Cowboy Boot Leather Types: All in a Nutshell

A pair of stylish cowboy boots have a strong footwear image. These boots have created an image as a fusion of dependability and style for themselves over the years. Besides, cowboy boots have become a status symbol for many people.

But, with what material makers make the boots? Have you ever wondered? Regardless of whether you tried to know or not, why not know now? Here it goes:


Using cowskin to make cowboy boots goes back to the boots’ initial days. You can trace the origin of cowboy boots to the 1200s. So, you can easily imagine what rich history cowboy boots have with them.

Cowskin became the natural choice as a potential material for making cowboy boots as it was the only durable material the makers could get. Even now, cowskin has maintained its relevance in the cowboy boot industry. Today, it is common for cowboy bootmakers, and cowskin is also a standard for comfort and durability. 

Calfskin leather, a type of cowhide, is a more comfortable type of leather. But it comes with a downside too. The leather is more susceptible to cuts and scuffs. As such, if you purchase a pair of cowboy boots with this leather, ensure that you maintain them properly by cleaning, moisturizing, and polishing. Also, if you buy a pair of cowboy boots with pebble-grain instead of a smooth-surface, ensure that you rinse the boots to restrict any wax buildup inside the grooves.


Horsehide material is somewhat similar to cowhide, but it also has some distinctive properties. Horsehide is more durable than cowhide and is suitable for working boots. Cowboy boots made of the horsehide usually have a longer life, and also, they do not require strict maintenance compared to cowhide boots. But, horsehide cowboy boots are becoming more expensive, mainly because of the high durability.


Kangaroo leather is an Australian product and is one of the strongest leathers due to its thickness and tightness. With closely intertwining fibers, the leather comes with multi-directional crisscrossing. It is behind the robustness of the Kangaroo leather. When it comes to the texture, Kangaroo leather is more or less similar to cowhide but tougher. Boots made of kangaroo leather needs some maintenance.


Ostrich hide is a popular leather for cowboy bootmakers. The popularity is due to its softness and comfortableness. Usually, ostrich hide comes from the back, side, and leg. Boots made of this leather are durable and easy to maintain.


Alligator leather is gaining immense popularity due to its hardness and high durability. Crocodile leather is similar to alligator leather. Crocodile leather is more expensive than alligator leather as crocodiles are not domestically farmed, unlike alligators.


Snakeskin leather is made from python, anaconda, or rattlesnake skins. And each kind of snakeskin has its unique benefits. While Python snakeskin is the strongest, rattlesnake skin has a tougher finish. And watersnake skin is more delicate. Cowboy boots made of snakeskin are durable. 

What will consume more time in purchasing a pair of cowboy boots is finding out the right size. But, there are impactful ways out. Refer to the infographic in the post to know more.

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