8 Best Steel Toe Horse Riding Boots [Expert’s Top Picks Review]

Steel toed horse riding boots are an integral part of equestrian life. 

But it’s easy to get lost in the variety of products available and all the different features they advertise.

Luckily, I’ve tested out a few top styles over the years. Here are my favorites from the brands that have worked for me, along with some helpful info on how I discovered my favorite boots!

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Top Steel Toe Riding Boots at a Glance

Don’t have time? Here is a quick comparison of our favorites!

Preview
Editor;s Choice
Justin Original Work Men's J-max Steel Toe Pull On, Rugged Bay Gaucho, 11 D US
Best Ranch Work Boot
Ariat Men's Work Boot, Brown, 7 Wide
Best For Horse Riding
Durango® Maverick Women's Steel Toe Waterproof Western Work Boot
Best Short Boots
Justin Ladies Gypsy Katerina WP Steel Work Boots 7
Best Waterproof Boots
Justin Men's Roughneck Chestnut Eh Waterproof Work Boot Steel Toe Brown 9.5 D(M) US
Top Benefit
Come in different widths including extra wide
Metatarsal protection
Fiberglass shank
J-Flex Flexible Comfort System® insole
OrthoLite inserts
Editor;s Choice
Preview
Justin Original Work Men's J-max Steel Toe Pull On, Rugged Bay Gaucho, 11 D US
Top Benefit
Come in different widths including extra wide
Check Price
Best Ranch Work Boot
Preview
Ariat Men's Work Boot, Brown, 7 Wide
Top Benefit
Metatarsal protection
Check Price
Best For Horse Riding
Preview
Durango® Maverick Women's Steel Toe Waterproof Western Work Boot
Top Benefit
Fiberglass shank
Check Price
Best Short Boots
Preview
Justin Ladies Gypsy Katerina WP Steel Work Boots 7
Top Benefit
J-Flex Flexible Comfort System® insole
Check Price
Best Waterproof Boots
Preview
Justin Men's Roughneck Chestnut Eh Waterproof Work Boot Steel Toe Brown 9.5 D(M) US
Top Benefit
OrthoLite inserts
Check Price

8 Best Steel Toe Horse Riding Boots – Review

When working around the farm or ranch, it is a good idea to have pairs of boots that protect your toes from heavy tools or stray hooves causing foot injuries.

The best steel toe horse riding boots are aimed at western riders and most are suitable for western stirrups.

After researching many options, here are my favorites for men and women.

If you want pure riding boots why not check out Mountain horse mens riding boots.

But in the meantime, let’s take a look at my top picks for men, and then I’ll introduce you to my favorites for the ladies out there.

#1 Justin Men’s Steel Comfort PullOn Brown Boot (WINNER)

Justin Original Work Boots Men's J-max Steel Toe Pull-On Steel Toed Work Shoe

When it comes to quality, comfortable pair of boots, you can’t beat Justin’s. These rugged, practical steel toe boots are made with premium leather.

They do a great job keeping your feet happy both in and out of the saddle. The leather has a beautiful aged look and the boots feature Justin’s double comfort system.

The boots have a sturdy, anti-slip, rubber outsole and have a single stitch welt. They are probably one of the most practical and comfortable cowboy boots you’ll find for men.

Features & Attributes

  • 100% genuine leather
  • Pull-on loops
  • Dri-lex lining
  • Removable insoles
  • Distressed leather

Sizes & Measurements

  • Boot size from 7 to 15
  • Come in different widths including extra wide
  • 10-inch shaft height

Benefits & Drawbacks of Justin Men’s Steel Comfort PullOn Brown Boots

BenefitsDrawbacks
Protects your toesExpensive
Extreme comfortSimple looking
DurableShaft not lined
Non-slip outer sole

How it Compares to Others

What I really like about these boots is that they are nice looking but not flashy like some others. They are practical and one of the most comfortable steel toe horse riding boots.

Expert Tips

There is no one better than the experts at Justin Boots to show you the best way to care for them. Take a look at this video.

What Other Equestrians Say About Justin Men’s Steel Comfort PullOn Brown Boots

This purchaser is delighted with his boots – “Really good Steel toe boot!!” and “All I can say is WOW…I love these boots.”

Justin Original Work Men's J-max Steel Toe Pull On, Rugged Bay Gaucho, 11 D US
  • Hand crafted in the usa
  • J-flex comfort system
  • Dri lex lining
  • Removable jel comfort insole
  • Rubber outsole slip and oil resisting

#2 Ariat Groundbreaker Wide Square Toe MetGuard Steel Toe Boots – Best Ranch Work Boot

Ariat Groundbreaker Wide Square Toe MetGuard Steel Toe Work Boots - Men’s Safety Toe Western Boot

These are both great work boots for the ranch and horseback riding. Part of the Ariat cowboy boot collection, these boots have all the brand’s amazing technological features.

To provide your feet with maximum comfort they have 4LR footbed technology. The mesh lining helps with breathability and the slip-resistant Duratread sole helps keep your feet steady.

Features & Attributes

  • Steel toe riding boot
  • Mesh lining
  • 4LR technology
  • Suede upper
  • Metatarsal protection

Sizes & Measurements

  • Sizes 7 to 14 with wide options
  • 10-inch shaft height
  • 90° heel

Benefits Ariat Groundbreaker Steel Toe Boots

BenefitsDrawbacks
ASTM rated safety toe and MetGuardExpensive
Great all-around equestrian bootSizing can be off
Excellent comfort levelTakes time to get used to the MetGaurd
Durable

How it Compares to Others

This is an excellent versatile boot that can do lots of jobs. It has extra protection in place for your metatarsal, which some of the other steel toe boots don’t have.

Expert Tips

Did you know that wearing the right socks with your boots can impact their fit and comfort? Learn more about what socks are best to wear with your equestrian work boots in this video.

What Other Equestrians Say About Ariat Groundbreaker Steel Toe Boots

Despite the higher price, this customer thinks they are “Well worth the money” and “Great boots that hold up well!! Uncomfortable at first but in my opinion all Met Guard boots are. I’ll definitely buy them again!”

Ariat Men's Work Boot, Brown, 7 Wide
  • 4LR SUPPORT: These boots are designed with Ariat’s 4LR technology that provides comfort, cushioning, stability, and ASTM F2413-11 Mt 75 rated metatarsal protection for ideal use at the warehouse, construction site, factory or farm.
  • MESH-LINING BOOT: These steel-toe boots are designed with a mesh lining, a full-grain leather foot with suede upper, and a four-row stitch pattern to make sure your feet stay dry both from internal and external perspiration of any kind.
  • OIL-RESISTANT OUTSOLE: With these men’s work boots you can work on any surface without slipping. Thanks to the oil- and slip-resistant Duratread outsole, you will have enough traction and grip on surfaces with residues, oil, or any other slippery terrain.
  • GREAT GIFT FOR MEN: Shopping for your husband or boyfriend shouldn't be difficult, and with these quality boots from Ariat, it won't be.  Perfect for work, outdoor or a night out, the hard-working man can wear these western boots for any occasion.
  • SCIENCE OF INNOVATION: Ariat excels in advanced technologies to deliver products that outperform in various conditions. Partnering with world-class biomechanical research groups and testing labs, Ariat strives to improve performance, comfort, and durability.

#3 Rebel Durango Men’s Steel Toe Boots – Lightweight Cowboy Boot

Durango Men's Rebel Waterproof Western Work Boot Steel Toe

Durango is a popular western boot brand that offers a good variety of styles. They have attractive stitching without too much flashiness.

Even with their steel toe and durable leather, these boots are quite lightweight, which helps prevent fatigue of your feet.

Features & Attributes

  • Square toe
  • Full-grain leather
  • ASTM Protective Toe Classification
  • ASTM Electrical Hazard Standard
  • Pull-on loops

Sizes & Measurements

  • 11-inch shaft height
  • 1.5-inch heel
  • 14-inch boot opening
  • Sizes from 6 to 15 with wide and extra wide options

Benefits & Drawbacks of Rebel Durango Men’s Steel Toe Boots

BenefitsDrawbacks
WaterproofSome people don’t like the insoles
Cushioned footbedSome people don’t like the insoles
Lightweight

How it Compares to Others

While you can wear these boots for western riding, the sole is a bit thicker than some options.

Expert Tips

Durango has some great tips about caring for these and other boots from the brand in this helpful video.

What Other Equestrians Say About Rebel Durango Men’s Steel Toe Boots

This user puts his Durango boots to hard work. Check out his video review here.

#4 Justin Men’s Roughneck Steel Toe Work Boots – Best Waterproof Boots

Justin Men's Roughneck Chestnut Eh Waterproof Work Boot Steel Toe Brown 9.5 D

These are fantastic all-around steel toe boots for men. They have all the safety features to protect your feet around the farm without the need to change when getting in the saddle.

They not only have the ASTM Electrical Hazard safety standard, but they also have MetGuards, the Achilles Relief System, and OrthoLite inserts. The cowboy boots have it all!

Features & Attributes

  • Poron® XRD™ MetGuards
  • Pull-on straps
  • OrthoLite inserts
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • Square steel safety toe
  • Classic western look

Sizes & Measurements

  • 11-inch shaft
  • Sizes from 8 D to 13 EE

Benefits & Drawbacks of Justin Men’s Roughneck Boots

BenefitsDrawbacks
Maximum safety featuresA little expensive
Extreme comfortOnly one color option
Breathable

How it Compares to Others

While some of the others only have a steel toe, these boots have the maximum safety and comfort features a hard-working man will want.

Expert Tips

Breaking in your cowboy boots is part of the process of getting a new pair. Here are some tips to get your boots comfortable as quickly as possible.

What Other Equestrians Say About Justin Men’s Roughneck Boots

Justin boots have a reputation for quality and comfort. This customer loves his – “Very comfortable my favorite boots so far.”

4 Best Women’s Steel Toe Cowboy Boots

It’s not only men that need a good pair of steel toe boots. Hardworking women want a safe and comfortable boot when spending time on the ranch.

There are lots of great choices but here are my women’s steel toe cowboy boots top picks.

Of course, if you want to treat yourself and get some truly unique boots check the custom made riding boots guide out.

#5 Justin Ladies Gypsy Tasha WP Steel Work Boots – Prettiest Boot

Justin Ladies Gypsy Tasha WP Steel Work Boots - Prettiest Boot

I just love these cute steel toe cowgirl boots. They combine style and practicality perfectly. The attractive stitching adds a subtle touch of color to these dark brown leather boots.

While not cheap, these boots are at an affordable price.

Features & Attributes

  • Single stitch welt
  • Round Steel Toes
  • Extra thick insole
  • J-Flex Flexible Comfort System®
  • Full-grain leather,

Sizes & Measurements

  • 11-inch high shaft
  • Sizes 6 to 11

Benefits & Drawbacks of Justin Ladies Gypsy Tasha Boots

BenefitsDrawbacks
WaterproofSome people find them narrow
Classic western lookOnly one color choice
Durable

How it Compares to Others

These are one of the prettiest women’s steel toe western boots in my guide. At least in my opinion.

Expert Tips

How should cowboy boots fit? Find out in this video.

What Other Equestrians Say About Justin Ladies Gypsy Tasha Boots

This hard-working equestrian loves her boots – “Awesome boot! This is really tuff and truly a work/ride waterproof boot!”

#6 Durango Ladies Maverick Steel Boots – Best For Horse Riding

Durango® Maverick Women's Steel Toe Waterproof Western Work Boot

These full-grain leather boots from Durango are super comfortable and designed specifically to make putting your feet in the stirrups easy.

This feature is made possible by a fiberglass shank and a rolled shank. That’s not the only great feature of this boot. Let’s see what else these boots have.

Features & Attributes

  • Durango® X-Treme Comfort Footbed™
  • Fiberglass shank
  • Durango® X-Pand System™
  • Non-slip outsole
  • Full-grain leather
  • Come in brown or white leather upper

Sizes & Measurements

  • 10-inch shaft
  • 1 ⅛ inch heel
  • Sizes 6 to 10
BenefitsDrawbacks
LightweightSome find they run big
Steel toeThe white leather gets dirty easily
Waterproof
Comfortable

How it Compares to Others

While you can ride in any other steel cowboy boots in my guide, this pair has some specific design features to make riding easier.

Expert Tips

Take a closer look and learn more about the Durango Maverick boot in this video.

What Other Equestrians Say About Durango Ladies Maverick Steel Boots

Check out this review of Durango boots from a big fan of this footwear.

Durango® Maverick Women's Steel Toe Waterproof Western Work Boot
  • Full-grain leather foot, collar and pull straps with faux shaft
  • Soft mesh lining
  • Fiberglass shank
  • Rolled shank area
  • Single row sole stitch

#7 Justin Ladies Gypsy Katerina WP Steel Work Boots – Best Short Boots

Justin Ladies Gypsy Katerina WP Steel Work Boots 7

I’m back with another pair of Justin boots. This time I’m going to introduce you to some really great short boots for western riders.

They have pretty stitching on the sides, a lace-up front, and a durable sole. These boots look similar to paddock boots, the sole is a bit too thick to ride in an English saddle.

Features & Attributes

  • Fabric lining
  • Ankle height boots
  • J-Flex Flexible Comfort System® insole
  • Lace-up

Sizes & Measurements

  • 6-inch height
  • Sizes 5 to 11

Benefits & Drawbacks of Justin Ladies Gypsy Katerina Boots

BenefitsDrawbacks
Waterproof leatherAnkle area tight at first
Steel toe protectionSome find they need to go up a size
Very comfortable

How it Compares to Others

These are ankle boots, unlike the cowboy boot styles of the others. There are shorter and provide more support than some options and some ankle protection.

Expert Tips

Justin boots are premium quality. See for yourself how they are made in this video.

What Other Equestrians Say About Justin Ladies Gypsy Katerina Boots

“Love them!!! Fits perfectly and lasts longer than normal steel toe boots.” – Susan

Head to the lace up riding boots guide to find more riding boots with a front lace style.

#8 Ariat Women’s Krista Pull-on Steel Toe Western Cowboy Boot – Best Comfort

Ariat Women's Krista Pull-on Steel Toe Western Cowboy Boot

When you see Ariat, you know that you’ll get boots with the best comfort features. These boots use premium leather and have beautiful stitching on the shaft.

The Duratread outsole gives you a good grip on the rugged or slippery ground around the farm. If you want a pretty, comfortable, and practical steel toe boot, check these out.

Features & Attributes

  • 4LR technology
  • Mesh lining
  • Duratread rubber sole
  • 90-degree heel
  • Steel toe

Sizes & Measurements

  • Sizes from 5.5 to 11
  • 10.5-inch boot opening

Benefits & Drawbacks of Ariat Women’s Krista Pull-on Steel Toe Western Boot

BenefitsDrawbacks
ComfortableNot waterproof
BreathableLong break-in period
Wide toe box

How it Compares to Others

These boots for cowgirls are great for western riding or ranch work. However, they aren’t the best option for wet conditions.

Expert Tips

The sole of your boot can make a big difference to your comfort and safety. Find out which boot sole is the best in this video.

What Other Equestrians Say About Ariat Women’s Krista Pull-on Steel Toe Western Boot

Jamie loves her boots – “Great fit and comfortable. Use these for work and just working around the yard. Even though they are steel-toed they’re fairly lightweight.”

Ariat Women's Krista Pull-on Steel Toe Work Boot, Dark Tan, 10 5E US
  • WOMEN WORK BOOTS: These women’s work boots always keep you going even on the busiest days. Soft and comfortable to wear, these boots with performance technology excel on the job delivering high performance and unmatched luxury in a western flair.
  • LEATHER CONSTRUCTION: Manufactured from premium leather and mesh lining, these work boots are durable and have outstanding breathability. Rated ASTM F2413-11 F/I/75 C/75 EH, the safety steel toe keeps you protected from tough tugs.
  • 4LR TECHNOLOGY: Designed with Ariat’s innovative Four-Layer Rebound (4LR) system footbed and Duratread outsole, this western boot provides incredible support and stability to reduce foot fatigue and ensures comfort, so that you stay active and productive all day long.
  • U-TURN ENTRY: Use Ariat’s revolutionary U-turn entry system for easy wearing with a 90-degree heel. Regardless of foot shape and sizes, these boots fit all, giving a true fit with easy entry and exit flexibility.
  • SCIENCE OF INNOVATION: Ariat excels in advanced technologies to deliver products that outperform in various conditions. Partnering with world-class biomechanical research groups and testing labs, Ariat strives to improve performance, comfort, and durability.

How to Choose the Best Steel Toe Horse Riding Boots?

When choosing the best steel toe horse riding boots there are a few things you can do to help make sure you get the perfect pair.

1-Boot Purpose

Figure out the main use you’ll want your boots for. Do you want steel toe boots mainly for horse riding or will you wear them doing work on the farm more often?

This will help you narrow down the style of boot and the sole it has. For riding, you want to make sure the sole can safely fit into your western saddle’s stirrups.

All steel toe boots should have minimum protection. According to Westfield Foot – “The shoes should be strong enough to protect your toes and feet from falling objects. Or from objects that may roll over your feet or toes.” [2]

2-Boot Fit

Having a steel toe can affect the fit of the boot. You want to make sure the boot’s toe shape is wide enough for your toes to fit comfortably.

Also, some steel toe boots have other safety features, like metatarsal protection. MetGaurds can make the boot feel stiff or change how it fits. You might have to consider getting a size bigger.

Michigan Foot Doctors recommends comfortable boots that have a “strong outsole it will take more pressure” and “It must have room for a strong insole within the shoe to take pressure off of the foot.” [1]

FAQs

Can you wear steel toe boots around horses?

Yes, you can wear steel toe boots around horses. In fact, the University of Kentucky Equine Program recommends you should always wear these types of boots when working on the ground around horses. [3]

How much weight can steel toe boots handle?

The amount of weight steel toe boots can handle can very. But those with ASTM ratings can handle up to 2,500 pounds of compression.

Are steel toe shoes OSHA approved?

Many steel toe shoes meet OSHA requirements. But if it is not clear on the boots you want, always check with the manufacturer.

Should steel toe boots cover all toes?

Yes, steel toe boots should cover all of your toes but there must be enough room to prevent compression or pinching of your toes.

Are steel toe boots dangerous?

Steel toe boots are not dangerous. They help prevent or lessen serious injuries.

Conclusion

I hope you found a pair of horse riding boots with steel toes that are perfect for you in my top pick review guide.

Steel toe boots can definitely save your feet from serious injury when working on a farm or around horses. One thing you should never do is wear open shoes like sandals.

Person riding a horse on a white saddle with black riding boot s on under title best steel toe horse riding boots

What are your favorite steel toe riding boots? Please share below!

References

1. Podiatrist Recommended Work Boots [BEST Work Boots]. Podiatrists & Foot Doctors. Published May 31, 2021. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://www.michiganfootdoctors.com/podiatrist-work-boots/

2. Important Foot Safety Tips for National Safety Month. Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://www.westfieldfoot.com/podiatrist-blog/2021/6/1/important-foot-safety-tips-for-national-safety-month

3. Footwear | Equine Programs. equine.ca.uky.edu. Accessed May 20, 2022. https://equine.ca.uky.edu/saddle-up-safely/footwear#:~:text=While%20cowboy%20boots%20or%20ropers

Siun L
Siun L

Siun is an all-around animal lover, with a passion for horses. She grew up in the United States, competing in the hunters, equitation, and jumpers. Now living in Ireland, she competes with her own showjumping horses. She is experienced in the care and training of horses, as well as teaching riding lessons. She loves to combine her love for horses with her work. When not working, Siun will be found at the stables, rain or shine.
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