Cowboy Boots – the staple to any country western closet. These great pairs have helped many of us walk many miles, kick up some dust, and do some boot-scootin’ boogies.
There’s so much more to a good pair of boots than the leather, the stitching and the sole – there are hundreds of years of history behind them. Here are five things you probably never knew about this popular shoe:
- Before the style of boot that we know as the Western or Cowboy boot became popular in the 1860’s, the boot of choice amongst cowboys was actually a British style called Wellington. It was popular as it was built of outdoor and work wear.
- Today we think of high heels as a fashion statement, but, for cowboys, a heeled boot is more about practicality than adding height or being stylish. The heel of the cowboy boot allows someone in the saddle to securely place his or her feet in the stirrups while riding!
- Genghis Khan, the emperor of the Mongolian Empire, may have been one of the forefathers of cowboy boots. The conqueror was known for very distinctive, elaborate red boots with wooden heals, similar to those worn by cowgirls and boys today!
- Move over Manolo Blahnik! Custom pairs of cowboy boots have been known to sell for as high as $60,000. Even high-end manufactured boots can cost upwards of $600. Ladies, be sure to remind your cowboy that your trip to the shoe department was a bargain!
- Boots were fairly plain until the Cowboy Hero Image became popular in Hollywood. Thanks to stars like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Hopalong Cassidy, boots got the royal Hollywood treatment with hand-stitching, designs and adornments that we see on boots today.