When you think of the old Wild West, what usually stands out are scenes in the pubs, horseback riding, and guns. But gone are those days and what remains is the undying legacy of western cowboy fashion, especially wearing custom cowboy boots. More than a form of folk art and popular trend, it’s also a form of functional clothing.
You don’t have to be a cowboy to wear a pair of cowboy boots, neither are you required to learn horseback riding. But you have to make yourself familiar with the art of wearing them.
Get To Know the Western Cowboy Boots
Cowboy boots can be expensive compared to regular daily shoes, but when your cowboy boots are made with quality, they could last for many years, which also make them a good bargain. What’s more is that these boots are custom-made so that you can have your own unique pair.
If you’re a new cowboy boots enthusiast, here are some features that you should know:
- Basic Feature
- Boot Shaft – A classic western cowboy boot has a shaft height of about 10 to 14 inches. It can have different designs both in its body and the opening.
- No Laces – Cowboy boots are meant to be pulled on and off, so you won’t find any laces to tighten it. This is more or less for safety purposes when riding a horse, but the boot-makers have stayed true to this design.
- Cuban Heel – Genuine cowboy boots have a heel height of not below ½ inch. The usual range is about 1 to 1.5 inch
- Toe Shape types
Cowboy boots have a distinct taper that makes it easier for the wearer to slip in and out of a stirrup easily. There are four basic toe shapes:
- Leather used to make cowboy boots are mainly from animal skin.
Here are some of the common choices
- Calfskin – This is the most readily available material. It’s also considered the standard for comfort and durability.
- Horsehide – It’s tougher than cowhide or calfskin and is made for tough jobs. It’s also more expensive.
- Snakeskin – Usually made from python, rattlesnake, and anaconda. Python skin is the strongest, rattlesnake skin is a tough one, while anaconda skin is the most delicate.
- Alligator Hide – Tough and hard outside with soft membranes in between the scales.
- Crocodile Hide– Mostly the same with an alligator skin but more expensive because it’s not readily available.
- Stingray Skin– This one is rough, thick, and very tough, plus it’s waterproof.
- Lizard Hide – Typically made from the belly of iguanas or ringtails. It’s well in demand for its patterns and durability that often lasts longer than that of alligator hide.
- Ostrich Hide – Soft and comfortable yet easy to maintain.
How to Choose the Perfect Cowboy Boots
Now that you’re familiar with the basic form of the cowboy boots, it’s time for a definitive guide in choosing your first pair. Here are important things you should consider:
- Standout Factor – Many wonderfully-crafted cowboy boots lined up at the boot store shelves are enticing to the eyes, but there will always be one that appeals to your liking in an instant.
- The Toe Shape – To be sure that you can comfortably wear your new boots, you have to consider its toe shape. Choose one that matches with the shape of your toe.
- The Heel Height – The rule of thumb is that shorter heels are for taller men and taller heels are for shorter men. Take your daily activities into consideration as well and estimate the height of your heels.
- Perfect Fit – When buying cowboy boots, its best to try them on. Not only will you be able to find out if it fits like a glove, but you’ll also feel if it’s comfortable or not. One recommendation is to size down because once you constantly wear the cowboy boots, it’ll eventually stretch later on.
- Boot Store – Buy only genuine cowboy boots from trusted and well-reputed boot makers and stores. Doing so will guarantee that you’re buying the best quality, uniquely designed, and durable cowboy boots.
A cowboy boot takes a long time to finish. Cowboy boot makers pour their time, energy, and passion in making every boot a masterpiece. Buying a pair means you appreciate the boot makers’ efforts. Once you have your own pair, make sure you’ll value them and give them proper care and maintenance.