I'm interested in getting a good, rugged pair of cowboy boots...not necessarily the dressy type, but some that I could wear out, hopefully feel almost as good as a nice pair of Asics runners, or at least as good as my Bates tacticals. A pair DEF under $500...preferably half that or less, comfort being the most important factor, and able to take abuse, i.e., wear them outdoors to do things being a close 2nd...
I'm assuming I wouldn't go with a "pointed toe" pair, but maybe something more rodeo style??

I know nothing of cowboy boots, other than they make a million styles, brands, and colors, haven't worn any since I was a kid, so I'd love some tried and true advice from the ole pros...

Tags: boots, cowboy

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For me, I'd say the biggest piece of advice I have is to make sure the boots you get are made in the USA if they're an American brand. American boots made in China or elsewhere is just wrong; I don't care how well-made they are! The brands known as the "Big 3" -- Justin, Tony Lama, and Nocona -- all make most of their boots in the USA, but some individual styles or style lines are made in Mexico or China. You can go to www.justinboots.com and www.tonylama.com and see which styles they make here in the States. As for Nocona, go to www.nocona.com -- any boot that's not made in the USA has a product number that starts with "NB."

Abilene is another boot brand made mostly, if not entirely, in the USA. Ariat is a popular boot brand, but it's made in China. Dan Post is made in Mexico, and I think Durango, Laredo, and Dingo are made in China (all I know is that they're NOT USA-made). And while Frye makes harness boots and engineer boots in the USA, its cowboy boots are made in Mexico.

Lucchese boots are high-end boots, and all of their boots are made in the USA EXCEPT for their "Resistol by Lucchese" line, which are Mexican-made (that line isn't so high-end).

There's also Olathe and Anderson Bean, which, AFAIK, have USA-made styles (I don't know whether or not all of them are made here, though).

Other higher-end boots include Boulet, a Canadian brand, and Sendra, a Spanish brand (but they're made in their own respective countries and not in 3rd world countries).

There are also Mexican boot brands whose names I don't remember but who are surely made in Mexico. Again, that's OK as they're Mexican brands. :)

As for fitting advice, expect there to be heel slippage at first. Don't try on boots too early or too late in the day, as your feet swell during the course of the day. Different boot brands tend to fit differently; in addition, don't automatically assume your normal shoe size will do for boots. I mean, maybe it will, but then again, maybe not. Finally, you might consider wearing socks made especially for western boots, which are supposed to have more cushioning and are also taller. Unfortunately, they may not always stay up well.

I hope this helps. Sorry it was a bit long.
Thanks for that...all that, lol...

I'm looking for comfort first and foremost, but thought I'd get some opinions before I start looking. I just don't want a pair of boots that feel like a "high top" version of a patent leather duty shoe...if that's the case I'll just leave it alone, and wear hikers...

But I am hopeful...I just don't wanna spend up to a couple hundred bucks or so, and after 3 or 4 wearings, realize that the only thing the boots will give me are blisters and pained feet...

Make sense???

Thanks again!
No problem. :)

Really, cowboy boots should never be anything less than comfortable. And if you're wearing boots that fit right, then there should be no problems there. So since this would be your first time wearing boots, I recommend going to a boot store, trying on a few pairs, and making sure the salespeople there are really knowledgeable about what they're selling. Ask them a lot of questions before you buy!

I say all this as someone who owns a few pairs of boots myself.
I have a pair of plain black Nocona boots, and they are as comfortable as anything else I own. Mine are actually a pair of seconds, and I couldn't find what made them rejects. I can't speak for any other cowboy boot companies, but I have heard that Lucchese boots are top shelf.
Hopefully you have found a pair of boots that your happy with by now. What you are asking for is one boot to do many functions, just like everything when you try to make one item do everything it winds up doing nothing well. My dress boots are Lucchese, (made in El Paso Texas) I have a black pair and a brown pair, most comfortable thing I have had on my feet. NOT to be worn out in the fields, and each pair blows your budget. My work boots are Red Wings (made in Red Wing MN), leather is twice as thick and wear like iron. I have a black pair and a brown pair, they are not the most comfortable boot I have, but I have had them for 20 years. My lace up boots are made by Danner (made in Portland Oregon), 2nd most comfortable thing I have ever had on my feet. Last forever, I have and insulated pair for the winter and a non insulated pair for the summer.

OK, a quick primer on cowboy boots.

 

First off, there is no such thing as a single, definitive "cowboy boot."  They're actually work boots, by design, and they're customized for cowboy-type work.  Many of their most distinctive design features actually are functional.

 

The distinctive stitching on the shaft (leg) serves to reinforce the leather and keep it from sagging excessively. The toe bug identifies the flex point and reinforces it in the same way as the shaft.  This is often a highly decorative element...more rows of stitching usually means higher quality.  Additionally, the shaft is not usually seen, so it lends a canvas for a bit of flair...be it an outlandish color, or stitched pattern.  I've seen some with a beautifully inlaid Texas Lone Star.  It's the cowboy boot equivalent of the lining of a suit jacket.

 

Many of the other elements relate to riding, for example the pointed toe, which helps the foot slip into the stirrup on your saddle.

 

The high heel keeps the foot from slipping all the way through the stirrup.

 

The steel shank offers support for the foot, while in the stirrup.  Great support, by the way...cowboy boots are actually *recommended* by the American Podiatric Society, as being healthy for your feet.

 

The tall shaft protects the legs from abrasion by brush/branches.

 

Even the fact that it is a slip on boot is a feature...if the foot is caught in the stirrup, you have a chance to slip off the boot, rather than being dragged along.  There are some lace-on cowboy boots, called Packers, but they're far less common.  Beautiful, though.

 

Other designs, like the roper boot, modify these design elements.  The shaft is shorter, the toe more rounded (but still somewhat pointy), the heel shorter, and the stitching minimal.  They're the boot equivalent to sneakers, because while roping you actually get out of the saddle and run.  They're customized for that function.  It's harder to run in high heels, and while roping you don't need the tall shaft for protection.

 

Most working cowboys that I know wear either a roper boot, or a Red Wing/Wolverine pull on wellington, as everyday boots.  They're cheap, still sufficiently functional, and still give the right appearance.  They keep a pair of "good boots" for after work, or for going to church.

 

A few years later they'll often get another pair, and demote their original ones.

 

P.S.  If you're wanting the "cowboy look" you also need to choose your jeans properly, and buy them with an inseam at least 2" longer (preferably 4") than your measured inseam.  It gives the proper stack on the boots, and also serves another function.  Pants/jeans, while in the saddle, ride up.  This keeps the shaft from showing.

Wow thanks for the info Chuck , wish you posted this a couple of weeks ago , as l liked the look of the wolverene boots but could not order a pair without drama , so l googled brown boots , brown dress boots , with very little in the way of options that grabbed me , if only l knew to google packer boots , the choices are endless and you are right they are beautiful , l will have to settle for the military boots l got until they wear out . 

Happy travels Chuck .

You can have *more* than one pair of boots. 

 

In fact, most recommend at least two, that you change every other day.  Lets them dry out after wearing, and extends their life significantly.

True Chuck , but as a blue collar worker , l rotate three pairs of steel cap red back slip ons , and for weekends and going out l have a pair of brown slip on dress shoes , harley bike boots , corcoran military boots , so my back door is starting to look like the front of a mosque , anyway thats a big investment right there , the packers will have to wait , l would rather a nice pair of texas cowboy boots , before l get more brown lace ups .
Sounds just about like my closet.  I swear good boots multiply, when you're not watching them.
if you were going to do it , go dressy , l have seen this place advertised aplenty .http://www.timsboots.com/

Thanks for the info guys...

 

I looked at some Redheads today. Anyone have any thoughts on them??

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