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Cowboy boots

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mram65, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. mktitsworth

    mktitsworth Senior member

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    Not at all.

    Well, I'm sure that if you're wearing shitty boots it can be uncomfortable, but this is true of wearing shitty shoes in general.
     
    2 people like this.
  2. demian19003

    demian19003 Well-Known Member

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    While I am honestly not all too experienced either. Having lived in TX and having spoken with others, they are apparently VERY comfortable...and are considered work boots. Ranchers, riders, et al wear them all the time so I am inclined to think they are.Those I have worn were actually very comfortable...

    Should you go to Whitesboots.com ... White's is a very fine shoemaker, and within they state how this natural foot angle used within cowboy boots is the foot's natural angle and therefore most comfortable.

    I am inclined to agree having just purchased my first pair of cowboy boots since adolescence. Also, here in Italy, I walk everywhere, old cobblestone roads, etc...and while in Bologna walking all day in Grenson brogues I developed this serious pain in my left heel that has never fully gone away !! And I have been EVERYWHERE...35+countries walking and walking...perhaps they were a bad fit?!
    You know, now, I honestly believe if I had this angle in my shoes as cowboy boots, I would not have developed this problem.

    Anyway, I wished to hop on here to end my thought on the subject as I've just bought a pair.

    Although I have lived in TX much of my adolescence, I have never seen these before. And for whatever reason, having chosen to try and take up the challenge of cowboy boots .....I came across these !!!

    I have been around (and own) handcrafted shoes of all sorts.. you name it, and thought I'd seen it all..but I have never looked into boots, or work boots, seriously before. I feel like a fool for ever having purchased Timberland...which fell apart last week while in Portugal !!

    Having happened upon these, they are amongst the coolest boots/shoes. I have never seen anything quite like these before?!

    They look like something out of the 1800s or Victorian era??!!

    They are called "Packer" boots.
    Part brogue, part cowboy boot, work boot, dandy-ish...PERFECT.

    As a fine art painter, I am on my feet ALL the time, and was initially looking for some good work boots (with my sartorial senses of course tingling), discovered Red Wing, Chippewa, Wesco, and White's Boots (whom I HIGHLY recommend if looking for a boot of any sort .. do a search. No assembly line. Entirely hand made.)

    That said, I just happened to come cross this brand Chippewa. Well regarded, if not rather obnoxious I find in their promotion of being American made..(even placing an American flag pin on the lacing now?!)

    Nevertheless, these are built VERY well..leather is superb. Craftsmanship leaves nothing to be desired...and I have very high standards. These are vintage however, I don't know how new models compare. How old I don't know..

    Becoming not so easy to find, so I have read...a search revealed likewise, by quality makers at least.

    Nothing like them with these colors I could find...and LOOK AT THAT PATINA !
    I will always go for magic beans instead of what I really need it seems.....Sigh.

    Flippity thing on the top (called a 'kiltie') is removable...and will be.
    They need some TLC..but man these are the most intriguing, and yes, beautiful pair of boots I have ever encountered.

    Nice to come across something genuinely unique these days, not merely a variation. Sure Trickers, Sutor, Church's et al are outstanding, but it is nice to have come across something genuinely different here.

    >>I AM IN LOVE.. I mean look at that patina and color combo...you can't make that up!

    So there you go. Cowboy boots CAN be elegant. Who knew.

    FWIW...my .02
    Kind regards
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  3. demian19003

    demian19003 Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  4. mizzy33

    mizzy33 Member

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    My pair of handmade Packer boots (lace to toe) by Drew's Boots. I posted this a few years back...
    I liked these so well I ordered another pair with a OSHA certified toe box for work.
    After 4 years of very tough service (ditch digger) they now only need resoling...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. demian19003

    demian19003 Well-Known Member

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    Ah....very nice...didnt see the post..it became a long thread.
    Great color. Those are boots for a lifetime, and will age very well. The first scratch is the hardest I am sure!!

    Have a photo of what they look like now after 4yrs of hard use?

    I don't know Drew's, but will look them up now.
    Good for you...that is definitely in my future. But I live on the moon, and leather imports are a no no, and taxes INSANE.
    Although i am considering selling my Sutor's, Church's, etc...to have a pair made too..Call me a convert!

    These packers are the best damn work boots. I feel like I discovered penicillin or something!?
    Perfect combo of class, refinement, and toughness. I wear them 95% of the time, but need another pair, these are a bit too dandy-ish, and hate to destroy these..this leather combo and patina is just too special..

    I am a bit like you, a laborer, in the cold, the heat, the mud, and the dirt, carrying stuff, hiking, always on my feet...I am in work clothes 95% of the time...and wear work boots 95% of the time therefore.. People don;t realize that (classical) painting is a laborers job..and damn hard work..
    The rest of the time, yes, I wear suits, ties, etc...I live in extremes and am both people, a dandy and a laborer.

    I also like the lower heel on these (yours). Mine have the stacked, cowboy boot heel, a bit higher, and while comfortable would prefer a level or 2 lower...I don;t ride a horse and don' t need a twisted ankle.
    They really need to be repaired properly or replaced whenever I visit family in TX.

    People talk of the artisans and craftsmen in Italy, etc..but I'll tell you, those in the States, and in TX specifically I recall, really are amongst the best..they did great work..from the welders who did the exhaust work on my old Jaguars, machinists that made items for them no longer in existence from scratch, to shoe repair, to timepieces..you name it. I do miss that..

    I NEVER had to be concerned that the work would be done well .. vis a vis, I could trust them!
    Here, it is a goddamn joke. They're cute...or at least used to be...their manner and methodology, but getting a bit older I find it annoying and frustrating now...I really don't know how they have a country most days...such a love/hate relationship like no other here. But I digress..

    ...and FWIW, "ditch digger" is kind of a cynical term to use...It is honest, active, work...with something completed at the end that is genuinely useful and needed by society...I genuinely respect that.
    Although very hard work no doubt, to me, it beats a cubical every day, contributing to NOTHINGNESS...

    Thanks for the note..will look up Drew's.
    Excuse the length, I am not a forum person. 30sec of speech is 1 page of typeface.
    Perhaps I have lived in Italy too long !!
    Best
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  6. greger

    greger Senior member

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    Packer boots are a cross between cowboy boots (horse riding) and high top hiking boots for duel purposes. To me they are a strange looking boot. Practical they are. For horse camping I'd rather use cowboy boots and a pair of hiking shoes. If I were the guide probably the Packers boots.
     
  7. mizzy33

    mizzy33 Member

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    Demian, I'm glad you found the information useful. I am actually in the midst of upgrading my lighting system for photography and I'll use the Packer boots to practice with it... Will post a couple of "product shots" :) in a few days.

    Cheers!
     
  8. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    In fact, if you go back to the last quarter of the 18th century and look at old photos of cowboys taken nearly anywhere in the West, most will be wearing a lace up shoe or boot. This is because many of the early cowboys were drifters who came west after the Civil War. most of them mustered out in brogans (and ankle high lace up) and they could not afford anything else. Cowboying was, and is, a pretty much hand to mouth low paying occupation.If you were to do a survey of all the old photos of working hands from that time period, I suspect you'd see more lace-ups than pull ons.

    In some respects, nowadays, lace-up cowboy boots are more popular in the SW than the northern tier states or, esp., in the Great Basin. And they are often a signifier of what kind of work you're doing.

    Cowboys in the Great Basin, and to some extent further east, are more apt to ride an oxbow stirrup and if they are riding often, these men will almost never wear a packer...simply because if a hand draws a fractious horse from the cavvy, he's likely to get bucked. And if he gets hung up in the stirrup, the lace up boot will never come off and he may be drug to death.

    Here's a pair of packer boots one of my students made (elephant and buffalo calf) click for larger view:

    [​IMG]

    --
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
    4 people like this.
  9. greger

    greger Senior member

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    The origin of the cowboy boot wasn't even cowboy, but Norway, if I remember correctly. When was the first "cowboy shirt" Invented? A little over 100 years ago? Chaps are Spanish or influence of Spain.

    Hung up in a stirrup roll over face down and the foot slips out.

    The first Cowboys had none of the cowboy stuff except maybe spurs and boots, if they rode in the calvary. Even the saddle came later. Not to mention the hat. What a development from nothing to what it is today. The whole ensemble is quite some art. Lace up boots mostly from civil war foot soldiers as you said. The West side would be vaquero and not cowboy.

    Like your boots and shoes. Maybe I'll be lucky enough someday to wear a pair or more.
     
  10. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    I don't believe that's true.

    Some of the earliest examples of side seamed pull on boots come from Eastern Europe.

    But the cowboy boot enters into American history as a result of a late 18th, early 19th century war between England and France. When Arthur Wellsley, the Duke of Wellington, defeated Bonaparte at Waterloo he became the darling of European high society. The boots he had made...by Hoby, IIRC...were worn all across Europe by both men and women.

    Those boots were a two piece side seamed boot which, today we call the "full wellington" (all side seamed pull-on boots...including cowboy boots...are technically wellingtons).

    The boot came to the US with immigrants and particularly German immigrants.

    During the 1800's the full wellington was the most popular and most worn man's boot particularly in the US. There are examples of US origin dating back to the 1840s, I believe.

    During the American Civil War, the full wellington was the boot worn by cavalry officers on both sides (enlisted men were issues brogans). When the Civil War ended many men went west. And most, if not all, of the early boots made by civilian makers, in such places as Olathe Kansas...were renditions of the standard two piece pull on cavalry boot. We have many examples of such boots.

    As time went by things loosened up and you began to see inlaid stars, and playing cards, and so forth. Again, well documented.

    The four piece "dress wellington" doesn't really replace the FW until the turn of the 20th century...1890, if I'm not mistaken...(although dress wellingtons are documented in England as early as 1817), with full wellingtons in one variation or another showing up in old catalogs, such as the Hyer Boot Company catalog, for example, well into the 1930's.

    Dress wellingtons were far easier to make and far more efficient to cut than full wellingtons and as lining became necessary with lighter weight leathers stitching became necessary.

    I wrote a fairly well documented essay about this many years ago that was vetted by one of the most well known and well respected shoe historians in the world. You can find it [COLOR=FF0000]here[/COLOR]


    I'm not a cowboy but I have been making boots for real out-with-the-wagon cowboys for over forty years. The reservations with regard to packers is what they themselves have told me. Again, it may make a difference as to what kind of stirrup you ride...as that also makes a difference as to how deep you are going to be in that stirrup.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
    3 people like this.
  11. emptym

    emptym Senior member Moderator

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    ^Interesting article, DW. Thanks for it. Do you know why 4 piece wellingtons were at first reserved for wealthier clients?
     
  12. mktitsworth

    mktitsworth Senior member

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    Always enjoy the knowledge bombs, DW.
     
  13. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Thanks M.

    The article was written, as I said, a long time ago and I was much more conversant with the documentation then.

    I wasn't there (not that old) but full wellingtons, in the US at least, were seldom lined and often full pegged. Those two aspects, right there, cut out a big chunk of time and material.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  14. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    Yr. Hmb. Svt.

    :cheers:
     
  15. chicken1616

    chicken1616 Senior member

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    Well, Mr. Frommer, after reading your article and perusing your website, I must say I feel somewhat inadequately shod in my plebeian White's and Lamas. Thanks for that.:D
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. DWFII

    DWFII Bespoke Boot and Shoemaker Dubiously Honored

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    You're welcome...I think. :)
     
  17. mizzy33

    mizzy33 Member

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    Finally got a quick chance to take an image of the Drews boots lace to toe packer. 10in high upper with a 4s heel...
    I don't work in this pair, but wear them a lot as they are the most supportive and comfortable shoes I own...
    5yrs of use with nothing but beeswax for maintenance..They're really just getting broken in :)

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  18. chicken1616

    chicken1616 Senior member

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    I have two pairs of White's packers and have a pair of Drew's 10" Buckaroo packers on order. Should be here end o' January.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  19. mizzy33

    mizzy33 Member

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    @chicken1616

    I ordered mine with doing duty both on horseback and lots of walking in mind, so I requested a bit lower heel than the buckaroo... I'd like to see a pic when you take delivery. I've no regrets going with Drew's over White's...
     
  20. chicken1616

    chicken1616 Senior member

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    The Drew's Buckaroo 10" is actually made by White's. I'll post some pics of my current packers and my Ha-thorn Rancher Pull-Ons and Bullhide Cowboys this week.
     

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