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Stay with me here. I’ve always had a fascination with Western movies and cowboys. I feel like I would have fitted in well with that kind of lifestyle and I LOVE the fashion, even though it’s not really in mainstream fashion trends right now. So if there’s ever a chance that the cowboy boots become trendy again, here’s a guide on picking out the best ones.
Cowboy boots originated in Southwestern America during the mid-1800s and have remained extremely popular over the years. These days, both men and women across the globe wear cowboy boots. This fashionable footwear is comfortable, stylish and durable. A good pair can last for many years if cared for properly.
Of all western boots, the typical cowboy boots are very common and highly recognized. With a heel type that is a little lower than the heels on genuine western riding boots, these western cowboy boots are ready for walking or riding. Generally, the shaft of most cowboy boots extends up to mid-calf, with the boot height at about 30 centimetres. Consider Tecovas cowboy boots as your best option for day-to-day wear, when you need to sit in the saddle or when you want to strike up some quick dance moves on the dance floor.
Western Riding Boots
Designed especially for working in the saddle or horseback riding, Western riding boots are the preferred boots for most of the cowboys and cowgirls who are performers in horse shows or rodeos. The high-angled heels of the western riding boots help to keep the rider’s feet from slipping through the stirrups, while the smooth leather soles help to prevent hitching in the stirrups should the rider fall. The tapered toe allows the boot to slide easily in and out of stirrups. Additionally, nearly all western riding boots come with a mid-calf height shaft, which offers protection for the legs from brush and thorns and against pinching in the saddle.
These are the newer creation of western boots. Designed and named accordingly, ropers assist rodeo cowboys in the roping of calves during competitions. In a ‘calf roping,’ event cowboys on horses chase the calves and rope them, after which, they dismount and run down the tight rope to tie the calves. The ropers style boot with its shorter heel works perfectly for calf roping events.
The heels of the roper are similar to that of English riding boots with height a little over an inch. This low heel is usually called “walking heel”. Roper boot heels are usually squared, thereby, creating a 30-degree angle between the heel and the sole. Designed with the lowest height of all cowboy boots, the shaft of ropers are a few inches above the ankle. Almost all roper boots have a round toe, but some are lace-up boots with pliable soles to provide a comfy fit.
Western Work Boots
Western work boots generally have a somewhat lower or roper-style heel, which is best suited for walking instead of riding. Western work boots have treaded soles and some rubber surface for grip. They also have cushioned mid-sole for absorbing shock. Usually made from cowhide or other less costly material, western work boots are less pricey when compared to other cowboy boots, and not much creativity goes into producing these boots, which are usually designed more for functionality.
Western Fashion Boots
These are available in several different styles, height and design. In this particular western boot style, the shaft is made from synthetic materials instead of genuine leather. Western fashion boots have a taller, knee-high, highly decorated and colourful shaft and extremely pointed toe. The ones with bright colours and the old-fashioned flair of Roy Rogers and early Hollywood are called vintage boots. These boots are not recommended for working or horseback riding purposes. They are more suited for out of town purposes.
Shopping For Cowboy Boots
Sizing issues – There is no standardization of sizes because every company uses its own lathes or foot-shaped moulds to design their boots, and this is a well-kept secret by each company. Shopping online for cowboy boots is hard because of the sizing problem. A particular size from one manufacturer may fit very well, while the same size from the competitor may pinch and cause discomfort.
Narrow toes – The current extreme taper seen on many boots is a new stylistic development, but is also an impractical one. If you have broad feet, check out boots with the taper starting somewhat close to the toe, which do not narrow off abruptly. If the toe is tight, then the boot will chafe your toes while you are walking or rub against your toe bone and cause aching in your toe.
Break-in time – A cowboy boot’s stiff sides and high shafts will take some time to break-in. Choose a new boot where your heel fits somewhat loosely to ensure you have slippage for your heel as the sides break in, if ignored you’ll get pinched heels once the sides break in.
In general, these are just a few minor downsides to cowboy boots. You can easily overcome these if you are a savvy and timely shopper. While this may require a bit more work than shopping for a new pair of dress shoes, it is worth the time. Read more about cowboy boots here.
Boot Care – Most western boots are usually made of one type of leather or another, and as such, each different leather requires its own specific care requirements. Snakeskin boots, for example, may need a moist cloth for cleaning, while boots made from cowhide will need polishing and shining for a great look. Remember to read and follow the care instructions properly so you can take proper care of your cowboy boots, which will allow you to continue wearing them for many years.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post. This post has been part pre-written.