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Whether for horseback riding or line dancing, there is a style of cowboy boots to meet your needs. When picking out the right pair of boots, one of the most important things to consider is the style of the heel.
The most common types of cowboy boot heels are fowler, roper, walking, cowboy, riding, and fashion. Each of these styles is designed to serve a different function to meet your needs.
In addition to heel styles, there are also various heel heights. Each height is ideal for different activities. Here are the four standard cowboy heel heights that can be found on the six standard heel styles:
- Low heel: Generally around 1 ½ inches high, ideal for work, walking, and horseback riding.
- Standard heel: Generally 1-1 ½ inches or lower with flat bottoms, ideal for everyday wear, walking, horseback riding, and ranch work.
- High heel: Generally two inches or higher with wide, flat bottoms, ideal for everyday wear, work, and horseback riding (as long as they aren’t too tall).
- Spiked heel: Generally three to four inches high with a narrow base, ideal for fashion, but not practical for work or horseback riding.
Here are the six common types of cowboy boot heels.
Fowler Heels (Straight and Slant)
The fowler heel is a common style used for working or riding that is generally 1 ⅛-inches high. There are two variations of fowler: straight and slant.
The straight fowler heel is straight cut down, providing more stability. It is an ideal option for work, horseback riding, or walking.
The slant fowler is angled slightly to give it a more formal, high-end appearance. It is an excellent option for horseback riding or everyday wear.
Roper Heels (Straight and Slant)
The roper heel is a traditional style of cowboy heel that is short and flat, making it ideal for horseback riding. This style was developed in the 1920s for cowboys on the rodeo circuit competing in roping competitions.
The roper heel is one inch and is typically straight and flat. However, some versions may have a slight slant to them.
The roper heel is shorter to provide more stability. This makes it easier for cowboys when they jump off their horses to run to a calf after roping it. It is not only comfortable for horseback riding, but it is also comfortable for walking.
When it comes to walking, you want shoes that will be comfortable and supportive. Walking heels sometimes have a slight slant but are overall even to provide stability, support, balance, and comfort.
Walking heels are standard height, often measuring 1 ⅜ inches high. They are one of the most popular styles of heels as they are practical and functional. They have a wide, flat base which is why they are so good for walking.
Cowboy heels are the most traditional style and offer a classic western look. They feature a narrow, slanted heel that is generally 1 ½ inches tall.
The look of the cowboy heel is fashionable, but it is also functional. It is an excellent option for everyday wear and is even a practical option for horseback riding. This old style has remained a popular trend in footwear.
The riding heel is two inches in height and has a noticeable slant. It was initially developed to provide a better fit in the stirrups of western saddles.
The design was created to prevent a rider’s foot from sliding in the stirrup while providing stability. In addition, the narrower design of the heel was created so it won’t rub against a horse’s flank.
They are comfortable and practical, keeping your feet safe as you ride. Their unique design provides balance and prevents your foot from getting stuck in the stirrup.
As the name says, fashion heels put style above all else. They are tall, narrow, and slanted to offer a chic look.
Fashion heels are also commonly referred to as spiked heels, as they are often three to four inches in length. Their tall height makes them a bold statement piece to your outfit. Usually, the heel is rubber, giving them some bounce and a softer footfall.
Fashion heels are an excellent option for a night out on the town, dancing, and formal occasions. However, they are not a good choice for walking, horseback riding, or work.