From fashion to function, cowboy boots are an essential statement piece to any country lover's outfit. See why you should invest in a pair too.
Ever dreamed of how cool it would be to stroll in somewhere like the Lone Ranger? An essential component of the vibe is cowboy boots.
They're more than just a boot - they're a shoe that shows off their rich history with every step.
Keep reading to find out why you should be investing in your very own pair.
A Short History of Cowboy Boots
You've seen them in all the old Western movies - but what's the story behind cowboy boots? It's more than just an aesthetic choice. In their original use, the boots were a functional option for working cowboys.
Origin of the Cowboy Boot
No one can tell who made the first pair, but when it comes to American cowboys, they certainly know why.
Way back in the day, farmhands now known as cowboys needed affordable and practical boots that they could wear while working.
The original cowboy boots served just that purpose. They allowed the men to transition easily from riding to walking and back again with equal comfort and support in both.
There were working boots, but there were also boots for off the job and fancy ones for nicer occasions.
The color that we now see in cowboy boots came in the 30s and 40s, as Hollywood's popular, flashy Western films shaped the national image of a cowboy.
The Functional Side of the Boot
The films prove the point - nothing tells you more about the cowboy you're looking at than the boots on his feet. Specifically, small details like the heel height and toe shape.
We've mentioned that these were a type of riding boots. A heel of two-inches with a steep forward pitch - or, rather, where the heel is angled forward from top to bottom - is what's called a riding heel.
The goal of these heels was to keep the rider's foot from sliding too far forward in the stirrup. Lower heels, on the other hand, make a walking heel.
Then there's the toe, which is more about style than anything. Some have made arguments that the toe shape helped with riding, but there's little practical evidence to support it.
Why are Cowboy Boots So Popular?
Back when cowboys were a feature of the West, these boots weren't made for walkin'. They served the practical purpose of allowing men to ride comfortably in the western saddle for an extended period of time without slipping.
There was the urban cowboy fad of the 80s, as well as the surge of popularity of country music, the boots serve a fashion purpose rather than a practical one.
You can't deny: when a guy or gal walks in wearing a nice pair of cowboy boots, they make a lasting impression.
Let's get real. Cowboy boots are not cheap.
So when you're out on the town shopping for your first pair ever, you want to make sure that the ones you buy in the end are ones that fit well and will take the first steps toward a long, happy relationship.
Of course, fitting these boots is something of an art. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
The Ball of the Foot
There's an art to getting the proper fit for a cowboy boot, and it may require a bit of tinkering. You should be able to comfortably stand with your weight distributed on both feet in a well-fitted pair of cowboy boots.
To start, find the widest part of your foot. Usually, this will be the ball of your foot.
Since it is the widest part of your foot, it should also be at the widest part of the boot. Makes sense, right?
Remember earlier when we mentioned width? That applies here.
You need to buy a boot with the correct width. The easiest way to know if you're in the right ballpark is to stand up and look directly down at your feet. You should have a slightly snug boot but still be able to see the stitching on the outsoles.
If not, that boot isn't wide enough. Size up.
Real talk about boots: it's common for your heel to slide a bit in this type of boot.
This is common with a brand new pair of cowboy boots because the outsole hasn't been broken in yet. A quarter of an inch to half an inch is fine. With enough wear and tear (or, rather, once the outsole has been flexed a few times) your heel will stop slipping in the boot.
The Fitting Guide to Buying Your Boots Online
Now, if you're buying your first pair of boots online, you can't exactly stroll into your friendly neighborhood boot shop and size them.
So here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind to make sure you order boots that fit your feet. For our full sizing guide, click here.
Sizing Your Boots at Timsboots
First things first: do not, repeat DO NOT guesstimate your boot size based on your tennis shoe size. And don't try to guess based on another boot manufacturer either.
That won't fly, partner. We correctly size 98% of our customers, so trust us on this one.
The best way to size your boots is to measure your foot. You'll need to measure for length and width.
How to Measure the Size and Width of Your Foot
You'll need a piece of paper, a regular wooden pencil (don't use a mechanical pencil or a pen), and the type of socks you'll likely wear with your boots.
Here's what you do.
Stand with your foot resting on the sheet of paper. Trace around your foot, holding your pencil perpendicular at all times. Measure the outline, and subtract .02 from each measurement for a more accurate number. Measure length and width.
Then, go to the Men's US size chart. Find the boot length chart and the boot width chart. Find the closest measurement on both rows. That will tell you what size boot to look for.
You should also note for us if your instep is high, medium or low. If you don't know, you're probably medium.
Find the Best Cowboy Boots for You
Ready for your boots, Lone Ranger?
We carry a wide range of cowboy boots for those with a Western flair. Finally you can get exactly what you want from color and hide to toe and heel choices. Call us today at 1-800-771-4214.
And if you're new to the world of Western boots, our blog offers posts on how to care for your boots (and how to pick the right ones for your style). Check out our 4 point checklist for choosing alligator boots, or our post on why boot care products are your friend.