What You Need to Know about Cowboy Boot Anatomy

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Wondering what on earth a “spur ridge” is? Or what you are supposed to do with a “vamp”?

If you find yourself scratching your head trying to decipher the meaning behind cowboy boot terms, then you have come to the right place. Use this guide from Sheplers to decode the technical terms of cowboy boot anatomy, and you will be on your way to picking out the perfect pair of comfortable cowboy boots in no time!

Shep June Blog 4

Collar. This is the very top portion of the boot shaft; some have decorative stitching or overlays.

Heel Cap. The cover on the bottom of the cowboy boot heel that usually has a rubber material to provide slip-protection.

Insole. Material inside where your foot rests. Most comfortable cowboy boots have high-tech materials for added stability, and you can also buy additional gel inserts from Sheplers for added comfort.

Outsole. Bottom portion of the boot that makes contact with the ground. This portion of the cowboy boot anatomy is often exposed to the greatest wear, so it is important that the outsole material is durable and high quality when choosing a new pair of comfortable cowboy boots.

Spur Ridge. A functional design element on the cowboy boot anatomy, the spur ridge extends past the back of the cowboy boot, creating a ledge for a spur to rest and not slide down the back of the heel.

Vamp. The area of the boot from the bottom of the shaft to the outsole that covers your foot.

How to Soften Cowboy Boots

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Lined up Cowboy Boots

Forget the western style clothes and the Wrangler jeans, cowboy boots are the quintessential piece that make a cowboy’s look. With over 40,000 pairs of boots in stock at our western wear warehouse, you could say we know a thing or two about cowboy boots. While you may find the perfect pair of cowboy boots, they may not always be the most comfortable. If your boots are feeling a little too tough for your liking, you can always soften your cowboy boots.

Steps to Soften Your Cowboy Boots

Make your cowboy boots fit like a glove. Follow the steps below to learn how to soften cowboy boots without ruining them.

  1. Soak a cloth in warm water and wring it out so it’s still wet, but not dripping. Then, rub leather saddle soap on the cloth until it starts to lather. Leather and water do not mix well, so it is important that you use the right products to make your cowboy boots last.
  2. Working in slow, small circles, rub in the saddle soap onto the outside upper part of the boot. Start at the toe and end at the back of the foot. For the most comfortable cowboy boots, let them soak in saddle soap for an hour. To soften cowboy boots with hard leather, let them soak longer.
  3. Once the time is up, remove any excess saddle soap while simultaneously shining your cowboy boots with a towel as you buff the surface. To soften cowboy boots that have hard leather, you may need to buff an extra time.
  4. Put your new Sheplers cowboy boots on with a thick pair of socks in order to help stretch out the leather faster. This trick works perfectly for women’s riding boots to men’s work boots.
  5. Continue to wear your boots around the house with thick socks to stretch them out.
  6. Softening your cowboy boots may take some time, so if the leather is still too stiff after two days, repeat these steps until your boots reach your ideal level of softness.

Cowboy Boots Care Tips

Taking the time to soften your cowboy boots can make the difference between boots you can only wear an hour at a time and an everyday pair. Now that you know how to soften cowboy boots, you may also be interested in knowing how to shrink cowboy boots and how to break in American cowboy boots to ensure that your boots have the best fit possible.

Our online western wear store has a wide variety of cowboy hats and cowboy boots in different sizes, shapes, and textures to ensure everyone in your family is rodeo ready. Consider Sheplers your one stop shop for all your western wear needs, our cowboys pride themselves on help you find the perfect cowboy boots to best fit your individual style and needs.

Additional Readings:

Men’s Cowboy Boots | Women’s Cowgirl Boots | Men’s Ariat Boots | Women’s Corral Boots

Original Post: June 2016

Updated on: February 2021

Three Reasons to Wear Comfortable Cowboy Boots on Your Wedding Day

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Who made up the rule that you have to wear heels on your wedding day, anyways?

Shep Cowboy Boots Wedding

It’s a good thing that rules are meant to be broken, because here at Sheplers we see nothing wrong with wearing comfortable cowboy boots on your big day. Not convinced? Then allow us to change your mind. Your feet will thank us later!

  1. They won’t ruin your walk down the aisle. For those brides who have always dreamed about having the perfect outdoor wedding, you no longer have to worry about walking down the aisle with your heels sinking into dirt the whole time.
  2. They will let you release your inner dancing queen. Wearing your comfortable cowboy boots will let you dance all night long. Not to mention, you won’t have to buy different pairs of shoes for your wedding ceremony and reception.
  3. They go with outfits besides a wedding dress. Your wedding dress should be the only item from your special day that you only wear once. Make the most of your money by investing in comfortable cowboy boots you can rock 365 days a year.

Dance All Night in Your Comfortable Cowboy Boots at This Surprise Summer Concert

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There are few things that top the summertime. After all, warm weather, open calendars, and great tunes are hard to compete with. That is, unless you can enjoy them all – for free.

Jake Owen officially announced the dates for a series of free concerts at Tennessee’s Riverfront Stage this summer. If you haven’t already found the perfect pair of comfortable cowboy boots from Sheplers, then now is the time to hop to it because you won’t want to miss out on what Jake has planned for you!

Shep Jake Owen

Starting on June 9th, the free concerts will lead up until this year’s CMA Music Festival. CMA Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Trahern, released in a press release that, “Festival-goers tell us every year how much they enjoy the variety of quality acts on our stages and Jake is the perfect artist to launch four days of free concerts on the riverbank.”

If Jake Owen isn’t enough to convince you to put on your comfortable cowboy boots, then the other country stars scheduled to perform on Riverfront Stage will certainly help you get out the door. Some of the highlights include Old Dominion, Chris Jansen, Brothers Osborne, A Thousand Horses, and Chase Bryant.

All you need to bring to these concerts are your comfortable cowboy boots and your friends; the fun times and memories will be provided.