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What do your choice of farm boots say about you?

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Those boots were made for talking — and here’s what your boots say about you!

I recently watched a video by the Sticks Brand on what your boots say about you. As the owner of a few different pairs of boots, it really got me thinking!

There are boots for walking through mud, walking through manure, walking up mountains, boots for dancing, for dressing up, and for casual occasions. There is a pair of boots for every occasion! But what do those boots say about you?

lacrosse alpha range
LaCrosse Footwear

Let’s start with the classic rubber and neoprene boots. If I catch you on the dairy farm in these kinds of boots, I know you mean business. Often referred to generically as “muck” boots, Muck is actually one of the manufacturers of this style of boot, along with companies like LaCrosse, Bogs, and Dryshod.

But you’ll have to be sure to leave the “muck” boots at the gate, because people will definitely judge you if you wear them outside of the farm! Unless, that is, you’re wearing rain boots, which have come in and out of fast fashion a few times as a lifestyle clothing choice.


best work boots for farmers
Image by Garrick Gillette, Shutterstock

Next come the Cats, the Tims, and the Carolinas. These boots are made for dropping things on your feet! These are the boots that you wear when you work in a shop, carry heavy things around or are tasked with training a stubborn spring heifer.

They’re a little clunky and very heavy, so they aren’t a good everyday choice unless you’re working, they’re not very fashion forward! But if you wear these boots you’re definitely a hard worker!


cowgirl-boots-kid-AbigailS
Image by Abigail S, Shutterstock

Of course, we have to talk about cowboy boots. Cowboy boots are also meant for dropping (like it’s hot!). Although the Western movies show people working around the farm in the pointed toe, fat heel cowboy boots, that’s not what they’re for. Cowboy boots are cute, they’re fun, and a really great dress shoe option.

But when it comes to working in them, you can’t just grab any boots off the shelf. Ariat makes some great cowboy boots for working, but they’re a little heavier and less dressy than the classic cowboy boots. If cowboy boots are your go-to dress shoe, you’re probably pretty cool, but if you only wear boots with white dresses and to country concerts, you might be trying too hard.


Irish Setter Crosby
Image by Bob Zubkoff

Hiking boots are my personal favorite. I think a waterproof pair of hiking boots can get you through any day, and any farm. Now, what’s the popular opinion about hiking boots on a farm? Hiking boots are for function, not for fashion. Hiking boots are really nothing but tacky. If you’re a devoted hiking boots wearer, I’m with you, we are tacky together!


Image courtesy of Tingley

Tingleys are the forgotten boot. If you don’t know what Tingly is, it’s a company that makes slip-on, reusable boot covers. Tingleys are super popular for farmers who work in dirty or muddy conditions, but want to wear something comfortable. Under those Tinglys you can wear whatever you want, from Carolinas to Crocs!


As you can see from the list above, most good boots are made for work and dangerous activities. However, there are others out there that are a whole lot more style over substance. 

Exhibit A: Ugg boots. You are not prepared to do anything wearing a pair of Uggs — there’s no traction, no protection, and they are definitely not waterproof or washable. Uggs may be cozy, but leave the Uggs for lounging, not for working!

Combat boots and Doc Martens — these are in fashion today but are not optimal boots for the things we do around the farm. They’re huge, they’re stiff, and they never seems to really get broken in. My opinion: They are some of the most unfunctional boots around!

The duck boot — which if you don’t know them by name are the boots that feature a rubber lower section and a leather upper section. Although they’re pretty popular, they really aren’t a great boot. They’re cute and they’re waterproof, but the traction and insulation is a no-go. They were not made for work, just for fashion.

Everyone has their boot of choice, and all boots are good for something (except for Uggs — they’re not good for much)! But remember, pick your boot wisely, because boots speak a lot about a person!


Elizabeth Maslyn is a born and raised dairy farmer from Upstate New York. Her passion for agriculture has driven her to share the stories of farmers with all consumers, and promote agriculture in everything she does. She works hard to increase food literacy in her community, and wants to share the stories of her local farmers.

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