The cowboy boot has been an iconic staple of western fashion for hundreds of years and still enjoys massive popularity to this day. From simple, rugged styles to the elegance of dyed leather and intricate stitching, there are as many types of cowboy boots as there are people to wear them. But what was the origin of this classic piece of western footwear? Let’s look at everything you might want to know about the history of cowboy boots.
History of the Cowboy Boot
The history of cowboy boots in fashion has its roots in practicality. Before cowboy boots were a statement piece on the streets and runways of the modern world, they were a necessary part of a cowboy’s basic kit. The classic cowboy boot has a slight heel, no laces, and is designed to go up to at least mid-calf. Most 1800s cowboy boots were made with cowhide and had rounded or square toes – the pointed toes common in modern cowboy boot fashion didn’t start to appear until the 1940s. Like many aspects of cowboy fashion, they were heavily influenced by the vaquero style.
Many classic aspects of these boots were crucial to helping cowboys do their job. The boot’s iconic heel helped a cowboy keep his feet in the stirrups; the height of the leather protected sensitive parts of the leg from chafing or other hazards while riding. A slightly different style of cowboy boot, known as the roper boot, was designed more for fashion rather than function. These boots were shorter, stopping between ankle and mid-calf, and were more likely to have laces.
The Cowboy Boot In Fashion: Then and Now
How did the shoes of working cowboys become an American symbol through the centuries? As the image of the cowboy gained popularity for its portrait of down-to-earth grit and western toughness, the cowboy’s classic attributes became popular as well. With the introduction of bright colors and intricate stitching on many boots, they were guaranteed to catch the eye. Nowadays they’re the boot of the people, still worn by riders and ranchers as well as folk more likely to catch a ride on a bus than a bronco. Did you know that Texas even designated the cowboy boot as its official state footwear in 2007? It’s clear that people are still wearing and loving their cowboy boots, and in the modern day, there are even more styles of boots to choose from.
Bring the History of Cowboy Boots Home
Whether you’re a fan of bright colors or simple styles, there’s a great pair of boots for you. In the world of women’s footwear, you can check out Boulet’s roper-style Shorty Cowboy Toe Boots or Old Gringo Shay Botin Goat Boots. If you’re a fan of bright colors, you can’t go wrong with the dusty teal beauty of the Lucky Stud Cowboy Boots in aqua. And when it comes to men’s boots, the Full Quill Ostrich Wide Square Toe Boots or Leather Square Toe Boots are an excellent example of high-quality western stitching on a classic leather boot.
Some of the Brands you'll find at Dixie's
Lucchese isn't just a bootmaker — they're a bootmaker with history. Born from the artisanal hands of Salvatore Lucchese in 1883, the Texan company has made a name for itself in the world of luxury western boots. Each pair of boots is handcrafted by Lucchese's very own artisan shoemakers, giving each pair of boots a unique, high-quality feeling.
We carry Lucchese boots made in a variety of styles and from a plethora of materials, including suede, cowhide, ostrich leg, crocodile, goat hide, and many more. With premium styles for both men and women, the Dixie's Lucchese collection is the perfect place to find a new pair of boots.
Old Gringo has grown over the years to become a brand known for its distinctive handmade leather boots that combine elements from more fashion-forward designs while also staying true to the roots of western style. Founded in 2000, the brand was developed by Ernie Tarut and Yan Ferry. They joined their love of leather craftmanship, European design, and bootmaking where every pair is a masterpiece. Each handmade piece is its own experience, with a unique personality, that is sure to spark conversation with everyone you meet.
Mr. GA Boulet found Boulet Inc. in 1933 and the company remains family-owned to this day. They were the first company to produce cowboy boots in Canada and remain 100% specialized in Goodyear Welt construction, a superior sewing and boot construction method renowned for its ability to provide a long-lasting, durable product.
Now managed by the third generation, they have maintained the tradition of excellence, making Boulet one of the best. Cowboys around the world know Boulet boots for their durability, comfort, and superior fit.
You can find it at Dixie's no matter what cowboy boot style you’re looking for. Stop by anytime to take a look at our selection, or shop cowboy boots on our website.