Getting the Boot
Cowboys and cowgirls have always taken great pride in their style, and the iconic cowboy boot perhaps tops the list of functional, yet aesthetically pleasing, necessities of the trade.
These days, our boots are made for walkin’…. and so much more! Just about every barrel racer we know shares an affinity for a stylish yet classic pair of cowboy boots. With cowboy boots being a staple in so many of our wardrobes, we thought it would be interesting to see where the latest trends are taking our boot fetish. Professional barrel racer Shane Holeman of Ariat International, talks about some fun trends. Below, in her words, are some style concepts to be on the look out for.
Boots are a staple trend item! They are no longer just for riding and working horses. Boots have become key wardrobe pieces – they are a great way to accentuate your look and to make a statement.
For riding, the hottest trend is the wide square toe with a fun, punchy top. Color is very important! Incorporating mainstream trends into your look keeps it fresh and current. We shop Europe, New York, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver and other major cities, as well as rodeos and horse shows across the country to interpret the looks that will fit the needs of the Western enthusiast. I’m seeing a look I like to call Ranch Glam, which is a mixture of mainstream trends with Western looks. It’s edgy with western roots and authenticity.
What About Comfort?
As an avid horsewoman myself, key considerations when purchasing a pair of boots are to look for a boot that is engineered for the rider and athlete. I want something that is comfortable, durable, offers stability, support, and most importantly also looks cute and fashionable. These days it’s simple to get boots resoled, but you cannot beat the durability and comfort of a rubber sole, one that gives the perfect blend of toughness with rebound to make long days on your feet – or in the stirrup – a little easier.
If the Boot Fits…
Boot fit can be very difficult as everyone’s foot is different. A boot should fit snug to the foot. It’s important that it fits in the instep, ball, and the heel. A little lift at the heel is normal until the boot breaks in. I also recommend that you try on shoes or boots later in the day when feet tend to swell. That way you won’t buy too small. And make sure you wear them around the store a bit to get a feel for how they fit before you buy.
Dressing it Up
I’m thrilled that cowboy boots are so popular; in my mind they never go out of style because they are iconic and embody the American spirit. Pointed toe boots compliment a dressy or night-on-the-town type of outfit. I like the exaggerated toe that we’ve seen in the past, a worn-in vintage look with heavy embroidery, cutouts, underlays or other interesting details.