Cowboy Boots for Men
As the Civil War was drawing to a close, Charles Heyer responded to requests by cattle drivers to create a new style of boot to replace their Civil War-style boots. The cowboy wanted a slanted toe on a boot because it would slide more easily into the stirrup, a slanted heel to hold the boots in place in the stirrup, and high tops on the boots to protect his ankles and calves. Cowboy boots are still a mainstay of footwear today.What are some common materials used to make cowboy boots?
While the vast majority of cowboy boots are made of cowhide leather, buyers have several other different choices including those listed below and many more options:
- Python: Large scales on this snake's stomach allow designers to make boots with this pattern.
- Full-quill ostrich: The bumps on full-quill ostrich gives these boots a unique appearance.
- Ostrich leg: This leather has distinct markings down the middle and accepts dye well.
- Buffalo calf: This smooth leather has a very fine grain.
- Sueded buffalo: This leather from the adult water buffalo is good for those who put a lot of wear on their shoes.
A cowboy boot is made up of many different parts, all meant to provide a particular functional benefit. These parts include the following:
- Upper: The outside structure of the boot.
- Shaft: Part of the upper covering the ankle and lower leg. This piece is meant to help protect the leg from spiky brush and strikes from snakes, among other protections.
- Pull strap: Part of the upper, this narrow strip atop the shaft is for pulling to help slip on the boots.
- Vamp: Often constructed of leather, this part covers the forefoot.
- Toe: Front of boots covering the toes, it’s sometimes reinforced for extra protection. A common toe style in cowboy boots is square toe.
- Counter: The rear of the boots.
- Welt: Usually a line of stitching that joins the upper and lower of the boot. A well-crafted welt resists tearing at this area, which flexes with wear and use.
- Heel cap: This part covers a boot's heel for structure.
- Insole: Fabric inside the boot for a softer cushion while providing support.
- Sole: The sole on cowboy boots can be smooth, often used for intense riding, or slip-resistant on cowboy boots meant for ranch work.
There are numerous styles of toes found on cowboy boots, including the following:
- J toe: This is a sharply pointed toe.
- D toe: The D toe tapers and ends with a flat point.
- R toe: A rounded toe is usually easier to wear for extended periods.
- Roper: A roper boot has a U-shaped toe.
- Square toe: This shape usually has more room for the toes.
While many men prefer to have their cowboy boots hand-crafted just for them, a number of well-known brands make cowboy boots, including the following:
- Ariat for men
- Dan Post
- Tony Lama Men