The difference between western riding boots and western walking boots

I bet you thought that all western boots (AKA “cowboy boots”) were the same. You didn’t know that there is a difference between the western boots you ride in and the ones made for walking. Yes there is a difference and often a BIG difference. Let me explain.

Pictured below is what is being sold as a western “cowboy” boot commonly on Amazon.

mens boot

This boot can be found here at Men’s cowboy boot. If you look at all the photos on the Amazon page you will see that the boot has a rubber sole and a squared off heel. Both of those features are for walking and not riding. A rubber sole on a boot will often prevent a boot from sliding out of a stirrup should an accident occur. You don’t want your boot to get hung up in the stirrup. Very often western walking style boots are too wide for the average western saddle stirrup. You don’t want to wedge your boot into a stirrup under any circumstances.

What you need for a western riding boot is a boot that has a smooth sole, narrow toe and a wedge heel like the photo below.

womens boot

You can see this boot at this link on Amazon, there you will see that this style of boot is what is considered to be a good western riding boot. One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between a walking versus riding boot in the heel. In the photo above you see a slant at the back of the heel, that is a riding boot. A walking boot has no slant and is often flared out just a bit.

Other things to stay away from in a western riding boot are zippers since they will rub you raw in the stirrups.


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