I am sure that my current boot collection pales in comparison to many of my friends’. I have seen some closets with row upon row of boots in every brand, style, and color imaginable. But, even with my small group of go-to boots, my husband is still perplexed every time we pack for a trip and I load four or five pairs into the trailer. He seems to be under the impression that one pair is sufficient.
I usually have to go into a big explanation of how most girls have two main categories of boots: riding boots and nice boots. (I’m sure everyone has their own names for these two categories- maybe work boots and going out boots, horsey boots and fashion boots, dirty boots and clean boots?) And then beyond those two main categories lies sub-categories based on color, toe shape, heel height, and a plethora of other boot characteristics. All the women out there totally understand what I’m saying. The men, well, if they are like Shadd, I’m probably getting an eye roll and “whatever” right about now.
This photo shows the boots I wear most often. Nothing too wild or exciting, I know. As I’ve grown older, my boot styles have drifted more to the middle. I so should have held on to my red Justin lace-ups with the speed beads hanging from the boot straps. Or the pearl white Ropers. And I also went through the crepe-sole stage. You know you did too…
See that sad little pair on the far left? Well those babies have been with me for almost six years. And you can tell-the poor little toes have started to curl up, witch-like. They’ve been oiled, shined, re-soled, and hauled all around the country. They’ve been on my feet for some pretty great runs in the cutting pen and plenty of not-so-great runs. They’ve warmed up horses at the AQHA World Show, the NRCHA Futurity, and the NCHA World Finals. They’ve been around, but it’s about time to say goodbye and find a new “riding” boot. I’ve almost purchased a new pair several times, but I just haven’t found the right ones.
These boots are Ariat, and they no longer make this style. (I know this because I’ve searched for them many times!) Ariat, if you’re listening, could you just make me a new pair? It would make things a lot easier for me! I’m looking for a cowboy heel and a toe that is slightly squared, but not platypus-looking. (Don’t act like you don’t know what “platypus-looking” means.) Some boots styles of late have such a wide, square toe that you look like you’re wearing a brick on your foot. I already have big feet, I don’t need to make them look any bigger.
My current boot collection includes Ariat, Corral, Justin, Rios of Mercedes and Macie Bean. I know people who “only” wear one specific brand, but I’m open to whatever is comfortable and fits well. I’ve searched the internet, but nothing compares to trying on boots in person. It’s getting to be futurity season, and I plan to shop at some of the big shows coming up. I’ll let you know what I end up buying. Feel free to comment with your suggestions! I need all the help I can get! What is your favorite boot for riding???
Bear “McKenzie P.”