A Cowboy’s Faith: Unique purchase is right

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“What kind of cowboy he is can be told by the boots he wears.”

Not unlike the shape and color of hat, brand and fit of jeans, or shirt style.

Of course, there are many opinions. What one thinks best another wouldn’t be seen wearing “such weird-looking boots.”

Boots generally have little to do with one’s horseback abilities, but that’s arguable, too.

High tops on boots provide lower leg and ankle protection from stirrup leather friction while fending off brush. Upon dismounting, boot tops again protect legs from rocks, shrubs and even rattlesnakes.

Some claim high tops allow a cowboy to pull his foot out of the boot, preventing being dragged when bucked off. Unfortunately, not always, speaking from experience.

There are stove top boots, short round tops and variations in-between. Some feature about every array of fancy stitching, and others none at all.

Lace up tops, what some call packer boots, were popular mid-last-century. Disappearing for a while, there was comeback, but never personal appeal. Advantage of boots, in opinion, is slip on, not tie on.

Heels and toes create considerable cowboy controversy.  The angled “cowboy” heel is higher than the lower “walking” heel, varying from the squared-off “roper” heel. Fitting of spur onto the boot above the heel draws varied pros and cons, too.

About every extreme of toe shape has existed, come, gone, and returned through two centuries of horsemen wearing boots. Round toed boots in some form have remained throughout the years.

Square toes were popular in the 1950s, being replaced by pointed toes, sharper the better, often hurting toes. Square toed boots have returned with many thinking they’re the only kind.

Wellington boots, referred to also as ropers, dress boots, work boots, have always remained popular. Owning dozens of pairs, they’re less expensive, readily available, serve their purpose. No decisions about styles, stitching, toes or anything, expect black or brown.

Available in many kinds of leathers, regular cowhide boots are best all things considered.

Withstanding considerable chiding, $15 gum boots work well. Easy on, off, providing long lasting essentials, through mud and barnyard wastes.

Difficult finding the “right” boots, without custom-made, but they were on the shelf, fit perfect, check written.

Reminded of First Chronicles 12-14: “If it seems right, and is God’s will, that’s the right thing to do.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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