What are the items you think of when you think of a Cowgirl or Cowboy? A horse, a hat and *the boots*. A real cowboy or girl must be wearing the boots! This has developed from just work-wear into a fashionable kind of footwear - for anyone!
Dating back to the first vaquero (ranchers from our southern neighbor, Mexico), the boots we know today, have been an essential tool in the “cowboys’ belt”. As the shoe has a prominent heel, the foot stays in the stirrup while riding a horse. This, of course, is one of the main reasons the cowboy (or any “riding” boot) is crafted this way. If a horse were to rear up or take off in a run, the boot has less chance of sliding out of the stirrup with the heel on the boot there to help. English style riding boots or American West rodeo boots, the layout is similar.
The tall shaft on the boot, typically made from whatever is easiest to come by in the area, leather, crocodile, ostrich, etc, is to keep the cowboy’s foot cleaner, as they are in and on dirt and muck, all day. The height is a variable that changes depending on the style of boot, but is part of the utility of the shoe. In many locations were ranchers and riders frequent, there are critters and snakes around. The taller the boots, the more protection the wearer has from bites and stings. The quickest way to have a real bad day is a scorpion or snake bite stopping everything, to doctor the wound.
Now-a-days, the cowboy and cowgirl have many types of boots in their closets. Speaking from my own experiences, there are usually at least 3 pairs of boots in a country girls closet at all times… The “gussy up” boots at the top of the scale, usually have a more pointed toe and taller heel, and are worn to Country Weddings or to Sunday Services. Then there are square-toe boots, which are a great middle of the road boot, especially if you have a wider foot, or utilize them for running errands and the occasional work day. The everyday, round toe boot is what I use for my workday boots. To me, they look the most casual, and are the easiest to clean when they get muddy after working cows all day, or mucking horse stalls.
The choice of wearing a cowgirl boot in Fashion has also made a statement. Tons of variants are on the runway these days, and the lines and angles of the shoe are “Cowgirl”, but the material or color is usually wild and different. So many options in the stores today, and boots can be purchased at any class of retail store. From inexpensive to highly sought after styles by even Hollywood Royalty.. cowboy and cowgirl boots are around to stay for good.
Whether for work, play or the runway, these boots are made for walking… or for anything else!