Cowboy boots of the western style have been making fashion statements worldwide for decades. This classic footwear is now worn by everyone from the most well-known A-listers in Hollywood to the daily normal Joe’ on the street and is available in various fabrics, styles, and colors to suit every taste. Cowboy boots have become a part of our everyday lives, so it’s only natural that we look back in time to see how this classic American footwear has evolved through time.
American cowboys made a living by herding cattle on ranches in the ‘Wild West.’ Cattle ranch employees have worn cowboy boots since the late 1800s long before we can buy work boots online, and they are fashioned of a special leather. Originally, cowhide leather was utilized only in the production of these boots. The boots were designed to protect the feet and legs when riding horses and working in hazardous conditions. Herders’ cowboy boots typically had a high top or shaft to cover the lower legs and pointed toes to aid in putting the boot into the saddle’s stirrup, among other features. The high heel of the boots was designed to keep the riders’ feet securely in the stirrups while riding, and it also allowed for the attachment of removable spurs to the boots.
How did Spanish ranchers influence cowboy design?
The vaquero culture of Spain, which dates back to the 1500s and is being practiced today, impacted the design of the first cowboy boots. The vaquero is a cow herder who rides by horseback to herd herds. The vaquero tradition has also taken hold in Mexico. According to history, cattle herders from Mexico arrived in the United States in the late 1600s, bringing with them the vaquero customs, including the attire and boots that are still worn in the region today. The traditional footwear worn by these individuals inspired the development of the western clothes women and men wear in the nineteenth century. The original cowboy boots in America were all handcrafted by bootmakers who sold their wares in settlements and towns across the western United States.
The Industrial Revolution Ushered in Mass Production
The mid-1700s to the mid-1800s is known as the Industrial Revolution. During this time, a crucial manufacturing turning point occurred, announcing the start of the mass production of cowboy boots. Western boots with ornamental topstitching and geometric pattern cuts first appeared on the pages of fashion magazines. Cattle transportation from Texas to Kansas was widespread among cowboys between the mid-1800s and the 1890s. This was the era when people other than ranchers, herders, and farm laborers had to buy cowboy boots with long shafts to protect themselves from brush, thorns, and poisonous snakes when walking and riding horses.
Cowboy Boots of Today
Cowhide, snakeskin, ostrich, alligator, buffalo, and eel are all utilized to manufacture modern-day cowboy boots, which come in a variety of hues. It’s hard to believe that the cowboy boot has evolved from a basic boot used for horseback riding to footwear that has taken center stage as desirable wardrobe pieces over the years.