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Cowboy Boots: An American(a) Icon

Whether it's your first rodeo or you're a fledgling collector, our guide has the right boot for you.

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Like many wardrobe staples of Americana, cowboy boots have an iconic style and are rooted in function. Pull them on, wear them hard, use them for years. They look equally at home on the ranch and in the city and they’re built to take a beating. From Lucchese and Tony Lama to Tecovas and Heritage Boot Co., cowboy boots span heritage makers and fresh competition. So stop obsessing over Chelsea boots and embrace a domestic classic: the pull-on cowboy boot.

Additional contribution by Evan Malachosky

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The Johnny
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Tecovas

Direct-to-consumer brand Tecovas has been on the radar of many a cowboy boot fan thanks to its balance of quality details and affordable prices. Its Johnny boot comes with a water-resistant suede, a leather stacked heel, and 3/4 goodyear welt construction.

Tanner Boot
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Lucchese

Lucchese multi-generational boot tradition is revered the world over and its roper-style Tanner Boot is a standout. Featuring a premium goat leather upper that’s full of patina and character off the bat, the Tanner is a shorter cowboy boot that’s built in Texas using a resolable welted construction

Roper Boot
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Rhodes

Rhodes isn't revered for its Cowboy Boots. But, the young brand's Roper Boot is a solid entry to category — at a halfway decent price. (You won't find many cowboy boots below $200.) These are made in Léon, Mexico from waxed cowhide uppers, a resoleable leather outsole, and pigskin liners.

El Vaquero Boots
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Unmarked

Unmarked's El Vaquero boots are made from calf leather on calf leather with an outsole (that's totally replaceable) shaped by hand. They're an excellent representation of minimal, Mexican luxury.

Walker Boots
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Justin Boots

"These boots we're made for walking..." Sorry, I had to. Justin Boots' Walker isn't just for saunters around town. It's crafted with comfortability front of mind but it's plenty capable, too. The outsoles are oil- and slip-resistant, the leather uppers are durable, and the insoles offer a "trampoline-like" ride.

Traction Tred
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Red Wing

Although Red Wing's Traction Tred boots like a bit like Engineer ones, these totally pass for Western wear. They have a similar shape, are pull-ons, and will offer all of the same functionality.

Plainsman
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White's Boots

Though White's is better known for its service boots, the Pacific Northwestern heritage brand unsurprisingly makes a great western boot. The full-grain leather uppers are accompanied by lowkey but no-doubt western stitching. And Goodyear-welted construction with leather shanks and midsoles along with a Vibram sole come together for a seriously solid boot.

Ranch Hand
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Heritage Boot Co.

Heritage Boot Co. has a vast array of cowboy offerings from the basic entry-level styles to boots with the exotic leather and hand-tooled designs. The Ranch Hand features a luscious brown suede for the upper which is then decorated with western stitching. The combination of the riding heel and the chiseled toe make it one of the most covetable boots on this list.

Sand Elk Bottom Cowboy Boots
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Rios of Mercedes

Rios of Mercedes has been crafting cowboy boots for over 160 years and its Sand Elk Bottom is a favorite. It features elegant french binding, western stitching at the shaft, a leather-rubber combination sole and a riding heel.

Bay Apache 7902 Boot
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Tony Lama Boots

Tony Lama's Bay Apache Boot is made in the US from 100-percent leather. They have a classic look to them afforded by hand-stitching, but modern details like a cushioned insole, rounded toe, and a slim but not tight footbed.

Jackpot Western Boots
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Nocona

Made in the USA boots are hard to come by at this price point, especially with as many quality details that the Nocona Jackpot Boots have: a rubber outsole, a 1.5" leather heel, and a cushioned footbed.

Ryden Ultra Western Boot
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Ariat

Ariat's Ryden Boot is one of the shorter options on this list. It comes with a traditional upper, square toe, and the brand's proprietary, performance-oriented Bantamweight sole. 

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