Building Boots

(Ron) Howdy folks, I’m Ron Wilson, Poet Lariat. There are many great things that come from our cowboy heritage. One of the very simplest, is one we find on our feet. This poem is entitled “Building Boots.” Many things have been invented and not all have taken root. But one of the greatest inventions was the simple cowboy boot. The cowboy boot is something that won’t cross most people’s minds. They think it’s just a footwear style like all the other kinds, because they’re made a certain way, and that is what I want to explain to you today. The first cowboy boots were made after 1865 to be used by the drovers on the great cattle drives. They were made out of cowhide which is what they had on hand. And these boots were shaped to suit the cowboy’s work demands. They were made heavy duty so that they were good for every season. And every feature of the boot is for a certain reason. For example, why do cowboy boots have round or pointed toes? To get in and out of stirrups fast, when a horse goes. The heels were angled sharply so they could dig into the ground. When a cowboy ropes a calf and it tries to run around. Of course, the boots were made of good old cowhide leather to protect the feet and legs, and keep ’em warm in cold weather. The uppers of the boot protect the lower leg you see from a snake bite or a sticker from a thorny locust tree. The stitching on the leather isn’t just for the design, but it helps stiffen the leather for protection sure and fine. So, you see there is a reason for the way the boot is made. But if we don’t remember, then that history would fade. The styles of boots have changed with time, as fashions ebb and flow, but that’s the reason for the design those years ago. The modern cowboy still wears boots. He likes the wear and feel, but his town boots may have rope or toes and the lower walking heel. So, let’s celebrate this element of our early western roots and thank those designers of the early cowboy boots. And one more thing another benefit most people never catch. When I wear boots, no one will know my socks, don’t have to match. Happy Trails.