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Cowboy Boots

The style that we see constantly in western films, country music awards and in concerts rocked by beloved artists like Taylor Swift and many others - the cowboy boots is making a comeback, and we are more excited than ever. These cowboy boots have been a staple wear in country sides and rodeo but with times the fashion wear have started making its statement in every place. Major brands have started introducing their own versions of cowboy boots showcasing it in catwalks during the fashion month.

Though the style is much prevalent now it has long been in existence. Though we know it has a story that traces back to a long time but it is controversial to a degree that even historians feel uncomfortable pinning down. As for many famous styles there are several stories and legends that claim to be the origin of this timeless style. As per the stories involved the first pair of cowboy boots were first made by a shoemaker in either Texas or Kansas. Whatever be the place it started the story proceeds in the same manner.

In 1865 the Civil War has just ended. The people were going back to their normal post war lives and the cowboys in charge of the battle noted that the boots they wore during the war didn't suit the cattle work. The war boots were not good for the long hours in the trail with the cattle since the trail was exactly not easy to bear with thanks to the bushes, rivers and creeks interrupting the path. The long hours demanded a different type of boots.

By 1870 a model of the existing boots but with some changes were made by a cobbler on a request from a Colorado cowboy. The new model had pointy toes that helps to easily get on the stirrup, taller shaft that protects the leg and under slung heels so that the foot doesn't slip out from the stirrup during the extended hours of riding. The knee high design of the cowboy boot was developed to provide protection against snakes, barbed wires and other such dangers. The main change was that the new cowboy boots were made of sturdy leather that protected the wearer's leg and also lasted for a long time.

The story is still more exciting and better yet said the same in two countries England and France. This story begins with St. Crispin who is now the patron saint for shoemakers. October 25th is celebrated as St. Crispin's day and in the past the shoemakers closed their shops for the day as per tradition. St. Crispin was reportedly born in a wealthy Roman family and some time after he converted to Christianity. This was then not approved by his family and society which had him become a shoemaker. He preached gospels and made shoes in his spare time until he was put to death for his beliefs in France by 288 A.D. This is the French version of the story and England has its own version. St. Hugh the English counterpart of St. Crispin was born into a royal family and married a Christian princess. He, too, converted to Christianity and was disowned. Thrown into poverty he resorted to preaching gospels in the day and making shoes in the night later for which he was put to death by 300 A.D. Legend has it that his shoemaker friends made a shoemaker's toolkit from his dried bones in his memory. The common thing between these stories is the theme of nobility and the heel of the cowboy boots were even considered a mark of nobility. The heels were incorporated so that it aids with the riding. Mongol tribesmen, excellent horsemen were known to wear high heeled wooden cowboy boots. Maintaining the horses and caring for them required wealth and so these horsemen were considered to a part of nobility. Thus, naturally well heeled shoes soon became a symbol of wealth.

Soon the people who immigrated into America spread the high heeled riding boots culture. After the civil war the southerners who emigrated to Texas to escape the devastation of the war carried with them the tradition. By 1790 paired lasts were reintroduced and with the start of new century cowboy boots became very fashionable. By 1815 when the First Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo Wellington boots became the popular style of the time. The difference between the cowboy boots is that the new style had heels that were low cut and the tops only calf high. With changing times the Wellington style underwent many changes.

But the cowboy boots we possess today have taken inspiration from two major styles of cowboy boots - the Hessian and the Wellington. The Wellington was made of black or brown leather with side seams and small heels and was of British origin. The Hessian style was introduced by Germans and this cowboy boots had a v cut in the front with them ending a some inches under the knee.

By this time the shoe companies had started taking the style seriously since they saw its potential. By 1883 a shoe company called Lucchese specialized in the design of these cowboy boots and spread the style widely. Even today Lucchese made cowboy boots sell for several hundred dollars. The custom made cowboy boots are always in demand. This is because of the fact that working with leather is an art in itself and takes many years for a person to master. Thus, a cowboy boots that is made of good leather paired with a tasteful craftsmanship is worth a fortune especially in this time and age where art is taken seriously. These custom made cowboy boots also last longer and when some exotic skins are added then it becomes something truly special.

After the cowboy boots came into the American soil boot makers dedicated time in making the style simple so that most could afford it. This style only became popular after they became less expensive to produce so that were available to farmworkers and ranchers too. Then the industrial era set in and manufacturing of these cowboy boots became more efficient and less time consuming.

By 1930s the practicality of the design was no longer preferred and the sole purpose was the fashion aspect of the cowboy boots. Hollywood widely adopted this style and many films came out with the actors featuring this style riding on a horseback. Soon the country music and rodeos became popular and with the style. Thus, entertainment industry played a great part in promoting the style among common people. Americans soon demanded cowboy boots of different colors, shapes and styles which made it a profitable investment.

There are a lot of models available now in the shops and malls but customization have always been sought after. History has it that every rancher or anyone who bought a new pair of cowboy boots would always take it to a cobbler to have them custom fitted. There are five basic designs of cowboy boots that are available now.

The classic western boot is the classic and the most popular of all the cowboy boots design that we know of. This classic cowboy boots have a one and half inch heel which is angled that helps you keep steady on the saddle. They have low heel design compared to other western style boots but this helps the wearer to ride or walk around without any pain in the feet. The overall height of the boot is around 12 inches with a shaft that ends near the mid calf section of the leg. This design does not have laces and has a toe box for protection of the leg if a horse were to step on it which often happens to people who are familiar with riding.

Ropers take inspiration from the classic Western boots design and has some similarities with the English riding boots. This was originally designed for Rodeo cowboys who had to perform calf roping events. This event involved the cowboy riding the horse behind the calf have to rope it and then continue riding the horse and run down to stop the calf from moving. This complicated procedure can be carried out smoothly if the rider wears a short heeled cowboy boots. Therefore, the ropers were provided so that they can quickly rope calves during shows and competitions thus making it easier for them. Ropers have the lowest heel height among all designs with it being only one inch. The heel is mostly squared off and the rest perpendicular to form a 90-degree angle. The shaft of the ropers also rests only above the ankle. The ropers feature a round toe shape with a flexible sole that makes it comfortable to wear. Some designs also have a lace up design that have a proper ankle support thus making walking in it an easy endeavor.

Stockman style is similar to the classic cowboy boot style and have a short and wide heel that is even less than the classic style. This is the perfect style for a person who spends long hours riding. The short and wide heel provides the support to be constantly on your feel without feeling any pain. These cowboy boots are higher than the other designs and the scallop reaches a higher. This style has a detailed and colorful stitching and has a wide toe box and rubber sole. The major difference between this style and the classic one is the deeper scallop.

Western work boots are used for practical purposes and have a less cost than the other styles. The artistry level these designs are low and cheap low hide leather is used. These are best for walking than riding with a heel height almost similar to ropers. The soles are mostly made of tread or traction rubber and midsoles are cushioned for shock absorption. As for the scallop it ends about the mid calf portion of the leg.

Buckaroo models of cowboy boots is considered the most fashionable among all and is the best choice if you need attention. They measure about 14 inches in height and the shaft almost reaches the knee portion. They have elaborate detailing and flair that makes it perfect for rodeo shows. The shafts of these cowboy boots have detailed stitches, and they come with high heels that measure more than 2 inches. This heel height makes it ideal for riding rather than walking.

As for the ensemble jeans work well with the cowboy boots. Dark colored and close fitting jeans that is of proper length so that it covers the cowboy boots are the best pick. Also, the jeans' inseam length should be at least two inches more than your size since it needs to accommodate the boots.

If you are looking for a stylish outfit a collared look best complements your cowboy boots. This style shirts have a simple button down that is either long or short sleeved. As for t-shirts avoid wearing them with the cowboy boots since the styles do not match making you look tacky and unorganized.

For a full blown cowboy look add a cowboy hat to your ensemble. Cowboy hats are mostly made of straw or felt. Felt hats are expensive when compared to their straw counterparts but remember they are not practical in summers since they retain heat. Straw hats are cheap and can keep you cool even under hot temperatures. The only drawback is that they do not last for a long time as in felt hats. There are many hat shapes to choose from but the most popular style is the cattleman. Derpy and gus are also other styles that are prevalent.

Cowboy boots are an everyday wear regardless of being it a business environment or casual wear but this is applicable only in Texas. Others who don't live in Texas need not restrict the usage since many fashion forward cities embrace the style like in Texas. You can derive the best of its use when you attend rodeo and other casual events.

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