Galloway cattle are naturally polled. The most visible characteristics of the Belted Galloway are its long hair coat and the broad white belt that completely encircles the body. Its coarse outer coat helps shed the rain, and its soft undercoat provides insulation and waterproofing, enabling the breed to happily overwinter outside. Black Belted Gallaways are most prominent, but Dun and Red Belted Gallaways are also recognized by breed societies, the latter being comparatively rare and sought after. A female Belted Galloway cannot be registered in the Herd Book if it has white above the dew claw other than the belt, but can be registered in the Appendix. A bull can only be registered in the Herd book if it has no other white than the belt.
Bulls weigh from 770kg to 1045kg with the average being 820kg. Cows weigh from 450kg to 675kg with the average being 565kg. Calves generally weight from 132.2kg to 198.2kg. Belted Gallaways are generally of a quiet temperament, but still maintain a strong maternal instinct and will protect a calf against perceived threats.
Belted Gallaways are well-suited for rough grazing land and will utilize coarse grasses other breeds would shun. They are able to maintain good condition on less than ideal pasture, and produce a high quality beef product on grass alone. The USDA Cycle IV Germ Plasm Evaluation Program at the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) showed that Galloway crosses placed at the top of the chart for flavor, juiciness and tenderness when compared to eleven other breeds.