse dished out by our Colorado cowgirl tester yet sprayed off and appeared “like new” in a barrel-racing competition that afternoon. “Ariat boots were too narrow for me in the past,” she says. “But these fit like a glove.” Ariat is known for its ATS (Advanced Torque Stabilty) sole-construction technology that incorporates gel, an ergonomic composite shank, and a moisture-wicking footbed. Best for: Dishing dirt $140 (style 10002362), 800-899-8141, ariat.com
Albuquerque (men’s) In the Southwest, you can wake up to pushing snow, have lunch to sun, and be hit with rain later that afternoon. Waterproof and breathable boots are mandatory. The Albuquerque integrates a breathable waterproof membrane that effectively transfers moisture away from the wearer’s foot. “That morning walk through dew-covered grass usually gets through to my feet,” says our Texas-based tester. “In this pair, I did not feel a drop, and they kept my feet at a consistent temperature throughout the day.” Best for: Variable conditions $159 (style DP69681), 800-447-3533, danpostboots.com
Farm & Ranch (men’s) Don’t let the dressy look fool you. The Farm & Ranch is loaded with workhorse features like Goodyear welt sole construction, double-stitched leather, and a patented suspension system that reduces foot fatigue. Our Colorado-based tester says he wore them from below freezing into the upper 70s and “my feet never felt too cold or hot.” He especially liked the sturdy traction and ability to get in and out of stirrups quickly. Cover it all in full-grain leather and you have yourself a nice-looking, hard-working boot. Best for: Long days on your feet $150 (style FR5280), 877-795-2410, durangoboot.com
Original Ride Roper (men’s)
Rocky boots are among the industry’s most comfortable work boots and, not surprisingly, are also one of the strongest in this year’s line-up. The eight-part sole system of the Rocky Ride is standard in the Original Ride 10” Roper and increases boot longevity without compromising foot support or comfort. Our Montana-based tester was nursing a foot injury and says that he has “never worn a more comfortable pair of cowboy boots.” He also remarked on the durable craftsmanship. Best for: 5-a.m. ranch chores $130 (style 1103), 877-795-2410, rockyboots.com
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