The cowboy boot is distinctly American, embodying the spirit of a man facing the vastness of nature with little other than the humble garments on his body, a few tools on his saddle, and the steed beneath him. Developed to perform a variety of tasks in a multitude of scenarios, in any weather, this boot is an enduring icon of the West, the Cattleman, and the American Dream. Truly, the cowboy boot was a critical part of the American cattleman’s progress in ranching the West, and many other places in the world. If you want to feel like you are here to run the day, rather than have the day run you, pull on a pair. There’s no footwear like the cowboy boot.
Guide to Buying Vintage Cowboy Boots
Ode to the Cowboy Boot
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It is a matter of function first and foremost. Even the most fashionable of well-made cowboy boots remain sturdy, weather resistant, walkable, and protective. While of course, the heel gives the wearer extra height and often an attractive stride, it is designed to prevent the foot from sliding dangerously through the saddle’s stirrup while riding. The toe can give a horse a nudge and can squash the proverbial cockroach in the corner if pointed enough. The shaft, in ever more epic heights, protects the leg from injury and the elements.
To the uninitiated, it might come as a surprise that there is a whole subculture devoted to the cowboy boot. Boots crafted by hand from hides of animals from several species of animal including reptiles and birds are enhanced with tooling, inlays, and gorgeous stitching. For many, forget splurging on designer jeans: blowing your paycheck on a pair of custom boots is the ultimate indulgence. The epitome of such custom boots is the Rocket Buster brand from – you guessed it- Texas. It seems that if you can dream it, they can craft it.
If you haven’t a whole (or several) paycheck(s) to spare, buying vintage might be the hot ticket for you. My personal collection of cowboy boots boasts a majority of vintage gems that I scored from yard sales, one barn sale, my Grandma, and now some from Instagram. Isn’t it awesome how we can buy cool, old stuff in such a new way?
I have long been an admirer of the Instagram account of GoodBuyGirls in Nashville, TN owned by the lovely and talented musician Tanya Montana Coe. This boutique has a brick and mortar location that I haven’t had the pleasure of perusing in person but I often drool over their selection of turquoise jewelry, retro rhinestone cowgirl duds, and most of all, their vintage cowboy boots.