Cowboy boots and boots with a Western vibe are about to have their fashion moment. The trend hasn’t yet hit mainstream stores, but it’s gaining momentum. I expect it to become completely mainstream over the next few seasons. 

Of course, in some parts of the US, authentic cowboy or Western boots have been THE look for decades, are completely mainstream for men, women and children, and will be so forever. Cowboy boots are part of the culture, and worn with anything from shorts and slip dresses to tuxedos and wedding gowns. In those parts of the world, there is no shortage of prestigious cowboy boot retailers, and people make a strong statement with the look.

It is a little odd to talk about the Western boot trend when cowboy boots are iconic, and always in style. But that’s the way it goes in fashion. Polka dot patterns and trench coats are similarly iconic, yet fashion has chosen to put them on a pedestal for a while.

The Western boot trend runs on a continuum with die-hard authentic cowboy boots on the one end, mules with a slight Western vibe on the other, and countless variations in between. The collection below showcases this diversity.

Shopbop
Marni Sabot Mules
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3
Shopbop
Frye Flynn Mules
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6
Nordstrom
Ariat Javea Bootie
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3
Nordstrom
Ariat Dulce Bootie
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3
Zappos
Ariat Willow
$159.94
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2
Zappos
Ariat Western Wildcat
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3
Zappos
Ariat Circuit Savanna
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4
Zappos
Old Gringo Ninna
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5
Zappos
Ariat Darlin
$139.94
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2
Zappos
Dan Post Bouquet
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3
Zappos
Lucchese Wynonna
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4
Zappos
Old Gringo Rainha
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3

You might be thinking, why boots for Spring & Summer? Well, authentic cowboy boots are often worn in Summer, Spring can be very chilly, and in some parts of the US Summer is not that hot. Also arctic air conditioning and cool evenings by the ocean can make boots very wearable in Spring and Summer. But if that’s not your cup of tea, there’s the less covered mule version if your feet prefer ventilation.

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Whipstitched Leather Ankle BootsGANNI White Callie 70 Leather Ankle Boots

I would have expected the return of full-length bootcuts and bell-bottoms with this trend, since they are the slam dunk silhouette to wear with cowboy boots. I’m willing to bet that bootcuts and bell-bottoms are in the trend pipeline. That would complete the enormous variety of jeans and pant silhouettes in modern fashion, so I hope it happens. In the meantime though, the idea is to wear Western-style boots and mules with just about any outfit.

I like cowboy boots, and am very open to a refined, streamlined and low-heeled pair, without the bells and whistles, in a shade of white or a pastel. If I’m going to wear them, they have to be pretty, smart casual and crisp, and not rugged, casual and chunky. This pair from Gianvito Rossi looks perfect, although I’d appreciate a lower price.

Over to you. What’s your take on the Western boot trend, and do you like cowboy boots?