Types of Leather Used for Cowboy Boots

Unlike other types of footwear, cowboy boots have a variety of natural and man-made materials to choose from. They range from economical to luxurious and from commonplace to ultra-rare.

Cowhide Leather

The most common type of leather used for cowboy boots is from cowhide. This type of leather gives you the best value for the dollar. It looks excellent, ages well, durable, easy to care for, and most of all won't break the bank. That's why the majority of cowboy boots sold by Soto Boots are genuine cowhide leather. Cowhide leather is so versatile we can even mold it to look like other exotic forms of leather.

Reptile Leather

Legendary wrestler Ric Flair often said he "had a hard time keeping these alligators down." It's easy to see why with leather made from reptiles such as lizards and alligators! This type of leather has a very distinctive pattern and are typically very shiny. These are some boots you'll want to leave home for a day of work at the ranch. You'll need to keep special care of boots made with this leather including storing them away from direct sunlight and deep conditioning regularly as the hide is dryer than cowhide.

Snake Leather

Snakeskin produces one of the most recognizable patterns around. This leather requires high maintenance to keep the scales soft. You see this type of leather mostly used on cowboy boots designed for going out and dress.

Ostrich Leather

Just like the interior of an ultra-luxurious Rolls Royce, some cowboy boots come with ostrich leather. This leather is usually really expensive as there's not as much hide on the animal and the complicated process required to produce the raw material. Check out our affordable Ostrich Print Cowboy Boots and explore our other exotic leather western boots!

Elephant Leather

This leather is extremely rare and expensive. Strict regulations by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the importation of elephant hide. However, it's incredibly sought after because it's nearly puncture-proof making it perfect for harsh work environments where snakes and other hazards might be around.


Each pair of Soto Boots is handcrafted with premium leather and Goodyear welt, giving the boots a resilient, ultra-strong construction. For additional insight on cowboy boot materials and information or to stay caught up an all country boot trends, subscribe to our boot blog!