Ariat Square Toe Boots vs. Pointed Boots: What to Know Before Buying

Posted by Jackson's Western Store on Nov 16th 2023

Ariat makes a ton of high-quality boots designed for comfort, support, and protection. On top of that, cowboy boots have been around for a long time, and there’s a good deal of variety in materials, styles, and even toe shapes.

On that note, you might be wondering what the point of all these different toe shapes is. It could be fashion, right?

Well, for some, perhaps, but for most of us, there’s a function to the different toe shapes. This post will take a closer look at two common styles (Ariat square toe boots and pointed boots) as well as why they’re designed the way they are.

What’s the “Point” of Cowboy Boots?

Ariat square toe boots

Traditionally, cowboy boots have had rounded or pointed toes. The main purpose of this feature is to make it easier to slip your toe into a stirrup, making these boots suitable for horseback riding.

Cowboy boots have additional features that specialize them for horseback riding in addition to pointed toes. They have high shafts, which protect the rider’s lower leg from scrub and brambles, are made without laces which could get tangled in scrub, and have leather soles, which also make it easier for the rider to slip his or her foot into the stirrup.

It is important to note that while a pointed toe is a useful feature for equestrian pursuits, some sharply pointed cowboy boots are a little less comfortable when you’re on your feet because there is limited room in the toe box.

Additionally, while many modern cowboy boots with pointed toes are still suitable for horseback riding, in some instances, this feature is preserved for the purpose of fashion. Some cowboy boots have sharply pointed S-toes or snip-toes, which, for the most part, are made for aesthetic purposes.

Sharply pointed Ariat S-toe and snip-toe boots are more for making an impression than they are designed for function, and so, for those that adopt formal western wear, these styles of boots are considered more suitable, as they create a dressier appearance.

When Are Square Toe Ariat Boots a Better Option?

On the other hand, we have Ariat square toe boots, which are designed differently from boots with pointed toes for several specific reasons.

The main purpose of Ariat square toe boots is to provide more room in the toe box. This makes these boots much more comfortable for physical labor as work boots, as they don’t pinch the toes or restrict their movement.

Square toe boots are not just more comfortable for industrial or ranch work than boots with pointed toes; in most instances, they have more room than round toed workboots, too, making them better for guys with larger, wider feet.

Ariat square toe boots are also (generally) a better choice if you do a lot of walking. Traditional cowboy boots are snug and put a lot of pressure on the wearer’s midsole and around the ball of the foot, making walking for extended periods of time uncomfortable for some people.\

It should also be noted that Ariat makes more than one type of western boot with a square toe. They make sport-wide square toe boots, with an even wider toe box, as well as “cutter” toe boots, which, while technically square, are fairly narrow and don’t have nearly as much room in the toe box. No two pairs are exactly alike.

Of course, that is not to suggest that there isn’t an aesthetic appeal of its own with square toe boots. They can be worn as a Western fashion statement just like boots with pointed toes. It just depends on what your purpose is.

                  Ariat square toe boots

Some Additional Pre-Purchase Considerations

Ultimately, both Ariat square toe and round toe boots are designed for comfort, support, and style, and there is a wide catalog to choose from, especially when you shop with us (we have Michigan’s largest assortment of western boots for sale).

The style you choose should suit your intended purpose. If you intend to be doing a lot of walking or need a new pair of pull-on work boots, a pair of Ariat square toe boots might be the best option.

If you’re only buying for style and need a new pair of western dress boots, then maybe a pair of Ariats with pointed toes and traditional decorative stitching is the right choice for you.

Either way, before you buy, you should consider what other features you need in a pair of Ariat western boots.

Ariat boots are also made with advanced technological features such as 4LR, which improves rebound, fighting fatigue while walking and working, and ATS, (or Advanced Torque Stability) which also combats fatigue. Look through the product specifications (or call us if you aren’t sure) to make sure the boots offer the support, protection, and comfort-enhancing features you want.

Ariat boots are also available with varying degrees of breathability, waterproof protection, insulation, and more. If you’re going to be getting a pair of work boots, consider the conditions on the job sites where you work and choose a pair of Ariat boots with appropriate features and protection.

Many Ariat work boots also feature a safety toe. If you get a pair of boots with a safety toe, it’s worthwhile to buy them in person and try them on first because a pair of work boots with a safety toe and inadequate room in the toe box will be extremely uncomfortable, if not unusable. In this case, sometimes it makes sense to get a square toe or a slightly wider size than you normally wear.

On that note, if you’re in our area, come and visit us in our shop before buying a pair of Ariat boots. We offer free fitting, stretching, and break-in services with each pair of boots - not really necessary with a pair of work boots, but if you end up choosing a traditional pair of leather cowboy boots, the service is definitely worth it.

(We Have the Accessories, Too!)

In addition to a wide range of Ariat boots, we also carry Ariat caps, western jeans, and western shirts. If you’re getting that new pair of Ariats to add to your western wardrobe, and not for work, match them with a new western shirt and Ariat cap as a nod to your favorite western brand!