Cowboy Boots

Boots are only a small part of a cowboy’s “uniform.” How much do you know about boots? Did you know there is a patron saint of shoe and boot makers, Saint Crispin?

Basic Parts of Boots

PIPING: The founded strips of leather running up the sides of the boot, centered.

PULL HOLES: These are finger holes at the tops of boots, which have replaced pull straps. Cowboys sometimes refer to them as “windows.”

PULL STRAPS: These are leather straps attached to either the outside or inside at the back tops of boots. Used to help pull on the boots. Working cowboys tend to not have this because the straps can get caught on things or rub against a leg and cause discomfort.

SCALLOP: This is the V-shape on the front and back the boot.

SHANK: This is the part of the boot used to reinforce the cowboy’s arch.

SOLE: Besides the heel, this is the only part of the boot that makes contact with the ground.

SPUR REST: This is a ridge on the back of the boot that helps to hold up a spur.

STAY: This is a strip of leather running up and down the back of the inside of the boot lining for support of the boot. Cowboys commonly prefer a four-inch wide strip that runs from the bottom of the boot to the top.

TOE BOX: This is a stiff piece of material in the top of the boot toe between the outer leather and the lining to reinforce the shape.

TOE BUG: Decorative stitching common to each boot maker. It is sometimes called the “toe flower” or “medallion.”

TONGUE: The top part of the vamp sewn onto the upper front portion of the boot. It is usually reinforced with another layer of leather because the cowboy’s stirrup hits this area of the boot.

VAMP: The lower part of the boot that covers the foot.

STYLE: There are basically two types of western styles: traditional and fashion. Traditional boots are functional with a classic design. Fashion boots are available from many designers and have a more urban or contemporary look.

MATERIAL: Leather is the most traditional material for boots, but there are many exotic materials used, mainly for dressing up.

COLOR: Traditional boots are in neutral, earthy tones such as brown, black or gray. Beyond that, boots are available in everything from hot pink to neon green to whatever.

HEEL HEIGHT: In the old westerns, the average heel height for a cowboy’s boot was 2 inches. The heights today vary from nearly flat to 4-inch stiletto. But the traditional western boot has a height of 1 ¾ inches, to fit well in stirrups.

TOES: Boots come in various styles of toes, such as pointed, square, and rounded. The classic cowboy boot has toes that are tapered (smaller towards the tip), but also rounded. This style is easier to slip the foot in and out of stirrups. Pointed toes can go all the way to “needle pointed” and are popular in today’s fashion. Rounded toes are popular for rodeo calf-ropers. It is a good choice for a walking boot, but not for riding long distances. Square toes are more of a fashion statement, but they are popular for riding boots and walking boots.

Men … Sometimes the joke is on them

Okay, not only men sometimes say (or do) something they didn’t really think through. Or didn’t take too seriously.

That’s the case with Drake Walters, recently retired “golden boy” pro football player. He is at loose ends trying to figure out the next step in his life.

As a joke, he announces to his best friend’s sister that he is the answer to the dreams Gwenie Lassiter has given up on. He is her E-Mail-Ordered Groom.

Except the joke is on him. She’s the one he has been waiting for all these years.

E-Mail-Ordered  Groom is one of the fourteen stories included in the Cowboy Desire collection now available for pre-order from Amazon.

The cowboys of my heart

I’m not saying other men don’t attract me or win my heart. But I love writing about cowboys, contemporary or historical. Some of my favorites have included:

Tucker Dalton – A heart-wounded cowboy who has faced a tragic moment, a forbidden love, and taking on a child not of his blood but immediately of his heart. Forgiveness

U.S. Marshal Morgan Rydell – A hardened lawman who makes a promise to a “dying” friend to marry his sister, a rebellious young woman who tests his patience and smooths his rough edges. The Marshal’s Rebellious Bride

Cole Whitlock – An injured bull rider forced to retire to his family’s ranch, wanting nothing to do with women, certainly not the romance therapist friend of his sister spending the summer on the ranch…driving him crazy. Bet Your Boots

Jake Caldwell – A dude ranch owner struggling to get it going, fights his grandmother’s constant matchmaking attempts, but makes his life worse when he makes a marriage-of-convenience arrangement. From Dude Ranch, one of the three cowboy stories in Ranch Heat

Adam – A reluctant cowboy who had hoped to leave ranching behind him is back where he started, frustrated with his situation, and with the growing distance from his wife. From For the Love of His Cowgirl, one of the seven cowboy stories in Cowboys in Charge

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Two books in one: Cowboys in Charge and Holly’s Big Bad Santa

Loving someone isn’t always easy.

Cowboys in Charge includes seven stories of strong, loving cowboys and the women who try their patience. Women who love their cowboys enough to accept occasional discipline.

Holly’s Big Bad Santa
Jared had left Danville, Kansas thirteen years ago determined to never look back. He’d hurt too many people and believed he couldn’t go home again. He’s a much harder man now and at a turning point in his life, filled with uncertainty. Then he learns that the young woman he’d once loved is preparing to leave town forever. Right or wrong, he can’t continue to stay away. He has to make peace with Holly and with his family.