A Cowboy’s Faith: Real cowboys wear boots – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Real cowboys wear boots

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Leather boots are still in style for manly footwear.”

Merle Haggard sang it in his 1969 country music chart topper.

“Cowboy boots are still in style for cowboys to wear.”

Early day and present cowboy pictures verify that’s the way it is.

Styles have changed throughout the decades, with old-fashioned cowboy boots hard to find and cost a whole bunch. This is according to a lifetime wearer of cowboy boots for seven decades with only a few exceptions.

Fortunately, Mom insisted her son wear cowboy boots all the time, which he did without choice or rebuttal. Boots were readily purchasable at local stores with a new pair at least once a year. Regular polishing was required and one set of new heels, sometimes soles too, before boots were completely worn out.

There were square toes, pointed toes, round toes, steep heels, straight heels, stovepipe square tops, short round tops, and more. Black in color for ease of care, with brown or tan preferred, but unallowed by Mom.

Still, there was always one pair of Sunday School shoes for special occasions. Plus, tennis shoes for physical education and to play in sports, which was tried very few times.

During high school, cowboy boots seemed inappropriate for a teenager coming up in the world. Slip-on shoes were purchased and worn intermittently publicly hoping to “make an impression.” That didn’t work, so back to cowboy boots ever since, except when knee replacement swelling only permitted wearing shoes.

However, for ease of getting on, longer life, and lower cost, gum chore boots were worn for many years training horses. This sometimes-attracted comments about being “hot, bulky, inappropriate for riding horses,” but they worked well for the rider.

For decades, lower cost “roper boots,” similar to Wellington boots, have been worn. They’re round toed with medium height tops, like those Highway Patrolmen, vo-ag teachers, and TV sheriff Andy Griffith wore.

Difficult to find nowadays, recent shopping sprees successfully located a pair of semblance roper boots that were purchased.

Other round toed boots with various style tops have been worn, but never lace up or the modernist wide square toed boots.

Noticing some cowboys nowadays often wear “loafers,” but that’s not the cowboy way.

Reminded of Isiah 11:5: “Each morning he’ll pull on sturdy boots to build righteousness and faithfulness in the land.”

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

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