Brief History Of The Iconic Cowboy Boots

September 19, 2020

You might not be the type to hop on cowboy shoes for your daily walking activities, but that does not mean cowboy boots are not re-evolving as a fashion trend. Several recent happenings have indicated that cowboy boots are coming back on track and staying here.

As far as the history of cowboy boots is concerned, it has remained controversial to date. Some historians have a viewpoint that cowboy boots emerged as a trend in Texas back in the days. While some historians credit Kansas for the original style of cowboy boots. 

Other than the views mentioned above, another faction states that Charles Hyer is the person who created custom pointed-toe style boots for a Colorado cowboy upon his request when he visited the former’s shop.

Going by the simplified approach, cowboy boots are said to be the result of German boot makers who had migrated to the US and settled in Texas during the 19th Century. The original cowboy boots were specifically designed to assist cowboys in horse riding, but they were not that great when it came to other related activities like running, hiking, etc. 

Cowboy Boots’ Back In The Golden Ages

The cowboy boots saw their golden age when Hollywood was at its peak and the thriving entertainment industry was a new addition to the art community. Hollywood embraced cowboy boots culture and made them famous, which increased their demand drastically.

The shoe manufacturers had to develop the latest models of cowboy boots that preserved the aesthetics of original cowboy boots and were more comfortable to wear for daily life activities.

The thing about cowboy boots is that they will never permanently retire. They may go out of fashion for a decade or two, but they will always find their way back in the fashion world. 

Marilyn Monroe, a prominent actress, was the first to showcase the use of trendy cowboy boots. After some time, many other celebs have flaunted cowboy boots for their sheer classic charm from time to time.

The Industrial Revolution gave another push with today’s styles of cowboy boots. Until the 1860s, a factory mass-produced a cowboy boot, namely Wellington boot, which remained famous among the United States residents.

Two Iconic Styles Of Cowboy Boots

When it comes to cowboy boots, two styles are very famous, the roper and western-style. The western style, also known by the name of classic style, has a taller shaft and an angled cowboy heel around one or more inches high. They came with rounded or squared toe initially, but later on, the narrow pointed-toe design caught the wind in the early 1940s.

The roper style is a new addition to cowboy boots. They have a short boot shaft above the ankle, but does not cross more than half of the calf length. Although roper toes are mostly made with rounded toes, the square-toed ones have also appeared one in a while. The lace-up design allows these boots to fit and provides better aerodynamics snuggly.

Much like farming boots, cowboy boots were made for a purpose. It was merely practical and convenient footwear for cowboys. As years passed by, it developed into something trendy and fashionable. Bootmakers learned how to experiment with it and made it one of today’s most iconic fashion statements.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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