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Cowboy Boots

Friday, 11 November 2005

What began as a simple Western riding boot has taken to the feet of millions who may have never even been on a horse. We test a few to find out which boots are best for rounding up cattle and just horsin' around the city.

The Basics

  • An all-leather boot stretches and shapes to your foot for ultimate comfort. Leather is also the longest lasting material for a boot.

  • The most basic design features on an authentic boot are derived from safety and function.

    • The heel must be high enough that it won’t slip through the stirrup, which could result in being dragged behind a galloping horse.

    • The pointed toe allows the cowboy to find the stirrup more easily.

    • The calf loops help you pull the boot onto your foot.

Other considerations

  • For a more unique look, find boots made with exotic skins such as snake, alligator, ostrich, eel, lizard and elk.

  • Boots also come in a wide range of colours, so don’t you don’t have to stick to boring black or basic brown.

TEST CRITERIA

We wore four different brands of cowboy boots over several days, walked the Calgary Stampede Parade, line danced, and even rode horses as we attempted to wrangle some cattle to see which of these boots had the perfect blend of function, fit, and of course, fashion:

  • Justin: $270
  • Lucchese: $335
  • Frye’s: $290
  • Liberty: $1000

Comfort Test

  • The Justin boots were too stiff and uncomfortable and didn’t fit either of us properly. Ouch, our blistered ankles!

  • The Frye style we chose was a good city boot (great with skirts) but probably not so good for on the ranch.

  • The classic Lucchese were very comfortable.

  • The Liberty had us finding our inner cowgirl, but the high price tag kicked up some dust.

OUR TOP PICK

We loved the Liberty, but not the price tag, so we chose a pair by Lucchese: a quality, good-looking boot at a far more reasonable price.

 

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