Traditional cowboy boots have nearly always been made with a smooth leather
sole with a stacked leather heel. This heel-sole combination was (and still
is) the best for riding horses with feet in the stirrups. The majority of
folks who wear cowboy boots today rarely mount a horse, however, which has
led to the availability of many other types of Western boot soles and heels.
·Smooth natural leather is best for riding, and also great for
·Anti-slip rubber outsoles with tread, often found on roper-style
boots, are great for working or lots of walking. Oil-resistant rubber soles
are available in some work-Western boots.
·A nice compromise for a Western boot sole is a smooth leather
outsole with a rubber-capped heel, providing a small non-slip surface but
still allowing for easy movement in and out of stirrups or across the dance
Many modern Western boots include a midsole and/ or footbed. This inner
layer may be made from materials like spongy synthetic EVA or natural cork,
and is designed to cushion the bottom of your foot. Shock absorption and
cushioning is especially important if you’ll be walking or standing a lot in
If you want truly handcrafted Western boots, look for boots with outsoles
that are considered hand-rolled and hand-pegged. All Western boot outsoles
have a convex curve at the arch to match the shape of a person’s foot. While
many modern boot outsoles are rolled by machine to achieve this curved
shape, the curve is fashioned by hand in some high-quality boots and secured
in place with wooden or brass pegs driven by hand.
Western boot heel height is largely based on wearer preference, but there
are some practical considerations when selecting your ideal Western boot
Lower heels (around one inch) are usually found in ropers and are easiest
to walk or work in; higher heels (around two inches) are best for riding… or
looking taller! A middle heel height is the most versatile Western boot heel
for a combination of riding, walking and working that many cowboys favor.
You should buy only boots with authentic stacked leather heels if you
want a genuine and durable pair of Western boots. You may want a
rubber-capped heel for traction, and you should opt for a lower heel than
the traditional two-inch riding heel unless you’re a frequent rider.
The classic cowboy boot has a narrow, pointed toe, designed to slide
easily into the stirrups without snagging. In modern times, many Western
boot wearers rarely (if ever) ride horses, though. As a result, Western boot
manufacturers offer a variety of toe styles. Here are some common Western
boot toe styles, listed from most pointed to least pointed:
·J toe: Sharply pointed
·D toe: Tapered toward a point, but with a flat tip
·R toe: Tapered, but rounded at the tip (the most common toe shape
in cowboy boots)
·W toe, U toe, Roper toe: Fully rounded or U-shaped
Square toe: A wide, flat and angular toe
Cowboy Boot Toe Shape Guide
Choosing the shape of the toe on a pair of new boots is a challenge for many
buyers. The shape names assigned for the toe styles can vary from manufacturer
to manufacturer. A “J toe” in one brand could be an “X toe” in another brand.
This lack of codification can be very confusing!
While I can’t give the complete toe-shape charts of every major cowboy boot
brand on this blog post (as many brands lack this kind of diagram), I can give a
little insight into the most popular shapes of toes available. We’ll go with
generic names like “round toe” or “extra pointy toe” rather than the
brand-specific names that cowboy boot manufacturers create.
CLASSIC: The true shape of a classic cowboy
boot toe is a subject that gets cowboy boot enthusiasts fired up. Some people
swear that the boots with the extra pointy toes we’ve been seeing for several
years are the most authentic. Others say rounded toes make the most sense. To
clear things up, both parties are right (kind of). Real, classic cowboy boots
feature a toe that is tapered (i.e. smaller towards the tip), but also rounded.
The shape of this toe let the cowboy of the old west easily slip his foot in and
out of the stirrups. The rounded toe was just a little more practical than the
POINTED: Pointed toe cowboy boots have been
popular since at least the 1950s, but have been particularly prominent in modern
fashion since the early 2000s. Pointed toes can be “needle pointed” (come to a
sharp point), or can be slightly blunted (snipped) at the end of the toe. When
you order a pointed toe cowboy boot, there is no need to change your boot size
since the brand takes the room requirements for the pointed toe into account.
There is, in most cases, no reason to order up a size.
ROUND TOE: Round toe boots are very
comfortable, as they allow the toes a little more room to spread out. Many
western work boots come with round toes, as do “ropers,” the popular boot for
rodeo calf-ropers. This toe shape is generally not ideal for riding long
distances, but is a great choice for a walking boot or casual boot.
SQUARE TOE: A square toe is generally a
fashion statement. This fresh, young take on the classic cowboy boot has surged
in popularity over the past few years. A Square toe can be found on riding boots
and walking boots and is a great alternative to the more traditional styles.
BROAD SQUARE TOE: Broad square toes are
shown on some of the best-selling boots on the market today. A broad square toe
gives the toes the most room to spread out, making boots with this shape an
excellent footwear choice for people who are on their feet all day. Ariat
Ramblers and several models of Ariat Fatbaby Boots both feature a broad square
TOE SPRING: Toe spring is the upward
curvature of the end of the toe box of a shoe. It is much more pronounced in a
traditional rigid-soled running shoe than in a minimalist shoe. You want the
toes (especially the large toe) to bend. It is critical for the large toe to
bend on toe-off to activate the windlass mechanism and stabilize the foot.
Cowboy Boot Heel Guide
Standard Heel: The most
common cowboy boot heel height is a medium size heel, which is also referred to
as the standard heel height. The medium heel is 1 1/2-inches in height with a
wide flat bottom for good balance. Most cowboys find this heel ideal for
walking, riding, and doing other activities such as working on a ranch, or
riding in a rodeo.
Low Heel: There are also shorter heel cowboy
boots. These also have wide, flat bottoms but are 1-inch or less in height.
Individuals involved in roping events more commonly wear boots with a low heel,
since these are easier to run and maneuver in. Not surprisingly, this brand of
cowboy boot is known as the Roper. The Roper style is also acceptable for
general walking and ranch work.
High Heel: The 2-inch or higher cowboy boot
heel is not as common. This heel is mostly employed by an individual
specifically wanting to add to his or her overall height while wearing the
boots. This type of heel can be worn when riding but are not ideal for working
in. The high heel style still have the wide, flat bottom.
Spiked Heel: This type of cowboy boot is
commonly known as a fashion boot as they are for fashion purposes only. These
heels are 3 to 4-inches in high and so add to a the wearer's overall height.
Unlike other cowboy boot heels that feature a flat, wide bottom, the spiked heel
has a relatively narrow bottom as their name implies.
Fitting Your Twisted X Boot
Some things to consider as you pick out the perfect pair of Twisted X boots:
Twisted X boots are cut generously in size.
The boots are high quality cowboy boots,
which means you'll have to work to get them on, then once
your foot is in place, it should feel extremely comfortable.
Your arch should feel supported.
Fitting in Twisted X boots is consistent
from boot to boot, so if you already know what size you
wear, you'll fit it across the line.
Twisted X's fit is comparable to Ariat
boots, yet are not as full as Justin boots.
John Wayne Toe
mens + womens
5 Toe with a Spring
8 Toe with a Spring
Fashion Heel (2" Tall)
Walking Heel (1 3/8" Tall)
Short Cowboy Hee
Cowboy Heel (1 1/2" Tall)
Fowler Heel with a Pitch (1 1/8" Tall)
More of a Walking Heel
Roper Heel with a Pitch (1" Tall)
Lucchese boots feature traditional leather soles, which
are flexible and breathable.
Lemonwood pegs complete the structure of the boot by holding the insole and
maintaining the integrity of the hand-lasted instep fit.
Mens Toe Styles
Womens Toe Styles
“Classic work boot”- The round toe boot has a tip
that is rounded, versus flat. A round toe boot could
be semi-round, full round (U-toe) or broad round.
Each may be a little wider and less tapered than the
Western Square – lower profile toe built for work or
In a Square Toe boot, the front of the toe is flat,
with the corners almost at a right-angle.
The fashion toe boot is a J toe boot that has a bit
more room for the toes to wiggle around, making it
less-tapered and a bit more rounded at the tip.
The snip toe is similar to the square toe, except
the front is narrower. The boot is tapered to a
near-point, but flat at the front.
Toe & Heel Styles
Olathe Scallop Styles
Beck Cowboy Boot
Toe & Heel Styles
Jama Old West®
Men's Toe Shapes for western boots
|Women's Toe Shapes for western boots
Children's Toe Shapes for western boots
Toe & Heel Styles
Heel and Toe styles for
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Most recent revision
Thursday, November 02, 2017 01:34:39 AM