Man’s Original Best Friend – His Boots
Cowboy boots – without them, the American West and the evolution of a tough, new nation would never have been. The terrain was rugged, the going was tough, and only the strong would succeed in sowing the seeds for further generations. The story of the cowboy boot is one of cultural and clash.
Cowboy boots can’t really be attributed to a single inventor, but more to a time period. It was the mid 1800’s and westward expansion was in full effect. It was during this time and circumstance that the cowboy boot as it is known grew popular. The design and purpose of this design was simple: a pointed toe for easy horse-mounting, an under-slung heal for stirrup security, comfortable fit for long days, and durability for wearer protection.
Western vs. Roper
Two of the most classic cowboy boot styles are the roper and the western. Westerns, or classic boots feature a tall boot shaft with an angled, high heel. Most often this design has a sharply narrowed, pointy toe. On the other hand, ropers are the newer rendition, consisting of a shorter boot shaft and heel, as well as more rounded toe.
Material and Décor
In order to be tough, cowhide leather was just about the only accepted material to make a respected pair of boots from. Originally, these boots were plain, cowhide brown, serving purpose more than decoration. However, as times have changed, a wonderfully flamboyant array of modifications came along. Today, boots may be made from all sorts of material including faux leather, elk, lizard, ostrich, snake, buffalo, and more. Decorations, color schemes, and styles are also now only limited by one’s imagination.
Boot spurs are widely recognized, but also widely misunderstood. Do you know what spurs were actually for? The answer is much more simple than many think. Spurs were attached to the boot heel and used to direct a horse when riding – nothing more, nothing less.