They’ve seen a whole lot of trails and all kinds of weather. They’ve been loved, hated, respected, and reduced to accessories. There was a time, though, when they stood for masculinity and plain old hard work. Back when they revelled in the desert sand and the comforting feeling of stirrups under their heels. Their form was made for a job spent in the saddle – for wranglers who were right at home amidst a sea of cattle and horns that meant business. They were at once a source of protection and utility for the seasoned cowboy. Every part served a purpose: tough leather to keep the feet and ankles safe from hoof and horn; angled wooden heels that offered a sure hold in the stirrups and the perfect place for a pair of spurs; tapered toes that wouldn’t catch when dismounting. No fancy stitching, no embellishments, no vanity. A working man’s boot. Eventually (and perhaps inevitably), the fashion industry and pop culture came calling. They started dyeing the leather and festooning it with all kinds of sequins and glitter... The cowboy became a rodeo clown. After riding a short-lived wave of popularity, they dropped him like a campfire potato. Guess he just doesn’t have much of a place outside of the Wild West. His soles are so smooth that they need the grit of that desert sand. His heels are too high for much of anything but locking into those stirrups. The cowboy boot has nonetheless become part of the unofficial redneck uniform – a would-be expression of patriotic defiance. Seeing it fulfil its intended function on a real cowherd has become a rare sight indeed.
They’ve seen a whole lot of trails and all kinds of weather. They’ve been loved, hated, respected, and reduced to accessories.