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Encyclopedia > Cowboy boot
Ad for Tony Lama featuring custom boots made for President Harry S. Truman.
Ad for Tony Lama featuring custom boots made for President Harry S. Truman.

Cowboy boots refer to a specific style of riding boot, historically worn by cowboys. They have a high heel, rounded to pointed toe, high shaft, and no lacing. Cowboy boots are normally made from cowhide leather but are also sometimes made from "exotic" skins such as alligator, snake, ostrich, lizard, eel, elephant, sting ray, elk, buffalo, and the like. Image File history File links Cowboy_boots. ... Image File history File links Cowboy_boots. ... Tony Lama is a U.S.-based corporation that designs and sell western-style boots. ... Harry S Truman (May 8, 1884–December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953); as Vice President, he succeeded to the office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. ... Riding boots are boots made to be used for horseback riding. ... The classic vision of the American cowboy, as portrayed by Frederic Remington A cowboy (Spanish: vaquero) tends cattle and horses on cattle ranches in North and South America. ... Leather shoes A shoe is an item of footwear. ... Modern leather-working tools Leather is a material created through the tanning of hides, pelts and skins of animals, primarily cows. ...



There are two basic types of cowboy boots, western and roper. The western style is distinguished by an angled heel, usually over one inch high. Although western boots can be customized with a wide variety of toe shapes, they are usually made with a pointed toe. The roper style will have a more rounded heel, usually one inch or shorter, and will have the heel extend straight down. Roper boots are usually made with rounded toes, but new styles are emerging with a more squared toe.


A cowboy needed to be able to quickly and surely mount and dismount his horse in the course of work. In addition to working cattle, they also worked and trained new horses. Much of their riding was cross-country, conditions were rough and unpredictable, and weather variable from summer heat to winter snow. Staying alive and comfortable under these conditions drove the mutation of the cavalry and other tall riding boot designs into what has come to be called the "cowboy boot".

Most histories of the cowboy boot agree they were derived from the cavalry boot used in the Civil War in the early 1860s and other similar designs. Working cattlemen in the 1870s and 1880s asked bootmakers for modifications to better fit their working conditions. Predictably, most of these bootmakers were in the cattle ranching areas of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The two most renowned bootmakers of the era were Charles Hyer of Hyer Brothers Boots in Olathe, Kansas, and H. J. "Big Daddy Joe" Justin of Justin Boots in Spanish Fort, Texas and later Nocona, Texas. Soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback in combat are commonly known as cavalry (from French cavalerie). ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Lincoln, President Ulysses S. Grant, General Jefferson Davis, President Robert E. Lee, General Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action... // Events and trends Technology The First Transcontinental Railroad in the United States is built in the six year period between 1863 and 1869. ... // Events and Trends Technology The invention of the telephone (1876) by Alexander Graham Bell. ... // Development and commercial production of electric lighting Development and commercial production of gasoline-powered automobile by Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler and Maybach First commercial production and sales of phonographs and phonograph recordings. ... Texas is the gayest motherfucking state out there they can suck my big black balls. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,960 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Olathe (pronounced O-Lay-tha) is a city located in northeast Kansas, and is the second most populous city and county seat of Johnson County. ... Spanish Fort is an unincorporated town in north central Montague County, Texas at the end of Farm Road 103 one mile south of the Red River. ... Nocona is a city located in Montague County, Texas. ...


While mounting, the slick, treadless leather sole of the boot allowed easy insertion of the foot into the stirrup of the Western saddle. While an extremely pointed toe is a modern stylization appearing in the 1940s, the toe of the original boots retained the more rounded shape of other boots. A slight point to the toe does make it somewhat easier to quickly insert the foot in the stirrup, but an extremely pointed toe is not helpful and not practical in a working boot. Haniwa horse statuette, complete with saddle and stirrups, 6th century, Kofun period, Japan. ... A Western Saddle Western Saddles are saddles used in — or based on the ones used in — cattle ranching in the United States. ... The 1940s decade ran from 1940 to 1949. ...

While mounted, the tall heel prevented the foot from sliding forward through the stirrup, which could be life threatening if it happened and the rider were to be unseated. The tall shaft, comfortably loose fit and lack of lacing might save a cowboy's life since his body weight would pull his foot out of the boot if he were unseated and his boot remained stuck in the stirrup.

While dismounting, the slick sole allows the boot to easily come free of the stirrup.

The tall leather shaft of the boot helped to hold it in place in the absence of lacing. While mounted, the shaft protected the leg from saddle rubbing, brush and thorns. While dismounted, the shaft helped protect the leg and foot from rocks, brush, thorns, and snakes. In wet weather or creek crossings, the high tops helped prevent the boot from filling with mud and water.

Decoration varied widely. Early boots were plain leather, but as custom boots were made, cowboys asked for decorative stitching, cutouts in the high tops (early on, often Texas stars), and different materials. Modern cowboy boots are available in all colors of the rainbow and a pair has been made from just about every animal whose skin can be made into leather. Full featured rainbow in Wrangell-St. ...

One accessory used with cowboy boots is a spur, which is sometimes attached to the heel of each boot for the purpose of goading the horse while riding. A spur is a metal instrument composed of a shank, neck, and prick, rowel (sharp-toothed wheel), or blunted end fastened to the heel of a horseman. ...


Many cowboy boot companies have been in operation since the 19th century. Their ability to stand this test of time has often depended on their ability to understand the human foot and how to keep people's feet happy.[dubious ] Each manufacturer has developed its own proprietary lasts for producing boots, which are considered trade secrets and are highly guarded. Because of this, standardization has been slow, and fitting between companies is not always consistent. When considering wearing a cowboy boot from a different manufacturer, it is recommended to seek assistance from a knowledgeable merchant who specializes in cowboy boots. Some wearers will swear by one manufacturer's fit, while others will not perceive any difference between brands. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... A human foot - Enlarge to view legend The foot is a biological structure found in many animals that is used for locomotion. ... Proprietary indicates that a party, or proprietor, exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property, usually to the exclusion of other parties. ... In shoemaking, a last is a rounded oblong block used to approximate the form of the human foot used by a cobbler to help make or mend shoes. ... A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information used by a business to obtain an advantage over competitors within the same industry or profession. ... Standardization, in the context related to technologies and industries, is the process of establishing a technical standard among competing entities in a market, where this will bring benefits without hurting competition. ...

The fit will vary depending on the type of toe that is sought. Pointed toes leave a narrower space between the toes and the tip of the boot which may cause discomfort. This is avoided by selecting a half size larger than the wearer's normal size. A rounder toe (like a roper or a Wellington) will fit more like a regular shoe. Another factor is leather. A cowhide or kidskin boot will become softer with wear, molding to the wearer's foot. That is why it is recommended to select a snug size because the boot will eventually "break in" and a loose fit will become sloppy.



External links

  Results from FactBites:
cowboy boot: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (5336 words)
Cowboy boots have also led a long double life as fashion accessories, beginning in the early 20th century, when Western life and work done on the open range were first mythologized in movies.
Cowboy hat; a hat with a wide brim to protect from brush and vegetation, the sun and the elements; there are many styles, probably influenced by John B. Stetson's Boss of the Plains, the Mexican sombrero and US (and Confederate) Cavalry hats.
Cowboy boots; a boot with a high top to protect the lower legs, pointed toes to help guide the foot into the stirrup, and high heels to keep the foot from slipping through the stirrup while working in the saddle; with or without spurs (often detachable).
cowboy boot: Information from Answers.com (961 words)
Cowboy boots are normally made from cowhide leather but are also sometimes made from "exotic" skins such as alligator, snake, ostrich, lizard, eel, elephant, sting ray, elk, buffalo, and the like.
Most histories of the cowboy boot agree they were derived from the cavalry boot used in the Civil War in the early 1860s and other similar designs.
Modern cowboy boots are available in all colors of the rainbow and a pair has been made from just about every animal whose skin can be made into leather.
  More results at FactBites »



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