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The History of Cowboy Boots | Duluth Pack

The History of Cowboy Boots


Way back in the 1800s, a cowboy from Colorado stopped into a small shop called "The Hyer Shop," a small shoe store ran by Charles Hyer on his journey across the states. The cowboy needed a new pair of boots as his were starting to wear out.  He asked Hyers to make him a pair of boots capable of fitting easily into stirrups, easy to get on but don't fall off, and are different from his usual Civil War boots.

The pair of boots that Hyers came up with were made of cowhide leather and had a pointed toe and a high 2-inch heel, making them perfect for holding stirrups but will prevent getting caught. Today, these are known and commonly referred to as "cowboy boots".

Classic cowboy boots are similar in ancestry and heavily influenced by footwear worn by Spanish Vaqueros. The original style of boots made were the typical western cowboy boots you see around today. These boots will have a tall boot shaft reaching at least to your mid-calf, an angled heel one inch tall or greater, and although many of them are round-toed, they also come square-toed.

A few years down the road, Arthur Wellesley, also known as the first Duke of Wellington, grew tired of wearing his military-issued footwear, so he brought them into a local bootmaker and instructed him to make similar boots out of soft calf leather, with a one-inch heel and a mid-calf boot shaft. These boots became the first pair of "roper style boots" and began increasing in popularity.

Today, roper boots continue to be a well-known fashion item for men and women, as they are square-toed, have a minimal heel of less than an inch, and are only mid-calf length. Roper-style boots are great for dressing either up or down, making them an excellent option for classier outings like weddings or gatherings, or just a simple, comfortable boot to wear around the farm for daily activities.


Similar to Duluth Pack, most high-quality cowboy boots need to be "broken in". It can be a process that takes time and patience, but once they are broken in, they were made just for you. Nothing beats the comfort of something that fits just right.


Duluth Pack has a great variety of footwear that can benefit people of all ages- head over to our website to check them out!


Happy adventuring, friends!