The History Of Cowboy Boots In Texas April 10 2020

Cowboy boots are iconic in Texas. Although not every resident of the state owns a pair, they are a staple in many wardrobes. Today, these boots can be seen by workers and fashion fans across the world. But, the history of cowboy boots in Texas is unique. 


What is the origin of cowboy boots?


There is no known creator of this style of utilitarian footwear, but Texas has been a major influence. Horsemen have been known to prefer sturdy shoes with high shafts. From Mongolian warriors to the vaqueros of Spain, these types of boots were popular because of their durability. German soldiers from the 18th century also wore a similar style, as did the first Duke of Wellington.


The ancestor to the modern cowboy boot was developed during the cattle drives between 1866 and 1890. The cowboys of that time needed higher heels, a stronger instep, rounded toes, and a slimmer overall design. A bootmaker in Coffeyville, Kansas began supplying Texan cowboys with improved options in the 1870s. Notable names in the industry, H. J. “Big Daddy Joe” Justin and Sam Lucchese, began supplying Texas with cowboy boots shortly after. Here are some other well-known cowboy boot companies you will likely recognize. 


  • Tony Lama Boots, founded in El Paso, Texas in 1911
  • Little’s Boot Company, developed in San Antonio in 1915
  • M. L. Leddy’s, found in Brady, Texas in 1922
  • Nocona Boot Company, created in Nocona, Texas by Big Daddy Joe’s daughter, Enid Justin, in 1925

A changing image for cowboy boots

When the need for cowboys to move cattle started to decrease, cowboy boots were no longer just work boots. The expansion of railroad routes and increasing economies took this footwear around the country. The image of the Wild West cowboy was romanticized in movies, radio shows, and books. In fact, the most popular movie genre in Hollywood between the 1930s and 1960s was the western. 


It was after this that the cowboy boot became popular among everyone, not just cowboys and western fans. At one time, a single star on the shaft of each boot was good enough for decoration, but they became more elaborate. Stitching designs, inlays, overlays, and colors became more detailed, especially when “Texas chic” took over in the 1980s. 


The modern cowboy boot

The cowboy boot has changed since it first became a staple for working cowboys. But, bootmakers still value the need for durability and quality. You can find a large variety of styles made for just about anyone. It is best to do some research before choosing the best boots for your needs. You should know that they will fit well and be familiar with the various parts that go into making a quality pair. 


Custom, handmade cowboy boots from Beck Boots

If you are looking for handmade cowboy boots created to fit your unique style and needs, Beck Boots can help. Our products are always made from high-quality materials with durability and style in mind and we also offer a free Sizing Kit. You can Contact Us by email or call (806) 373-1600 to learn more about our Custom Cowboy Boots, Working Cowboy Special, In-stock options, and Clearance choices.


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