A Brief History of the Cowboy Boot
Cowboy Boot Origins
Cowboy boots are a decendent of the North European riding boot first used by original cattle herders of Spanish descent in Texas in the 19th Century. The original riding boot was flat soled with no heel and was not really suited to the rigorous work of cattle herding
German bootmakers that settled in Texas in the late 19th century adapted the boot to make it more suitable to working with stirrups, the pointed toe make it easier to slip the boot in the stirrup and the high heel insured that the foot did no slip all the way in ths stirrup which could result in the foot getting stuck, which is extremely dangerous.
The high shaft of the boot was designed to prevent getting sore legs from chafing on the leathers and the re-enforced arch of the boots were to give more stabilty and comfort when standing up on the stirrups.
Original cowboy boots were great when on horse back, but not so good for running or chasing a calf to tie it, the Roper boot with a more rounded toe and lower squarer heel was introduced as a multi tasking boot that could be worn for riding and calfing.
The Modern Cowboy Boot
As cowboy boots were made fashionable by hollywood and celebrities more elaborate styles were produced and the shorter more practicle cowboy ankle boot was introduced. The boots began being mass produced in factories, although there are still alot of traditional cowboy boot makers in the USA and Mexico where the boots are cut and made by hand from various materials, the most poular being calf skin, which is mostly imported from Europe where calf meat (veal) is more poular than in the USA. Other materials are also used including snakeskin, kangaroo skin, ostrich hide and even stingray
Cowboy boots are iconic and will always go in and out of fashion, a good pair will cost you around Â£80 - Â£300 but the investment is worth it for a pair of boots that after they are worn in will feel like a second skin for you feet.