Vintage Western & Cowboy Boots

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Cowboy boots refer to a specific style of riding boot, historically worn by cowboys. They have a high heel, rounded to pointed toe, high shaft, and, traditionally, no lacing. Cowboy boots are normally made from cowhide leather but are also sometimes made from "exotic" skins such as alligator, snake, ostrich, lizard, eel, elephant, sting ray, elk, buffalo, and the like.

There are two basic styles of cowboy boots, western (or classic), and roper. The western style is distinguished by a tall boot shaft, going to at least mid-calf, with an angled "cowboy" heel, usually over one inch high. A slightly lower, still angled, "walking" heel is also common. Although western boots can be customized with a wide variety of toe shapes, the classic design is a narrowed, usually pointed, toe.

A newer design, the "roper" style, has a short boot shaft that stops above the ankle but before the middle of the calf, with a very low and squared-off "roper" heel, shaped to the sole of the boot, usually less than one inch high. Roper boots are usually made with rounded toes, but, correlating with style changes in streetwear, styles with a squared toe are seen. The roper style is also manufactured in a lace-up design which often fits better around the ankle and is less likely to slip off, but these two features also create safety issues for riding.



ACME VINTAGE CUTOUT COWBOY BOOTS
ACME VINTAGE CUTOUT COWBOY BOOTS
ACME VINTAGE CUTOUT COWBOY BOOTS

ACME VINTAGE CUTOUT COWBOY BOOTS


HISTORY

No one really knows who the original inventor of cowboy boots was. According to several different stories and legends, the first pair of cowboy boots was made by either a shoemaker in Kansas, or by one in Texas. Either way, the story is still the same. After the Civil War was over in 1865, the cowboys who were driving cattle across the country discovered that they needed a different style of boots. The ones worn during the war just didn’t suit the long hours riding on the trails: blazing through the brush and brambles, splashing through creeks and rivers, and riding with their feet in stirrups for hours at a time. Around 1870 some ingenious cowboy took his boots to a shoemaker and asked for a pointy toe so he could get his foot into the stirrup more easily; a taller shaft to protect his legs; and a bigger, thicker, underslung heal so his foot wouldn’t come out of the stirrup during the rough riding on the trails. The knee-high design protected his legs from the thorns of mesquite trees, barbed wire, snakes, and other dangers. The cowboy boots were pulled on with long mule-ear straps but were loose enough on the top so that they could be wiggled out of easily if the cowboy was hung up in the stirrup and needed to get out in a hurry. The tough leather that the cowboy boots were made from also protected the cowboy’s ankles from being bruised by the wooden stirrups, and his legs from rubbing against the stirrup leathers. The cowboy boots were stitched on the outside to keep the leather from buckling and eventually rubbing against the cowboy’s leg.



FARMER RANCHER WESTERN LEATHER BOOTS
FARMER RANCHER WESTERN LEATHER BOOTS
FARMER RANCHER WESTERN LEATHER BOOTS



The high, underslung heel of the cowboy boot also served to protect the cowboy. He could dig that heel into the ground when pulling a stubborn mule or when leading his horse down a steep and rocky trail. The heel also kept the cowboy’s foot from going all the way through the stirrup so that if he were thrown from his horse he wouldn’t get stuck in the stirrup and drug on the ground. And just like that, the first pair of cowboy boots was born.

The first pairs of cowboy boots had very little style and were for working purposes only. They were a tool that helped keep the cowboy safe and quickly became a part of any cowboy’s everyday life.


VINTAGE HYER LEATHER INLAY COWBOY BOOTS
VINTAGE HYER LEATHER INLAY COWBOY BOOTS
VINTAGE HYER LEATHER INLAY COWBOY BOOTS



At first, cowboy boots were only custom made. A cowboy would have to go to a cobbler who would measure his feet and make a pair of cowboy boots just for him. Later, the first mail-order boot companies came about. Getting a pair of cowboy boots in this way was much more humble, but a cowboy down on his luck had to do whatever he could to get his boots.



ROCKABILLY 2 TONE LEATHER WESTERN BOOTS
ROCKABILLY 2 TONE LEATHER WESTERN BOOTS
ROCKABILLY 2 TONE LEATHER WESTERN BOOTS





TALL TOWN TEXAS BOOT CO. CUTOUT VTG COWBOY BOOTS
TALL TOWN TEXAS BOOT CO. CUTOUT VTG COWBOY BOOTS
TALL TOWN TEXAS BOOT CO. CUTOUT VTG COWBOY BOOTS
TALL TOWN TEXAS BOOT CO. CUTOUT VTG COWBOY BOOTS





TEXAS VINTAGE CUTOUT EAGLE ORIGINAL BOOTS
TEXAS VINTAGE CUTOUT EAGLE ORIGINAL BOOTS
TEXAS VINTAGE CUTOUT EAGLE ORIGINAL BOOTS
TEXAS VINTAGE CUTOUT EAGLE ORIGINAL BOOTS




TONY LAMA VINTAGE CUTOUT BUTTERFLY BOOTS
TONY LAMA VINTAGE CUTOUT BUTTERFLY BOOTS
TONY LAMA VINTAGE CUTOUT BUTTERFLY BOOTS
TONY LAMA VINTAGE CUTOUT BUTTERFLY BOOTS
TONY LAMA VINTAGE CUTOUT BUTTERFLY BOOTS




VTG TONY LAMA CLOTH PULL LEATHER INLAY COWBOY BOOTS
VTG TONY LAMA CLOTH PULL LEATHER INLAY COWBOY BOOTS
VTG TONY LAMA CLOTH PULL LEATHER INLAY COWBOY BOOTS
VTG TONY LAMA CLOTH PULL LEATHER INLAY COWBOY BOOTS




WOLVERINE GORE-TEX WESTERN RANCHER BOOTS
WOLVERINE GORE-TEX WESTERN RANCHER BOOTS
WOLVERINE GORE-TEX WESTERN RANCHER BOOTS



Cowboy boots began as a practical tool for the cowboy, but soon became a fashion statement. The stitching on the outside usually done in a plain black or brown soon gave way to more colorful thread, and designs and pictures were sewn into the boots. From there, bootmakers began to experiment with inlays and overlays, and suddenly boot designs became limitless. The more extraordinary the cowboy boot could be, the better.







6 Response to Vintage Western & Cowboy Boots

April 22, 2011 at 9:13 AM

western boots is came from the word western from western America.It make you more cooler than your ordinary boots.

August 5, 2011 at 10:36 AM

I agree :)!

August 8, 2011 at 1:29 PM

nice post love reading ur post
Leather Jackets

December 12, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Your blog is amazing! Love your style!

March 16, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Hello do you have boots for sale. Thanks to answer me at a.bauville@wanado.fr

June 26, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking forward to another great article. Good luck to the author! All the best!

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