Please note the difference between the "cowboy" heel and the lower "walking" heel. Both designs are angled slightly, different from the squared-off "roper" heel".
The classic cowboy boot has a narrow, pointed toe, designed to slide easily into the stirrups without snagging. In modern times, many Western boot wearers rarely (if ever) ride horses. As a result, Western boot manufacturers offer a variety of toe styles.
From most pointed to the least pointed
- J toe: Sharply pointed
- D toe: Tapered toward a point, but with a flat tip
- R toe: Tapered, but rounded at the tip (the most common toe shape in cowboy boots also known as semi-oval toe)
- W toe, U toe, Roper toe: Fully rounded or U-shaped
- Square toe: A wide, flat and angular toe
A stiffener at the toe of the boot to help retain shape and style.
Another name for the fancy stitching on the top of the vamp. Exotics such as lizard do not need this feature.
The curve in the top line of the quarter (shaft). This curve is used for styling and the deeper dips also aid in better fitting.
The heel counter is placed on the inside of the boot between the lining and the outsole leather foxing. The counter is formed and molded to hold the heel in place. The heel counter provides stability. A high counter sometimes aids in keeping your foot from rolling over the side of the boot.
Finished bottom of the heel base.
The heel pad covers the unfinished heel area and dissipates shock.
A sole of leather or other material which is attached directly to a boot upper and welt. In some boot construction, the sole surface forms the inside of the bottom of the boots.
Inside of boots, usually made of pigskin, glove leathers, or a heavy twilled cotton or linen fabric. Gives the inside of the boots a neat appearance.
Outermost sole of the boot, the surface of which is exposed to wear.
Decorative material used to give boots a nice finished appearance.
Allows for ease in pulling on the boots by putting the fingers through the loops. Pull tabs are always found on traditional western boots.
Forms the arch, made of steel, fiber, wood, or plastic. Supports the arch of the foot.
Holds the welting and the sole together.
Stitching - Fancy Stitch
Decorative feature on boot.
The entire boot excluding the bottom.
The complete forepart of a boot upper which is attached to the insole and welting.
Strip of leather or synthetic material used for attaching the upper to the sole.
Last Updated: September 16, 2009