Broadly speaking, cowboy boots fall into these categories:
Buckaroo - a tall, high-heeled, sometimes flashy boot for those who spend lots of time in the stirrup. Usually 16” tall (or more), with a 1.75-2.25” heel undershot with a western profile and probably a spur lip, certainly a steel shank, and usually scalloped tops. The Buckaroo Toe would have historically been pointed or tight round, but nowadays might be more square to fit recent style preferences. Sometimes a variation will have a “stovepipe” top, a top with no scallop and a decorative collar.
Roper - a shorter boot with a lower heel usually ½” to ¾” and flat, with vertical profile (not undershot), very little arch, and typically a top that is 10 or 11”. A Roper Toe is usually round but can be square. This boot would be very much like wearing a good leather work shoe. The reason it is called a “roper” is that when a steer roper or wrestler jumps from the saddle to the ground to wrestle or tie a roped steer, he does not want to break his ankle with a high heel. However, many folks who dress with some degree of western style will have a refined pair of “ropers” to wear with business attire.
Bronc Boot - a less common boot with a higher (1.5-1.75”) heel- again often with spur lip, shorter top- 11 to 13”, and very deep scallop. This Bronc boot is for the bronc rider who appreciates the shank but needs the boot to release more reliably from his foot if he fouls up in a stirrup or bronc rigging and does not want to get dragged by the runaway bronc, hence the shorter top and deeper scallop.
Traditional Western - for lack of a better name, the Traditional Western Boot is the more common and somewhat more refined cowboy boot. The heel is somewhat western profile, usually 1.25-1.75”, top usually about 14”, may have pull-ears rather than pull holes, and sometimes has a more refined leather work and stitch pattern. Historically, the Traditional Western Boot would have had a pointed or sharp round toe, but nowadays we see more squared off toes. The Traditional Western Boot is a good work boot no doubt, but also could begin life as the “town boot.” It may or may not have a spur lip.
PeeWee - this boot usually has a shorter top- 10” or less, with a high western heel and often has more inlay and stitch work perhaps with wingtips, buckstitching, broguing or a fancy counter. The PeeWee is a flashier boot with a firm place in western folklore. This was popular in the 50’s with the Roy Rogers craze and can often be seen in photos from that time. We still make (and have made to our specs) boots like this. People still love them and they also look good if a lady is wearing a skirt or shorts (though men wear them, too).
Polo Boot - this is a taller boot, usually 16” or more, and often has a lower (sometimes almost Roper) heel that is more like an English Riding Boot, but the top will look Western. Polo players like this boot and will wear it with their polo jeans “shotgunned” (stuffed in the boot top) and the high top will protect their leg from the stirrup leather and the punishment of bumping and sliding against the other polo players and mounts.