Bridal style tends to follow a rather traditional formula—wedding dress, veil, heels, and perhaps a delicate piece of jewelry or two. And while that’s a tried-and-true combination for many, if you’re not one for tradition and are looking for a way to break the mold, you might want to consider a pair of wedding cowboy boots.
Western footwear is sort of like a strong marriage in the sense that it’s made with love and meant to last a lifetime. And regardless if you grew up on a cattle ranch or live in Texas, any bride who wants to add a playful touch to her wedding day look should consider a pair.
Meet the Expert
“The pillars of a well-crafted pair of cowboys boots are great leathers and great design,” Ford says. “Handmade is best and they should definitely be comfortable—no need to bring a backup pair of shoes to change into.”
Ahead, discover and shop the best wedding cowboy boots and brush up on the most important qualities to look for in a pair according to Ford.
Best Overall: Ariat Cattle Drive Western Boot
Ariat is iconic for its cowboy boots, so it’s no wonder that this classic dusty brown pair tops our list. The five-row Western stitch pattern adds an artisanal element while details like full-grain leather foot and upper lend that timeless touch.
Price at time of publish: $150
Best Budget: Steve Madden West White Leather Boot
Cowboy boots can often cost hundreds of dollars but if you’d prefer a pair that’s a bit more budget-friendly, this is our top pick. It checks off all the boxes of a classic pair of western boots and the all-white palette feels particularly aligned with a bridal aesthetic.
Price at time of publish: $190
Best Modern: Larroude Thelma Boots
Crafted in a sleek and versatile sand hue, these cowboy boots would add charm to any wedding dress. The closed pointed toe and cone-shaped heel complement the suede leather and the insole is made with a memory foam cushion for uncompromising comfort.
Price at time of publish: $430
Best Suede: We The Free Wesley Ankle Boots
If you want to go western but aren’t sure about a full-blown cowboy boot, consider this sleek suede western-inspired pair. We think they’d look especially beautiful with a lace gown.
Price at time of publish: $298
Best White: Ranch Road Boots Sagebrush
These white boots feature a sagebrush design with overlay stitching and nude tones as an underlay. Wear with sweeping long gowns or charming mini dresses, they’re enduringly versatile.
Price at time of publish: $558
For the Creative Bride: Brother Vellies Mermaid Doodle Boots
These boots were handmade and handprinted by artisans in Mexico and were created in small batch production. If you want a pair of unique cowboy boots, Brother Vellies will always check the box.
Price at time of publish: $1,150
For Your Something Blue: Idyllwind Charmed Life Blue Suede Western Boots
Still searching for your something blue? Look no further than this powder-hued pair from Miranda Lambert's label Idyllwind, featuring white embroidery and a comfortable western heel.
Price at time of publish: $200
Most Versatile: Jeffrey Campbell Dagget Western Boot
For a pair that goes with everything from your wedding dress to your weekend uniform, these black boots are a top-notch pick.
Price at time of publish: $250
Best Classic: Lucchese Nicole Boot
Founded in the 19th century, Lucchese is a luxury footwear brand based in El Paso that delivers on well-crafted cowboy boots (they famously make The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders' boots). This brown pair is as classic as they come.
Price at time of publish: $545
Best Bootie: Ganni Suede Low Shaft Western Boots
The low shaft on these cowboy boots makes them a bit more lightweight and easy to wear with any kind of wedding dress. The tobacco brown color crafted in suede also looks supremely stylish.
Price at time of publish: $545
What to Look for in Wedding Cowboy Boots
The first thing to note is that the leather (or suede leather) should be of high quality and craftsmanship. Leather is incredibly durable and, if taken care of properly, cowboy boots can last years, even decades, so it's worth investing in a quality pair. Beyond those basics, considerations like color and details such as embroidery, inlays, and heel height are details that can affect the overall aesthetic of your cowboy boots—and, ways you can customize the shoe to feel perfectly aligned with your wedding day ensemble.
It's imperative you get the correct size in cowboy boots for a comfortable fit, especially if you're planning to wear them for an extended period of time (such as on your wedding day). “The main thing to keep in mind with premium-built cowboy boots is that there’s typically a 'break in’ period, but as you wear them they will form perfectly to your feet,” Ford explains. Because of this, you should wear your shoes several times before the big day to avoid any discomfort. “Cowboy boots will at first be a little stiff but the leather will get softer over time and wear,” she adds. “And when it comes to fitting, sliding into your cowboy boots shouldn’t be a big struggle, although there could be a little resistance with a brand new pair.” She explains that the boots should feel snug across the vamp (top of the foot) but they shouldn’t be too tight or hurt. “The widest part of your foot should be resting on the widest part of the outsole, and you should be able to wiggle your toes,” she says. “As you walk in them they should be able to flex at the natural flex points of your foot. In cowboy boots, it is completely normal to experience some heel slippage between 1/4 to 1/2 inches.”
What kind of wedding dresses can you wear with cowboy boots?
If you know you’ll be wearing cowboy boots on your wedding day, then you can have your dress tailored accordingly—meaning, you can wear any kind of wedding dress with cowboy boots that you want. "Short, long, modern, minimal, maximal, traditional—any dress works,” Ford says. “They are cool and more comfortable and you'll be able to wear them with other things beyond the wedding day.”
Why choose cowboy boots over bridal heels or sneakers?
Style is personal so the reason behind choosing cowboy boots over heels or sneakers is not a matter of right or wrong, but rather, a matter of your taste. If you spot a photo of a bride wearing cowboy boots with her dress and think to yourself ‘I love that’ then go for it! You can also consider wearing them for after the ceremony if you want something more formal for walking down the aisle but shoes that are comfortable on the dance floor after dinner.
Why Trust Brides
Brides contributor Nicole Kliest has over eleven years of experience writing in fashion. Her work has appeared on sites including Vogue, Fashionista, Who What Wear, The Zoe Report, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle, among others.