Tracing their origin as far back as the 1800s, cowboy boots are the ultimate definition of traditional riding boots. While they are depicted as a fashion statement in the modern world, they have essential features and practical values applicable to American cowboys from the old Wild West.
In the early 19th century, horse riding boots were made to accommodate features that can withstand the harsh climate of the American West. They were later called cowboy boots, and the specific features are still present in some modern pairs. Here are some of the essential features you should look for in men’s cowboy boots.
A cowboy boot must have an underslung angled heel, with a minimum of ½ an inch or more. Low-inch heels are known as walking heels since they are the most comfortable to walk in. Higher heels, on the other hand, are essential for holding the feet in the stirrup as you ride and are mostly preferred by shorter men as they give them the extra boost in height.
A Cuban heel should be as high as two inches, but 1-1.15 inches is still acceptable depending on your height.
Cowboy boots should only be pulled on and off your feet. They come with bootstraps for tightening but should not have laces. This feature is essential in ensuring that your lace is not caught on a stirrup in case you fall of from the horse. Trapped shoelaces can cause you to be dragged and trampled on by your horse.
The upper side of the boot should not go lower than the mid-calf. Some shafts are decorated with cut-outs for a fashion statement while others are left as plain round openings. Note that a classic western cowboy boot should have a shaft of at least 10 inches.
Although they are popularly made from cowhide, many cowboy boots are also made from different animal skins, such as elephant, lizard, snake, buffalo, alligator, and elk. However, some types of modern cowboy boots are made from faux leather to keep endangered animals from being extinct.