Cowboy boots are an iconic footwear style that conjures images of the Wild West, ranches, and rodeos. With their distinctive tall shafts, pointed toes, and elevated heels, cowboy boots make a statement wherever they’re worn.

But one thing that often distinguishes them from other boot styles is their lack of laces. So do cowboy boots actually come with laces?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: While most traditional cowboy boots don’t have laces, some modern styles are made with laces for functionality and style. Laced cowboy boots can offer more adjustability and flexibility compared to pull-on cowboy boots.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at laced cowboy boots. We’ll cover the history of this footwear, the pros and cons of laces on cowboy boots, popular styles that feature laces, tips for wearing them, and much more.

The Origins and Evolution of the Cowboy Boot

When we think of cowboy boots, we often imagine a classic pull-on style without laces. However, the history of cowboy boots is much more intricate than that. Let’s take a closer look at the origins and evolution of these iconic footwear.

Early cowboy boots were functional for ranch work

In the early days, cowboy boots were primarily designed for practicality and functionality. Ranchers and cowboys needed a sturdy and durable boot that could withstand the rigors of their daily work on horseback.

These early boots were typically made of thick leather, had a high shaft to protect the legs, and featured a low heel for stability in the stirrups. Laces were not commonly used in these early designs, as they could potentially get caught on objects or tangled in the brush while working in the fields.

Style began to evolve in the late 1800s

As the cowboy lifestyle gained popularity and the demand for cowboy boots increased, bootmakers started to experiment with different styles and designs. In the late 1800s, we began to see the introduction of decorative stitching, intricate patterns, and exotic materials such as snakeskin and alligator.

While laces were still not a common feature, these embellishments added a touch of personalization and style to the boots.

Pull-on cowboy boots rose to prominence

By the early 20th century, pull-on cowboy boots had become the predominant style. These boots featured a snug fit and a pull-tab on each side of the shaft, making them easy to put on and take off. Pull-on boots were favored by cowboys for their convenience and efficiency, allowing them to quickly slip their boots on and get to work.

The absence of laces also meant that there were no loose ends that could potentially get caught on something during a ride or while working on the ranch.

Some modern styles incorporate laces

While pull-on cowboy boots remain the most popular style today, there are also modern variations that incorporate laces. These hybrid designs often feature laces on the front or sides of the boot, adding a stylish and contemporary touch to the traditional cowboy boot.

These laced styles provide a more adjustable fit and allow for customization, making them a popular choice for those looking for a unique and personalized look.

So, do cowboy boots come with laces? The answer is, it depends. While the classic pull-on style remains the iconic image of cowboy boots, there are also modern variations that incorporate laces for those who want to add a touch of individuality to their boots.

The Pros and Cons of Laces on Cowboy Boots

Pros: Adjustability and flexibility

One of the major advantages of laces on cowboy boots is the adjustability they offer. With laced cowboy boots, you can easily tighten or loosen the fit to your liking. This is especially beneficial if you have wider or narrower feet, as you can customize the fit for maximum comfort.

Laces also provide flexibility, allowing the boots to accommodate different foot sizes and shapes. Whether you need a little extra room or a snug fit, laces can help you achieve the perfect fit.

Cons: Altering the classic cowboy boot look

While laces on cowboy boots offer practical benefits, some purists argue that they alter the classic cowboy boot look. Traditional cowboy boots often do not have laces, and the absence of laces contributes to their iconic design.

Laces can give the boots a more casual or modern appearance, which may not be desired if you’re going for a traditional cowboy look. However, it’s important to note that there are many different styles of cowboy boots available, and laces can be a stylish addition to certain designs.

Laces aren’t necessary for proper fit

Although laces provide adjustability, they are not necessary for achieving a proper fit with cowboy boots. Many cowboy boots are constructed with high-quality materials and a snug fit that molds to the shape of your feet over time.

This means that even without laces, cowboy boots can provide a comfortable and secure fit. However, for those who prefer the option to adjust the fit or have specific fitting requirements, laced cowboy boots can be a great choice.

Popular Types of Laced Cowboy Boots

Roper boots with lace-up shafts

One popular type of laced cowboy boots is the roper boots with lace-up shafts. These boots are known for their comfortable fit and versatility. The lace-up shafts allow for a snug fit around the calf, providing extra support and stability.

Roper boots with lace-up shafts are commonly worn by cowboys and ranchers who need a boot that can withstand long hours of work. They are also favored by riders for their ability to stay securely in place during horseback riding.

Cowboy hiking boots with laces

If you’re an adventurous cowboy or cowgirl who enjoys exploring the great outdoors, then cowboy hiking boots with laces might be the perfect choice for you. These boots combine the ruggedness of traditional cowboy boots with the functionality of hiking boots.

With their laces, they offer a customizable fit that ensures maximum comfort and support during long hikes. Cowboy hiking boots with laces often feature durable materials and sturdy soles, making them suitable for various terrains and weather conditions.

Fashion cowboy boots with laced detailing

If you’re looking for a stylish twist on the classic cowboy boot, fashion cowboy boots with laced detailing are a great option. These boots feature laces as a decorative element, adding an extra touch of flair to your outfit.

The laced detailing can be found on the shaft, vamp, or both, depending on the design. Fashion cowboy boots with laced detailing come in a variety of colors, patterns, and materials, allowing you to express your personal style and make a fashion statement.

For more information on cowboy boots and their different styles, you can visit They provide comprehensive guides and reviews on cowboy boots, helping you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect pair.

Tips for Wearing and Styling Laced Cowboy Boots

Consider your outfit and occasion

When it comes to wearing laced cowboy boots, it’s important to consider your outfit and the occasion. Laced cowboy boots can add a unique and stylish touch to any outfit, whether it’s a casual day out or a special event. For a more relaxed look, pair your laced cowboy boots with jeans and a t-shirt.

If you’re going for a more dressed-up look, opt for a dress or skirt that complements the boots. Remember to choose the right color and design that matches your overall style.

Wear boot socks to prevent blisters

One common concern when wearing laced cowboy boots is the possibility of developing blisters. To prevent this, it’s recommended to wear boot socks. Boot socks are specifically designed to provide cushioning and protection against friction, reducing the chances of blisters.

They also help to keep your feet dry and comfortable throughout the day. Look for boot socks made from moisture-wicking materials to keep your feet cool and dry, especially during warmer months. Don’t forget to choose socks that are the right length to avoid discomfort and visible sock lines.

Use wax laces for easy tying and durability

When it comes to laced cowboy boots, using the right type of laces can make a difference. It’s recommended to use wax laces for easy tying and added durability. Wax laces have a slightly sticky coating that helps keep them in place, preventing them from coming undone throughout the day.

They also offer better resistance to fraying and breaking. In addition to their practical benefits, wax laces can also add a touch of elegance to your boots. They come in different colors, allowing you to customize and enhance the overall look of your laced cowboy boots.

Store properly when not wearing to maintain shape

Properly storing your laced cowboy boots when they’re not being worn is essential to maintain their shape and prolong their lifespan. To prevent any damage or deformation, store your boots in an upright position. Consider using boot trees or rolled-up newspapers to help maintain their shape.

It’s also important to store them in a cool and dry place to avoid any potential moisture damage. Regularly cleaning and conditioning your boots will also contribute to their longevity. By taking proper care of your laced cowboy boots, you can enjoy them for many years to come.


While laced cowboy boots veer away from tradition, they offer increased flexibility and a modern take on a timeless classic. If you love the look and feel of cowboy boots but want the functionality of laces, there are stylish options available.

Just be mindful of outfit pairings and care to maximize the life of your boots.

So whether you’re drawn to the Western aesthetic or just want comfortable, durable footwear, laced cowboy boots can be a great addition to your wardrobe. With knowledge of the different styles and proper wear and care, you can confidently sport cowboy boots with a twist.

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