It seems like western-style boots never go out of style, no matter how trends are changing. They can be paired with a variety of outfits and elevate your style. You can find a range of designs on the market – from ultra-expensive designer boots to poorly made models that won’t last more than just a few months.
So, what should you consider when you’re looking to buy a pair of shoes from your favourite western boot store? There are quite a few things to bear in mind besides their price and looks. For starters, decide on the type of country boots that you want and need.
Types of Western Boots
A reliable western boot store will offer more than just one type of these boots. Cowboy boots (the wide term used for this model) are classic. They are the prototypical type most people think of. No country boot store goes without at least a pair of these. These models have a mid-calf and around 30 cm shaft. The angle of the heel goes inwards and is about 2.5-4 cm long. A good pair of cowboy boots is pricy, so if you seek quality, good leather and durability, you’ll have to invest a bit more.
The roper design was designed for rodeos. Cowboys would ride their horses out, lasso the cattle, and get down and defeat them. The roper was made to be easy to move in, easy to get out of the saddle and lighter. Ropers have a shaft long about 18-25 cm. The toe end is rounded but you can find models with squared toes as well. They have a smaller heel than cowboys and their sole isn’t always leather but often includes rubber. These models are much cheaper than the classic cowboys.
The riding boot is about 2-5 cm longer in the shaft than the cowboy boot. This model is much more specialized for horseback riding. The heel angles inwards and can reach up to 5cm. The toe is pointed, although some models have a bit rounded toes. Walking in these boots is not the most pleasant experience, since they are mainly made for riding. The fact that they’re specially made boots for this activity means that their price is a bit higher (but not as high as the classic cowboy boots).
Western Work Boots
Almost all models have a rounded toe and some models come with laces. The heel is smaller than the one on riding boots but can go up to about 2.5-4 cm. These boots resemble traditional cowboy boots but are far better for everyday activities. They are made for walking since their soles feature the best traction.
The fashion industry is often inspired by the cowboy look, so sure, you can find fashionable boots with extra frills, straps and flash. These aren’t made for any specific purpose, but to look good and fashionable. So, if you’re looking for something trendy that can be combined with almost any outfit, cowboy fashion models are your best option.
Important Features to Look for When Buying
Western boots were solely designed to be useful for cowboys’ daily activities, but they weren’t comfortable enough. When shopping, look for an ergonomic model that won’t cause any pain in your feet or back. Invest in a pair that’s the perfect balance of great aesthetics and even better comfort.
The bottom of a good pair of western boots is made of hard leather, the top is made of soft leather. This is because the top part of your leg should move easily and feel comfortable while walking. Also, this part of your leg should breathe. The bottom of the boot requires a sturdy leather that won’t wear and tear after wearing it for a certain period of time.
Good Leather Quality
Cowboy boots are entirely made of leather, so make sure you go for a nice quality. You don’t have to be a pro to spot poor leather. Quality leather smells like leather, while poor one smells like chemicals and plastics. If there’s a label that says “genuine leather” it’s not necessarily a sign of good leather. A good one comes with excellent stitching and is smooth to the touch, without any patches.
Cowboy boots function like one piece. This means there are no straps or laces, so one tear of the boot might damage the entire piece. This is why you should always go for premium models, they sure are worth the investment.
Depending on the brand you’re buying from, shoe size may differ. Consult with the retailer and do your homework on which size would suit your foot type best. If possible, try them on to see how they fit your foot and make sure they are comfortable enough for you to b able to easily walk in them.
Heels & Sole
Look for boots with a thick sole. Don’t buy cheap boots that don’t have proper heel support and will tire your feet after wearing them for an hour or so. Invest in shoes that have quality and sturdy soles and the proper heel size. The angle and size of the heel can vary from model to model – find what works best for you.