Thursday, March 5, 2009

Romantic Footwear

No, I don’t mean high heels, or pumps, or even strapless, fur-topped slippers. I’m referring to the one type of footwear that screams romance and makes your heart pitter-patter—The Cowboy Boot!

No matter when you grew up, you probably had a pair, and in many cases they were your favorite article of clothing—ever! I still remember a pair of red ones with white stitching and I couldn’t have been more than four or five.

The small town in Kansas were I grew up had a ‘Boot Museum’. I haven’t been out to that side of town for a few years, and will have to check to see if they still have it while down there this summer. We had a family reunion there once and my kids had no idea there were THAT many kinds of cowboy boots.

It’s been said that Genghis Khan wore boots similar to the cowboy boot, and a calf-length boot with a low heel was named after the Duke of Wellington in the early 1800’s. These “Wellingtons” were preferred by soldiers in the Civil War, and the simple construction made them easy to mass produce. The ‘boys’ took their boots with them when the war ended, and soon found the boots to be perfect for riding. Hence—The Cowboy Boot. The high tops protected their legs, while the low heel kept them firmly in the saddle. Also the rounded toe slipped easily into the stirrup and the slick bottom made for quick exits when dismounting.

Cowboy boots remained the ultimate work boot, but also became stylish fashion when Hollywood jazzed them up. Along with Cowboy Heroes came their hand tooled, embossed, silver-tipped and rhinestone-studded footwear. An early American Cowboy would probably drop dead at the sight of some of today’s boots made from exotic skins—shark, stingray, alligator, ostrich, snake, etc.—and at the price.

So how many of you have that pair in your closet, or on your feet, that you still love every time you pull them on?


Linda LaRoque said...

Excellent post, Lauri, and interesting information. I didn't know cowboy boots descended from Wellington's. There are some beautiful boots out there but unfortunately, I've never had a pair. I'm glad to know about the museum. My husband and I love museums and if we get that way we'll check it out.


Paty Jager said...

I had all my brother's hand-me-down boots and loved every pair! I never had a "cute" girl pair like my granddaughters' pink ones.

Being on a ranch growing up it was either cowboy boots or bare feet for me.

I had to laugh reading this. I just interviewed a boot maker to learn the craft of making boots in 1880 for a character in a novella. I would love to see that museum in Kansas!

Great post, Lauri!

Tanya Hanson said...

I've never had an actual pair...but it's on my list of things to obtain...soon as my foot heals up from the bone-spur surgery I had on Tuesday Yikes. We intend to go on a "covered wagon" trip around the Tetons summer of 2009. Plenty of time to get them broken in.

What a fun post, Lauri. I too would love that boot museum.

Helen Hardt said...

Yep, I have a pair. I love them!


Loretta said...

I have two pair of boots. Love wearing 'em. 'Course these days I don't wear them to ride horses--only the motorcycle.

Lauri said...

Yes, Linda, there are some beautiful boots out there! The museum was in Scott City. We are going down there soon (March or April as soon as we get the closing date on some property), and I'll check to see if it's still there.

Paty, I can believe it was either bare feet or cowboy boots for you growing up...Is it still?

Have fun picking out those boots, Tanya!

Helen and Loretta, I have a pair (or two) too, and love 'em!

Thanks all, for stopping by!

Hywela Lyn said...

Just came across this post and had to comment. I LOVE cowboy boots, both fashion and practical. I have an ancient pair of black cowboy boots which I ride in - and although I don't have any fashion ones at the moment I have had several in the past.

Theyt are really the most comfortable and practical boots to ride in, although not too good for walking any distance. My friends look at me as if I'm slightly crazy - you see I live in the UK and ride Western style rather than English style too!