Romance and mystery of the Old West, as well as numerous legends surrounding the story of how the West was won, have many of us women folk yearning to dress the cowgirl style. Of course, achieving cowgirl style is virtually impossible without a good pair of boots.
There is something captivating about cowgirl boots that is inexplicable. They are unique, mysterious, chic, and on the right pair of legs, they are downright sexy.
If you are in the market for a good pair of cowgirl boots, there are some things you should pay attention to in order to assure a comfortable long-term relationship with the pair you purchase. First of all, you need to decide what purpose your boots would serve: work or play. That will determine the material and style for your chosen pair. You also might want to set a budget, because cowgirl boots, especially those in the fashion category, can be rather pricey.
Let's assume you are not going to ride horses or rope cattle in your new boots, but are purchasing a pair of fashion boots to go dancing in. What are the things you should be looking for?
1. Size does matter...
Cowgirl boots do not fit like your regular shoes, and the size of shoe you normally wear might not be the size of boot you need. Before you start thinking about shapes and colors, make sure to measure your foot. A good cowgirl boot should fit like it was made for you. True, the leather may stretch a bit with wear, but if the fit doesn't feel good right off the bat, it will not get much better with wear. Make sure you are wearing a pair of boot socks or knee high sports socks when trying the boots on to assure the proper fit.
The most important thing when fitting a boot is that the ball of your foot is at the widest point of the boot. This will alleviate undue stress on your feet. Also, make sure that the boot shank and your arch have matching curves. Next, it is important that the instep fits. You can determine this by taking the leather of the boot between your thumb and index finger and rubbing your thumb across the instep. A very slight wrinkle means the boots fit properly. A large wrinkle means boots are too loose. Last but not least, make sure you have a bit of a heel slippage. About a quarter to half of an inch of slippage is fine.
2. Toe the line...
Toes on cowgirls boots come in different shapes, and it is very important to determine which shape suits your feet best. Are you comfortable wearing pointed-toe shoes or do you prefer rounded toes? If you have a wider foot, square toe would usually be a good choice. Choose a boot toe shape for comfort first, and then for style. Also, make sure that there is about thumb's width of space between your toes and the tip of the boot. Most boot companies put extra reinforcement in the toe area, called "toe cap." This extra reinforcement is stiff, and if toe cap is bothering you in any way, you may need a larger size.
3. A tall drink of water...
Heels of cowgirl boots come in different heights. Standard height is between 3/4 inch to one inch and 3/4. However, fashion cowgirl boots can have much higher heels than that. As cowgirl boots are meant to take you from day into night, go with the heel height that feels most comfortable to you. Unlike other footwear, the statement here is definitely not in the heel height.
4. Loose purse strings...
Invest in a quality pair of cowgirl boots. Good cowgirls boots can be expensive, and it is tempting to start out with a super cheap pair. If you go this route, you will be paying in blisters, discomfort, and dissatisfaction. Also, make sure to pick a pair that matches your personality. For high style pizzazz, look for fancy embroidery and vibrant colors. If you are fun and funky, you will enjoy wild animal prints and exotic leathers. In a nutshell, let the boots "speak to you" and speak about you.
5. Let it all hang out...
To tuck or not to tuck, that is the question. Traditional cowgirl folk will tell you that real cowgirls don't tuck their jeans into their boots. On the other hand, cowgirl fashionistas around the world will tell you to tuck those jeans in and show off your boots. It is up to you to decide which advice you'll take, but keep in mind that skinny jeans look better tucked, and bootcut jeans are meant to be worn untucked.
6. Last words...
Last but not least, apart from jeans, what else can you wear with your cowgirl boots? Dresses, long skirts, short skirts, leggings, gauchos, shorts... possibilities are endless. The only thing to keep in mind when you are wearing your boots with dresses and skirts - if you have short legs - is that you should wear a boot that has shaft height of 10 inches or less. Shorter boots will visually elongate your legs, as more leg will be seen between the top of your boot and your hemline.
Regardless of what style of cowgirl boots you end up choosing, make sure you wear them with the right attitude: fearless, confident, unique, and cowgirl chic. Cowgirl boots are definitely not for a shrinking violet.
(Boot styles shown above can be found at oldgringodirect.com * Allen's Boots * Maverick Style and Ariat.com)
the mind and hands behind hART Sense Design. I am a designer and hand-maker of one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry and accessories for artistic, chic cowgirls, boho babes, and lovers of all things western.
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