Cowboy boots have come a long way from being the work boot worn by drovers and cowboys to run cattle in the harsh wild-west conditions to the fashionable, everyday footwear they have become today. The original black leather boot with seventeen-inch tops and two-plus inch heels (designed for the stirrup) are now sharing shelf space with flashy-colored, high-heeled, narrow- and rounded-toed, stamped boots – Some time in the eighties, cowboys started tucking their jeans into their boots to show… well to show them off.
What hasn’t changed in the course of this evolution, however, is the simple “fact” that everyone needs at least one great pair of cowboy boots in their closet. And some of the best selection in the world can be found right here in DFW.
CHOOSING THE COWBOY BOOT THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU
“Are you looking for a boot for style or utility and do you plan to wear them with jeans or a dress,” says Kristin Jaworski, Trail Boss and Director of the Fort Worth Herd. “You have boots for certain outfits and you can get a really nice boot for a casual event, dance or political function here in DFW.”
Boots can cost anywhere from $200-$2000 so budget also plays a big role in your decision. “Western style boots can be casual and made of regular cowhide and priced less and they can also be more upscale and made of exotic leather and be more expensive.” (Kristin keeps up with cowboy boot fashion and her fav. brands, like Old Gringo and Rios of Mercedes to name two, by visiting the Stockyard’s Maverick Fine Western Wear.)
WHERE TO BUY A GOOD PAIR OF COWBOY BOOTS
The Fort Worth Stockyards is Kristin’s favorite place to buy her cowboy boots (she currently has about 30 pairs in her closet) and it’s not just because she spends her days there. “The Stockyards is the best place to buy cowboy boots because there is every kind of shop you can imagine, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find the style you’re looking for.” (There are roughly ten shops in the Stockyards that sell cowboy boots and they’re all within fifteen blocks of one another.)
Kristin’s insights: For luxurious, higher-end boots, visit M.L Leddy’s. They will also custom-make boots, but get your order in now because at the moment there is about a one-year wait list. Cavender’s offers a large selection of boots at a variety of prices. (They also have locations around DFW.) The Ramblin Trails Custom Boots is the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ in the Stockyard’s that offers you a more personal shopping experience. You can pick your hide and style and they’ll build you the boot you want. (Their wait list is shorter.) And family-owned business Fincher’s White Front Western Wear offers an assortment of affordable cowboy boots. “Fincher’s is where I buy most of my boots and get them polished and re-soled,” says Kristin. For anyone not heading to the Stockyards, there’s the Justin Boots Outlet in Fort Worth. They have a good selection of nice quality boots at discounted prices.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR NEW COWBOY BOOTS
Boots are handmade leather so as Kristin says, “It’s important to condition them and make sure you take care of the soles before it’s too late and they’re so worn down they’re beyond repair. I have my favorite pairs that I wear everyday and I keep putting new soles on them so they can last years and years.”
Featured image courtesy of M.L. Leddy’s.