Cowboy boots are just that, boots that are designed to used and worn by cowboys. Cowboy boots got their start in the early 1860s during the Civil War deriving from the original design of the cavalry boot worn by soldiers. Then in the 1870s and 1880s working cattlemen in the ranching states of Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma turned to boot makers and asked them to make alterations to their boots in order to better suit the conditions they worked under. The two best-known makers of the cowboy boot in that era were Justin of Justin Boots in Spanish, Fort Texas (also known as "Big Daddy Joe") and Charles Hyer of Hyer Brothers Boots in Olathe, Kansas.
Cowboy boots have a unique design that is all their own. They are constructed with a high shaft, a high heel, a rounded to pointed toe and no lacing whatsoever. The earliest types of cowboy boots were made of plain leather but as time progressed cowboys wanted fancier boots complete with decorative stitching, an assortment of materials and cutouts in the high tops (Texas stars were once "all the rage"). Today not only cowboys wear boots. Some people enjoy the feel as well as the fashion of wearing modern day cowboy boots and they can be purchased in almost any color you desire. Most cowboy boots are made from cow leather but some are fashioned from more exotic animal skins such as alligator, snake, elephant, ostrich, buffalo, elk and even the stingray.
When shopping for a great fitting pair of cowboy boots the first thing you must be aware of is that cowboy boots do not fit exactly the same way as other shoes do. It is important to always have your feet measured by the shoe salesman and never shop for cowboy boots first thing in the morning. Save cowboy shopping (and any kind of shoe shopping) until after lunch, midday and mid afternoon is the best, as feet expand throughout the course of the day. If you buy a pair in the morning then the boots will end up being too tight by the time nightfall arrives. The reverse is true if you buy boots in the evening after being on your feet all day- come the next morning the boots will be far too large for your comfort! Keep in mind as well that not everyone is exactly symmetrical as some people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other. For this reason it is strongly advised that you have both of your feet measured for cowboy boots, not just one!
After you have your foot measurement out of the way, turn your attention to your toes. The toes of cowboy boots are not all cut the same way. Some boots are made with boxy toes, others with pointy toes and still others with rounded toes. A great many of cowboy boots both for men and women are made with pointy toes so pick and choose carefully depending on the shape of your foot.
The next step is to look closely at the depth of your foot, which can be identified as the part of the foot from the arch to the top. Women who have very deep feet sometimes have problems finding a pair of cowboy boots that fit comfortably and do not bind. The best choice for many women is to purchase a pair of cowboy boots in either a boy's or a small men's size. This also works the same for those who have wide feet. Generally speaking, women's cowboy boots are made with a B width and men are a D width. For individuals with wide feet look for boots that are made with a "wide width" or perhaps shop in the department for boys shoes and boots.
Heel heights are the next consideration. Cowboy boots come in any number of heels, from the smallest to the tallest. Go with whatever suits you best. Ladies might want to go with a short-heeled boot for daytime wear and a high-heeled cowboy boot for nighttime fun. In general for men, women, and children and for the purposes of dancing it is a good idea to wear a heel that is somewhere between ¾ inches to 1 ¾ inch.
Once you've taken all of the above into consideration get down to business by trying the boot on. Begin by rolling up your pant leg to just below the knee and then with the tabs at the top of the boot, pull it on. A comfortable boot is one that allows the foot to slide easily into it and bear in mind that the seam where the leg of the boot attaches to the shoe part of the boot should not be binding (or confining) whatsoever. Your toes should be able to wiggle and move around somewhat in the boot and when you get up to walk the heel of the boot should slide just a tiny bit in the heel