Home Essentials Western Boots: A Momentary Fashion or a Long History?

Western Boots: A Momentary Fashion or a Long History?

In Search of Lost Style: The Return of Western Boots and the Summer 2024 Trend

Western Boots: A Momentary Fashion or a Long History?
Photo credit: Gabriel Tovar | Unsplash

Western boots are back with a bang on the catwalks and in our wardrobes! But what’s behind this great comeback? In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the history of these iconic boots, find out how they became a style symbol, and give you tips on how to wear them to stay in style.

How did Western boots come about?

western boots | shoestechnologies
Photo credit:Chris Murray |  Unsplash 

The history of western boots begins with the cowboys of the Old West. Imagine a dusty landscape, pawing horses, and long days in the scorching sun. These boots were not only beautiful, but designed to withstand these harsh conditions. With a narrow toe to easily get into the stirrup and a sloping heel to keep the foot stable, western boots were much more than a fashion accessory – they were staple to cowboys’ daily lives. 

But the history of western boots has even more distant origins.

The first examples were the Wellington boots, introduced by Sir Arthur Wellesley, which were initially made of leather. During the Gold Rush, the European servicemen who arrived in the Far West adapted their clothing to the harsh conditions of the place. The boots became sturdier to protect against snake bites, and the curved sole with a raised toe made it easier to get on horseback.

western boots | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: lechameau

The evolution continued thanks to icons such as Dale Evans and Roy Rogers, who brought them to the big screen, turning them into symbols of Tex-Mex charm. Designers such as Nudie Cohn, with her rhinestones and embroidery, made them fashion pieces worn by stars such as Elvis, the Beatles and Dolly Parton.

Despite their chic and refined look, matching peep toe shoes in the right way can seem like a challenge. However, with the right combinations, they can become a versatile element of one’s wardrobe.

Don’t confuse them with Texans: there’s a difference

However, it’s easy to confuse cowboy boots with Texan boots, but there are important distinctions. Texan boots, worn by real cowboys, feature a curved sole and a toe that peeks out at the top, giving them a unique look. 

In contrast, western boots, while inspired by traditional horse boots, have a  more rounded toe and a rectangular heel, making them less flashy but more practical for everyday use.

western boots | shoestechnologies
Texan Boots
Photo credit: Ariat
western boots | shoestechnologies
Western boots
Photo credit: Ralphlauren

Celebrities who have worn them over the years

Western boots have always had a special place in the hearts of celebrities. In the 1960s, Nancy Sinatra made them famous with her iconic song “These Boots Are Made for Walkin,” pairing them with miniskirts and short dresses in her performances.

Jane Fonda also  brought them to the center of attention with her role in “Barbarella,” where with her rebellious spirit and silver boots she transformed this style from the prairies to the red carpets of Hollywood.

John Wayne, on the other hand, made them a symbol of strength and masculinity in his western films.

In recent years, a new generation of stars has rediscovered and revived this style. Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Rihanna are just a few of the celebrities who have shown how western boots can be incredibly versatile, adapting to both casual looks and more glamorous outfits.

Western boots are back in fashion, proving that their essence and charm are timeless.

The Disappearance and Return of Western Boots

Western boots have had their moments of glory and decline in fashion history. During the 90s and 2000s, it seemed that they had disappeared from the scene, replaced by other fashion trends. But, as often happens in the fashion world, what goes away comes back. Today, western boots are experiencing something of a renaissance.

This resurgence of western boots can be attributed to the growing passion for vintage and the search for authenticity. In an age where fast fashion is king, many people are looking for pieces that have a story and personality.

By now we see them on the feet of many people, they have become a real trend not to be missed. Several brands have played a key role in this comeback, offering modern reinterpretations of western boots.

One of these brands is Toral, a Spanish brand that mixes the art of traditional craftsmanship with contemporary trends. Toral creates western boots with an innovative and original design, characterized by dynamic and captivating lines. Their boots feature a bold taste, combining bright colors with classic campero patterns, for a bold, modern look that catches the eye.

western boots | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: Revolve
western boots | shoestechnologies
Photo credit: Ganni

Alongside Toral, brands like Ganni, known for its sustainable approach, have played a crucial role in bringing western boots back to center stage. On its website we find different models of western boots, of different lengths, colors and patterns. In short, you are spoilt for choice.

But they are not the only ones: many other brands offer these shoes that have now become a must-have.

With this trend in vogue, there’s no way to fall behind without a pair of western boots in your wardrobe.

Do men wear western boots?

Absolutely! As mentioned above, it was John Wayne who made western boots an accessory suitable for men as well.

But interestingly, in the past, in general, boots were mostly worn by men: for example, David Bowie sported platform boots during his performances. This shows how boots can go beyond gender stereotypes and become a style icon for both genders.

Going back to western boots, it is important to point out that they are more unisex than ever  and have been worn by both men and women since their beginnings. These boots are available in a wide range of designs and materials, which are also suitable for modern men. From classic leather boots with embroidered details to more understated suede styles, there’s a pair of western boots for every personal preference and style.

Today, we see many male celebrities, such as Timothèe Chalamet and Harry Styles, incorporating them into their everyday and red carpet looks. These boots add a touch of personality to any outfit, proving that fashion has no gender limits.

How to Wear Western Boots

Wearing western boots certainly requires a certain taste for fashion, but the possibilities are endless, for both women and men.

Women  can play with different pieces of clothing: they can be paired with baggy jeans to fit inside the boots for a casual but fashionable look, or with floating skirts for a boho-chic touch.

But you can also combine them with more elegant outfits, such as midi or long dresses, or skirts with slits, for a sophisticated and bold look.

Men, on the other hand, can opt for fitted jeans to fit inside the boots, with a striped or checked linen shirt, and complete it all with a cowboy belt.

And if you men also want to wear these boots for a more elegant outfit, fear not because we have the solution for you: wear the boots with soft trousers, a t-shirt and a blazer if you want to add an extra touch of elegance.

In short, there are so many outfit ideas. The key is to balance the rugged look of the boots with lighter, more modern garments, thus creating a balanced and stylish look that is suitable for different occasions.

From theory to practice: let’s take a cue from the stars

From Kendall Jenner to Dua Lipa, western boots seem to be everywhere on Instagram. For those looking for celebrity inspiration, they are definitely a guarantee of style: Dua Lipa opted for western boots with crocodile print, wearing them with jeans tucked inside the boots. Emily Ratajkowski  also showed her love for western boots, she chose a camel-colored suede model and decided to pair them with a silk lounguette skirt and a black halter neck tank top.

In the past, boots were considered footwear to be worn only in winter, but this belief is now outdated. Stars tell us that western boots can also be worn in summer, as evidenced by the various outfit combinations with light and summer garments.

But this trend goes beyond just wearing boots. We are talking about a real stylistic movement, known as cowboycore, that embraces the aesthetics and charm of the West, bringing western boots to the center of contemporary fashion.

Western boots and the summer 2024 trend

As we told you in a recent article, some brands originally specialized in winter footwear have revisited their models, making them perfect for summer as well. Now we want to focus on  the trend of 2024: wearing boots during the summer season, whether they are western style or the classic high-heeled boots. It is now certain that a pair of boots cannot be missing in anyone’s closet.

But let’s focus on western boots again. The trend is not only about footwear, but represents a real movement called cowboycore, popularized by the world’s great singers such as Beyoncé. Her new album, in fact, celebrates her country roots, having grown up in Houston.

But it’s not just Beyoncé: Taylor Swift, ahead of her Eras Tour, also wore western boots paired with sequins, pops of color and feather boas. Other music icons such as Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus sported western outfits on stage.

But cowboycore isn’t just limited to music. Numerous brands have also presented collections inspired by this style, such as Chanel,  which has reinterpreted tweed in a country key for its FW23 couture. In addition, on social networks, cowboycore dominates the platforms, with many people proposing outfits inspired by this movement.

We invite you to try your hand at creating a cowboycore outfit by following our advice. We’re sure you’ll get something really amazing!

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