Cowboy Boots: A History of Work and Fashion March 28 2016

Cowboy boots are a classic addition to any wardrobe. Whether used for practical work applications or for a fashion statement, cowboy boots have brought joy to their wearers for hundreds of years. The history of cowboy boots can be traced back as early as the 16th century, where equestrian boots and Cavalry boots had a huge influence on style. As boots became more mass-produced and the cattle drive in America began, the “cowboy boot” as we know it today began to develop.

Early history of cowboy boots

Looking back at the design and development of traditional cowboy boots, one can find a heavy influence from as early as the 16th century. The Spanish Vaquero tradition had a large influence on boots in America, as well as Cavalry riding boots. Equestrian boots in general have a long history worldwide, but the traditional design of the American cowboy boot was developed later on, influenced by new types of work and practical applications.

Cowboy boots for work: cattle driving and horseback riding

The vast expanse of the American West and the phenomena of the cattle drive in the early 19th century was the defining time for the cowboy boot. “Cowboys” on horseback needed a sturdy boot for riding, developed specifically for the Western-style saddle. Each part of the cowboy boot has a practical application: a slick sole for sliding into a stirrup, a tall leather shaft for protecting the legs, a wide calf area to avoid having laces and to allow the leg to slip out of the boot if the rider gets stuck… as well as many other detailed features.

A fashionable history of cowboy boots

Besides practical features, the modern cowboy boot developed a place in the fashion world as well. A classic addition to nearly any wardrobe, cowboy boots are unlimited in their types of material and design. Starting with the traditional cow leather, modern boots can also come in exotic skins like alligator, ostrich, snakeskin and more. Stitching and coloring can be extremely elaborate as well, adding more to the fashion aspect of cowboy boots. Custom cowboy boots usually feature premium leathers and detailed hand-stitched designs.

Cowboy boots today

Today, cowboy boot stores can be found in nearly any American city, especially in the Western states. Even worldwide, cowboy boots are a common addition to any wardrobe. Custom cowboy boots can be commissioned from many custom boot-making companies, with no limits to the types of colors and designs (and price). Although they are used for their practical applications as well, cowboy boots are a “symbol” of the American West, and the uniform of country music singers and cattle ranchers alike. Whether used for work or fashion, cowboy boots have a rich history and are an iconic symbol of the great “American West.”

If you are in the market for quality handmade working cowboy boots or custom handmade cowboy boots, Beck Boots is the right choice.  With true artisans making your next pair of cowboy boots you are guaranteed to get the best.  Our customer satisfaction is extremely important to us so we ensure every customer is happy and that their fit is perfect.  If you don’t know your exact size, no problem.  Just go online and request one of our FREE sizing kits.  We will send it to you right away. Call Beck Boots today 806-373-1600.  If you are in the area, visit our showroom located at 723 S. Georgia Street in Amarillo Texas.  Shop online our full line of instock cowboy boots and our working cowboy boots special, plan your custom cowboy boots purchase and shop our great line of cowboy boot accessories.


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