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eTrojan

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Ostrich boots from the Olathe Boot Co from Olathe, Kansas. In 1978, OBC was purchased by a Texas boot manufacturer and moved to Texas, so these go back as far as 1978, likely earlier. OBC is one of two boot companies that claim they were the first to make what we know as cowboy boots.

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wasmisterfu

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Ostrich boots from the Olathe Boot Co from Olathe, Kansas. In 1978, OBC was purchased by a Texas boot manufacturer and moved to Texas, so these go back as far as 1978, likely earlier. OBC is one of two boot companies that claim they were the first to make what we know as cowboy boots.

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So what makes a cowboy boot a cowboy boot? As someone with only limited experience with boots, are cowboy boots comfortable?
 

actionjbone

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So what makes a cowboy boot a cowboy boot? As someone with only limited experience with boots, are cowboy boots comfortable?
Originally, they were boots designed for horse riding.

A raised heel helps nestle the foot in the stirrup. No laces = if you fall off the horse, your boot comes off... so that you don't get dragged and die. The long leg sheath helps them stay on without laces.

These days, many folks wear them even if they don't ride, so it's as much a style as it is a working boot. Cowboy boots are also the only modern footwear that still commonly uses exotic leathers like shark, ostrich, eel, etc.

There's also a newer style of cowboy boot, called a "roper boot." They're for folks on the ground using ropes - think lassos at rodeos. Roper Boots have a flatter heel more like a city boot heel, to provide more traction for on-the-ground work.

I've got a pair of roper boots I use as my winter boots. All rubber heels and soles. Great traction for shoveling snow, and the high legs keep water and snow away from my feet. I got a slightly large size and I added warm insoles.

I've got a couple of other tall boots that are really comfy - one eel, one shark. It's not hard adapting to the raised heel, and good cowboy boots are fully welted - with all the related benefits.
 
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eTrojan

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This page is now completely unusable on an iPhone thanks to their new advertisers. Something is broken in the ad-serving technology, and it keeps resetting the page. Impossible to use.
 

suitforcourt

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We know you're a lawyer, so we cut you some slack.

Lawyers may not be people, but you try so hard. 😞
This is one of the nicer things said about me, or any lawyer
 

suitforcourt

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Oh damn, that’s cold.🥶

Honestly, I'm used to it. Even at my childrens' school, the other kids make fun of my work.

One smart aleck asked me how it feels to hose people who are vulnerable. I had to laugh and simply responded that I get to wear nice shoes.
 

actionjbone

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This page is now completely unusable on an iPhone thanks to their new advertisers. Something is broken in the ad-serving technology, and it keeps resetting the page. Impossible to use.
Have you installed Adblock Plus from the app store? Or have you tried the DuckDuckGo browser? One those usually fixes sites when I'm on an i-device.
 

wasmisterfu

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Originally, they were boots designed for horse riding.

A raised heel helps nestle the foot in the stirrup. No laces = if you fall off the horse, your boot comes off... so that you don't get dragged and die. The long leg sheath helps them stay on without laces.

These days, many folks wear them even if they don't ride, so it's as much a style as it is a working boot. Cowboy boots are also the only modern footwear that still commonly uses exotic leathers like shark, ostrich, eel, etc.

There's also a newer style of cowboy boot, called a "roper boot." They're for folks on the ground using ropes - think lassos at rodeos. Roper Boots have a flatter heel more like a city boot heel, to provide more traction for on-the-ground work.

I've got a pair of roper boots I use as my winter boots. All rubber heels and soles. Great traction for shoveling snow, and the high legs keep water and snow away from my feet. I got a slightly large size and I added warm insoles.

I've got a couple of other tall boots that are really comfy - one eel, one shark. It's not hard adapting to the raised heel, and good cowboy boots are fully welted - with all the related benefits.
That was very interesting. I was an equestrian in my youth (English saddle, primarily dressage and show jumping) so I’m vaguely familiar with functional origins of the boot from western saddle standpoint. However I wasn’t aware of everything else (especially the evolution into to two different sub-species of boots).

You raise an interesting question: why do you suppose that exotic leathers persist in the cowboy boot world, but not significantly beyond that arena? I’ve seen some amazing vintage AE Polo’s with some exotic mixture of hides, and @smfdoc I believe has an insane vintage pair of AE Chesters in Alligator (which I seem to recall he picked up as NoS). I’d buy a pair of Alligator Strands if they made ‘em.

Finally, what’s the maintenance regimen for those boots?
 

smfdoc

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You raise an interesting question: why do you suppose that exotic leathers persist in the cowboy boot world, but not significantly beyond that arena? I’ve seen some amazing vintage AE Polo’s with some exotic mixture of hides, and @smfdoc I believe has an insane vintage pair of AE Chesters in Alligator (which I seem to recall he picked up as NoS).

Yes, they were NOS alligators. My theory for your question is that the shirt and jeans worn by cowboys were pretty standard. The fancy boots (exotic leathers and stitching) are the main way they can make a fashion statement. The absence of exotic leathers in many shoe lines seems to correspond with the other cost saving measures in the late 90s.

Speaking of exotics, I was in Budapest yesterday and snapped these pictures in a handmade shoe shop window.

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There was too much reflection on the pair made of stingray.
 

wasmisterfu

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Yes, they were NOS alligators. My theory for your question is that the shirt and jeans worn by cowboys were pretty standard. The fancy boots (exotic leathers and stitching) are the main way they can make a fashion statement. The absence of exotic leathers in many shoe lines seems to correspond with the other cost saving measures in the late 90s.

Speaking of exotics, I was in Budapest yesterday and snapped these pictures in a handmade shoe shop window.

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There was too much reflection on the pair made of stingray.
While the materials are interesting, and I’m sure the workmanship is excellent, I really don’t like the last shaping and the overly euro-vamp styling.

Of course, I’m getting older and may have acquired a case of incurable uncoolness.
 

wasmisterfu

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Is he implying that we’re degenerates?
Probably… and maybe we are.

But he was rude and mean, and therefore I will make fun of (what appears to be) his favorite brand of shoes: Church’s.

Church’s, it would appear, has cornered the market for fine fake vintage shoes. What I’d imagined would only be a passing fad, remains an exceedingly expensive part of their lineup:

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Yes, that’s right, you can pay Church’s 1,750 bucks for a pair of fake worn vintage shoes, complete with dingy 150th anniversary label:

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You can even marvel at their pre-curled shape:

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Now, where I’m from, this is some pretty degenerate stuff (in quite a literal sense). Perhaps it’s not that we’re too degenerate… maybe we aren’t degenerate enough.

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wasmisterfu

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Honestly, I'm used to it. Even at my childrens' school, the other kids make fun of my work.

One smart aleck asked me how it feels to hose people who are vulnerable. I had to laugh and simply responded that I get to wear nice shoes.
Dude, that’s a badass retort.

Hell, that might be the most awesomely lawyerly thing I’ve ever heard: “yeah, F those losers, check out muh shoes”.
 

suitforcourt

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Dude, that’s a badass retort.

Hell, that might be the most awesomely lawyerly thing I’ve ever heard: “yeah, F those losers, check out muh shoes”.

I've learned not to respond to stupid people and their stupid questions. It's a waste of time to even consider it.
 

actionjbone

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That was very interesting. I was an equestrian in my youth (English saddle, primarily dressage and show jumping) so I’m vaguely familiar with functional origins of the boot from western saddle standpoint. However I wasn’t aware of everything else (especially the evolution into to two different sub-species of boots).

You raise an interesting question: why do you suppose that exotic leathers persist in the cowboy boot world, but not significantly beyond that arena? I’ve seen some amazing vintage AE Polo’s with some exotic mixture of hides, and @smfdoc I believe has an insane vintage pair of AE Chesters in Alligator (which I seem to recall he picked up as NoS). I’d buy a pair of Alligator Strands if they made ‘em.

Finally, what’s the maintenance regimen for those boots?
In addition what smfdoc said, I'm guessing it's just what people were buying. "Professional" shoes are stereotypically smooth and slick, and "working" shoes have texture. And when companies start cutting costs, they cut the products that people buy less of - expensive exotic leathers.

As for care, basically the same as shoes. For my shark and eel boots, Bick 4 and a good brushing works well. And the upper legs aren't exotic leather.

Ordinary shoe trees in the feet. I keep these things in the leg holes: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01C3719DE

My roper boots are roughout, and I've literally done no maintenance to them, other than waterproofing.
 

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