You can never go wrong with Levi’s! Established in 1873, the brand has come a long way since it created the first-ever denim overalls for workers.
Today, the clothing company has expanded its line of jeans, designing a wide variety of styles that quickly became popular among workers, musicians, artists, celebrities, and cowboys. I know that many ranchers love its jeans for their comfort and durability.
If you’re looking for the best Levis for cowboy boots, consider these three essential factors:
- Cut: “Cut” refers to the leg’s shape. Bootcut is the top choice for those who want to fit the pants over the boots, since these trousers widen slightly around the knees down to the ankles.
That said, there are other “cuts” that can also offer the same function. The straight cut, for instance, features a straight silhouette from the top down to the bottom of the leg, while the relaxed or wide cut is more expansive than a regular straight cut.
Note that skinny jeans won’t fit over your boots. However, they are the best option if you need to tuck your pants in.
- Length: Your trousers should cover the entire length of the boot shaft but not to a point where you would step on them. You can tell that your pants are the right length if their bottom-most part is half an inch above your boot’s heels. Alternatively, you can also wear pants that rest slightly above the boot’s instep.
- Color: Most fashion gurus recommend darker shades for dressy occasions. On the other hand, medium blue washes are more suitable for casual wear. Dark colors are advisable for those who work in the ranch as they hide the dirt well.
The jeans’ cut, length, and color can make or break your outfit. However, I know that shoppers also think about functionalities, durability, and comfort.
Don’t worry; we’ll get into these later. In the meantime, let me share my take on the five best Levis to wear with your cowboy boots.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Levis for Cowboy Boots
- Which Levi’s Style is Ideal for Wearing With Cowboy Boots?
- Factors to Consider When Buying Levi’s for Cowboy Boots
Top 5 Levis for Cowboy Boots
1. Levi’s Men’s 505 Regular Fit Jeans
Designed with a regular fit and straight cut, the 505 is many ranchers’ favorite Levi’s jeans for boots. I like that it is available in various colors, but my go-to has always been the dark washes.
They make my outfits look dressier while also concealing the grass stains and dirt well. At the same time, I can pair them with any type of shirt and shoes.
At any rate, these pants measure 18” around the knees and taper slightly downward with a leg opening of 16 inches. Thankfully, this model comes in various lengths. For this 505, I opted for the 36-inch long jeans as they allow me to “stack” my pants to cover my cowboy boots up to the ankles.
Made of pure cotton denim, these trousers provide optimal breathability and comfort. Even though they are not considered “stretchable” jeans, the fabric does not hinder my movement. As such, it is easy for me to climb ladders or ride horses.
Another reason why I love this brand is that it is highly durable. My old Levi’s jeans have retained their shape even after years. Based on my observation, however, some users complained about inconsistent sizing. What I mean by this is that they would order the same size but, for some reason, the pants fit differently.
2. Levi’s Men’s 501 Original Fit Jeans
Although the iconic 501 has gone through some changes since it was made in 1873, you can expect to see its defining features unaltered as the company decided to keep them. Its button closures, copper rivets, tabs, and shrink-to-fit fabric—all of these things made it Levi’s best-selling pants to this day.
Once broken in, these jeans became extra-comfy and easy to move in. Unlike stretchable versions, however, these 100% cotton pants can maintain their shape far longer.
Moreover, their regular-straight silhouette makes them versatile. I can wear these jeans with t-shirts or button-down shirts, and pair them with sneakers, dress shoes, or boots. Plus, they come in different colors and washes. Now, the question is: Are these good Levis for boots?
Well, they can look a bit messy with wider shafts, since the fabric around the leg area piles at the top of the boots. In my opinion, they fit over taller shafts better as there is more material for the fabric to lie on top of.
Another issue that I want to bring up is that the button closures take more time to don and doff. Don’t get me wrong—I love them because buttons are more durable than zippers. But I’m not gonna lie—they are certainly not the kind of jeans that I would wear when I’m in a rush.
3. Levi’s Men’s 517 Bootcut Jeans
Up next is the 517. Slim through the seat and thigh, the pants widen a bit from the knees down to the legs, creating an 18.25-inch opening. Although the description says that the jeans sit on the waist, mine sits slightly above it—but that’s not a problem! I think they are perfect for tall individuals.
Styling these jeans is pretty easy as they do not flare too much. They appear more straight-cut. Nevertheless, they provide ample space to cover boots with shafts of different heights and widths.
Note that the 517 comes in varying lengths. I chose the 36-inch pants to make sure that the bottom hems reach the top part of my heels. Other than that, they are available in dark, mid, and light washes to suit various occasions.
As with any pure cotton Levi’s jeans, the 517 boasts long-lasting durability without sacrificing comfort. Not to mention, they don’t get in the way when I ride a motorcycle or mount a horse. Considering all these features, I’m sure everyone will agree that these are the ultimate jeans for cowboy boots!
Just a heads-up: The fabric’s dye is prone to bleeding. I learned this the hard way after washing the jeans with a white shirt. Anyway, this is something that I managed to resolve by adding a cup of vinegar to a cold rinse.
4. Levi’s Men’s 513 Slim Straight Jeans
One of the reasons why I love pants with slimmer silhouettes—they appear more tailored and sophisticated. Not to be confused with skinny jeans, the slim fit is a bit more figure-hugging than the regular while also providing room to move comfortably. Levi’s 513 is an excellent example of this.
With a blend of cotton and elastane, these jeans can stretch without the need for a break-in period. Although it offers light and dark washes, I prefer the latter, specifically the “bastion” and “jet black.”
Whether I’m gardening or doing work in rough environments, they can hide the stains. They also look slick when I pair them with dress shirts and boots.
I’m sure that my readers would be wondering whether these slim-fit Levis jeans can stack up nicely with cowboy boots when I mentioned in the intro that classic and relaxed-fit trousers are recommended. For the most part, the 513 goes well with narrow shafts.
Of course, the design can limit one’s options regarding boots to pair with pants, but I’m still including it in my review. After all, not all cowboy-boot-wearing folks wear very wide shafts, and some body types look so much better in slim-fit pants.
The other thing to note is that these stretchable jeans may have trouble holding their shape after being worn for a couple of years.
5. Levi’s Men’s 514 Straight Fit Jeans
The Levi’s 514 is indeed a crowd favorite, especially among those who wear cowboy boots. Featuring a regular seat and thigh, it provides some wiggle room without looking baggy.
I have been riding motorcycles and horses, and they don’t give me a hard time in mounting. Plus, they sit a little lower than my waist. When I feel full after eating a lot, the pants don’t feel like they are restricting my tummy.
I’m giving these jeans extra points for the extra room around the legs. They maintain a classy straight-cut silhouette while also doing an excellent job of hiding leather shafts up to 14 inches tall. Its bottom hem rests about half an inch above the heel, which is perfect!
This particular model comes in khaki, as well as numerous shades of blues and grays that suit boots of any color. Moreover, I can wear them with casual tees and sneakers. They are a nice all-around pair of pants!
Unlike the 501, this is built with a zipper closure, so I can quickly put on these pants when I’m in a hurry. However, these jeans are made of stretchable fabric.
While they are comfortable from the get-go, these types are not as durable as pure cotton trousers. That said, let’s not forget that these are Levi’s. Even their stretchable denim fabrics last longer than other brands.
Which Levi’s Style is Ideal for Wearing With Cowboy Boots?
Levi’s designed the Western Fit Jeans specifically for cowboys. Besides the fact that it fits over the shaft of the boots due to its wider leg opening, it features bartack clipping guards to reinforce the leg opening and prevent damage.
Some readers asked if they could wear Levi’s 502 with cowboy boots. In my experience, this model can fit over the shafts, but they get a bit tight.
In general, remember these tips when selecting jeans:
- Avoid slim fits or skinny jeans, as they are too small to fit cowboy boots through.
- Regular/straight and wide/relaxed are suitable for shafts of medium widths.
- For extra-wide pairs, bootcut jeans are the optimal choice.
Factors to Consider When Buying Levi’s for Cowboy Boots
Earlier in the review, I described how some pants “sit on the waist” while others “sit slightly below the waist.” This description pertains to the jean’s “rise.”
In the world of denim pants, this term refers to the distance between the waistband and the center of the crotch seam. In other words, it creates an illusion as to where your waistline is.
There are three different types of rise:
- Low-rise: Sits below one’s waist
- Mid-rise: Sits on the waist
- High-rise: Sits above the waist
Although there are no hard and fast rules in choosing a “rise,” I highly recommend opting for one that accentuates your body type.
Typically, low-rise can make the wearer look top-heavy if they have long torsos and short legs. On the flip side, high-rise pants are more suitable for taller men. Try out each type to see which one looks better on you.
2. Fit and Comfort
Besides choosing between different leg shapes, consider how the pants fit around the seat and thigh. Today, Levi’s men’s jeans come in a wide variety of “fit,” namely slim, regular, relaxed, and athletic.
The 501, for instance, is the brand’s straight jeans with a regular seat and thigh. In the spectrum of “fit”, it’s right in the middle as it is neither loose nor tight.
By contrast, the 513 is built with a slimmer leg as well as seat and thigh even though it has the same straight cut as the 501.
On the opposite end is the 550, which features a baggy fit with a relaxed thigh.
Lastly, Levi 541 is made for men with athletic body types. It has a roomy seat and thigh, tapering slightly from the knee down.
3. Pure Denim vs. Stretch Denim
Normally, I would ask my readers whether they prioritize comfort or durability whenever they ask me, “What Levis do cowboys wear?”
That’s because most pants containing a mix of cotton and other materials are more flexible. Unfortunately, they lose strength and thickness over time.
On the other hand, 100% denim pants are comfier straight out of the box. These cotton pairs also withstand tearing well.
Ultimately, the choice will vary depending on how you want to wear your jeans. In most cases, mixed denim is better if you want your skinny-fitting jeans to hug your waist. But if you want your pants to survive under rugged conditions, go pure!
4. Button vs. Zip Closure
Most Levi’s jeans either have a button or zip fly. Although buttons are known to be more hard-wearing than zippers, pants with this type of closure are a bit cumbersome to put on.
Meanwhile, zippers are easy to use. However, they could get stuck mid-way as you pull them up or get undone on their own.
So, which one should you choose?
Well, it depends on the type of pants you’re buying and when you plan to use them. For instance, skinny jeans are typically constructed with zippers. With buttons, the fabric will bulge.
On the other hand, button closures are generally better if your job does not require you to change outfits quickly.
Denim brands do not follow one standard size chart. But even if you’re a fan of Levi’s and have shopped for jeans there all your life, it is best to measure yourself before buying anything.
After all, your waist might have changed in size without you noticing it. Besides that, stretch and pure denim jeans fit very differently.
Do you plan to wear your pants for horseback riding? In this case, you need to find one that does not hinder your movements, especially when you are mounting and dismounting.
The jeans do not have to be very loose-fitting—a classic fit or stretchy slim fit will do.
Given that our bodies come in different shapes and sizes, there is not a single model that can be considered the best Levis for cowboy boots. Some may prefer wearing regular straight cuts, while others like bootcut pants. Whatever you decide to get, what matters is that you feel comfortable wearing it.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.