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Four pairs of cowboy boots of different leathers in a line

Are you looking for the perfect pair of cowboy boots? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Cowboy boots are an essential staple in many parts of western culture. And an important part of choosing a pair of boots is selecting the right boot material for your situation.

We've put together this comprehensive guide on different cowboy boot leather types to accommodate any style, budget, or lifestyle preference. So if you’re ready to demonstrate true western sophistication and pick out a pair (or two) of stylish and practical leather boots, read on!

Cowboy Boot Leather Types

Cowboy boots come in a rich array of leathers, making it easy to find the perfect pair for your unique style. Whether you’re looking for the classic look of bovine boot leather that’s been treated and tanned to develop an incredibly deep texture, the versatile appeal of suede for a smooth feel, or luxurious alligator hide for added shine and durability, you can find a quality set of cowboy boots no matter what type of boot material you choose. Don’t forget options like bison hide or ostrich skin if you’re looking for something truly special.

A great pair of cowboy boots is as much about the type of leather as anything else, so take your time diving into the different cowboy boot leather types to find something that fits your look, budget, and activities.

READ MORE: Square Toe vs. Round Toe Cowboy Boots

Bovine Leather

Bovine leather is an ideal boot material for cowboy boots, thanks to its superior strength and durability. This type of boot leather makes it easy to break the boots in, gradually molding them to the wearer's feet — providing a personalized fit. Bovine leather also has a softer feel than other leathers and, when treated properly, can develop a beautiful patina that looks great for years. Plus, because of its traditional use in cowboy culture, it has a distinct and classic western style that won’t fade away.

The Doc cowboy boot in sequoia bovine leather

The Doc in Sequoia bovine

Goat Leather

Goat leather is a popular boot material for cowboy boots because of its unique qualities: strength, flexibility, and softness. Not only is this type of boot leather easy to work with, but it also looks great. Varying in thickness, goat leather's unique ability to stretch ensures that your cowboy boots fit snugly without feeling too constrictive or overly stiff. Additionally, the dense fibers increase the leather's durability and prevent cracking while maintaining waterproof integrity in wet weather.

The Dean zip boot in scotch goat leather

The Dean in Scotch goat

Ostrich Leather

Cowboy boots made from ostrich leather have a unique, eye-catching look that’s rugged yet sophisticated — perfect for making a classic western style statement. When dyed, ostrich leather develops an even more pronounced and richer color than most other boot materials, providing vibrant coloring options. Ostrich cowboy boots also offer excellent durability due to their strong fibers and thickness, meaning they will last longer than traditional boot leather. Additionally, they are less prone to scratches and scuffs, making them visually appealing over time.

Recently purchased a pair of ostrich boots from Tecovas? Learn how to keep them in top shape with our ostrich boot care guide.

The Wyatt cowboy boot in mahogany colored ostrich leather

The Wyatt in Mahogany Ostrich

The Wade boot in russet colored ostrich leather

The Wade in Russet Ostrich

Lizard Leather

If you're looking for exotic cowboy boots that are both statement-making and durable, lizard leather cowboy boots are an ideal choice. Made from the strong yet supple hide of lizards, this boot material provides a unique look unlike any other type of animal hide. Lizard leather contains natural oils that help it resist water, fading, and cracking over the life of the boot.

The Nash boot in bourbon colored lizard leather

The Nash in Bourbon lizard

Python Leather

Python leather is widely known for its longevity and durability, which makes it the perfect boot leather for cowboy boots. It's incredibly strong yet still soft enough to mold around your feet, providing a better fit. Plus, it's waterproof and won't easily break apart when exposed to all different types of weather. Also, as python leather ages, it gains character and only improves with time. Not to mention, these types of cowboy boots are commonly made with either brushed or smooth grain textures that come in a variety of colors and patterns, from classic black to exotic designs.

The Blake cowboy boot in python leather

The Blake in Saddle python

Suede Leather

Suede boots are renowned for its luxurious softness, unmatched comfort, and distinguished good looks. Not only does this boot material provide cowboy boots with a traditional western charm, but it is also incredibly durable and able to stand up against heavy wear without suffering damage. Additionally, suede breathes better than other materials, making it one of the best cowboy boot options if you spend long days in the saddle or on your feet.

The Roy roper boot in granite colored suede

The Roy in Granite suede

Alligator Leather

Alligator leather cowboy boots are a luxurious step up from traditional western footwear. Not only does this elegant boot material look exquisite, but it also provides durability, strength, and a sign of refinement that one purchasing high-quality boots would appreciate. Alligator leather has been used for many years in diverse products — from handbags to saddles because of its remarkable ability to be incredibly strong yet remain soft and pliable. This combination of strength and flexibility makes for a boot that is comfortable to wear while standing up to the use cowboy boots require.

The Cole boot in midnight color

The Cole in Midnight

Bison Leather

Bison leather is one of the strongest, thickest, most durable leathers available — known to be 40% stronger than cowhide. With its rigid interlocking fiber structure and strikingly unique grain pattern, bison leather cowboy boots provide both the protection and style you look for when you want a boot material that can stand up to any adventure or activity. Not only will it last longer than other cowboy boot leather types, but its natural oil coating also helps make it water-resistant.

The Midland boot in soil colored bison leather

The Midland in Soil bison

Get Your Hands on Your Favorite Cowboy Boot Leather

Now that you know a little more about the many cowboy boot leather types, we hope you feel armed and ready to tackle your next boot-shopping excursion. At Tecovas, we design our boots with a focus on craftsmanship because we believe it doesn't matter how stylish something is if it isn't comfortable. Fortunately, you can find comfortable and fashionable cowboy boot styles in all your favorite boot materials.

Shop our selection of cowgirl boots and cowboy boots for men today — your new boots are only a few clicks away!