Totally Useless Facts from Mr. Penny
Seeing that Mr. Penny is full of completely useless information, we thought we would share some useless-but-possibly-interesting tidbits here.
Did You Know: Cowboy Boots
To some, cowboy boots may seem like an odd piece of clothing. It’s an usually tall boot, but it often has a pointed toe (almost like a women’s dress shoe) and has a heel to it (again, almost like a women’s dress shoe). But did you know that the cowboy boot is perhaps one of the most functional pieces of clothing ever designed?
Cowboy boots were of course designed as work boots for cowboys. They borrowed from many different riding boot designs from the previous several centuries. But how did the cowboy boot helps cowboys do their jobs?
1) Leather: of course the boots are made of leather in order to be rugged and tough. This is especially helpful if a cowboy’s foot gets stepped on by a cow or horse. It still hurts (as me how I know), but it hurts and injures less. Today it’s not uncommon to find cowboy boots made of alligator, snake, ostrich, lizard, eel, stingray, elk, and buffalo.
2) Pointed Toes? the pointed character of the boot was so that the cowboy’s toes would glide more easily into the stirrups of a horse’s saddle.
3) High Heels? The heel of the boot was to help keep the rider’s feet in the stirrups. Without a heel it’s easier for your foot to slip through the stirrup; something that can create a tremendous hazard while riding.
4) Tall Boots? Cowboy boots were unusually tall when compared with most other boots, because they needed to not only protect the riders foot from abuse, they needed to protect a cowboy’s leg from potential snake bites!
BONUS Useless Info! The original boots developed in the mid to late 19th century usually had a rounded or square toe. It wasn’t until well into the 20th century that the pointed toe developed. Right around the same time cowboy boots became popular through Hollywood western-themed movies. Modern square toed boots are sometimes referred to as “ropers” it has to do with their slightly different heel and toe design, which were thought to make it easier for calf ropers to run from their horse to the calf they had just roped. The modern roper design is also often used by motorcycle enthusiasts.