Marshall Trimble

How do today’s cowboy boots compare to those of the Old West?

Ray Burden
Beckenham, Kent, England

Cowboy boots today are quite similar to those worn in the 1880s. The main difference is the toes back then were more rounded than pointed. Today’s boot wearers can select toe styles ranging from pointed to square to rounded.

Old West boots also had: higher shafts that reached almost to the knee; two-inch-high forward sloping heels; little, if any, stitching design or ornamentation. Some boots also had square heels similar to those worn by the U.S. cavalry.

Those able to pay $15 or more could purchase made-to-order boots with higher heels, but most bought the $7 ready-made ones sold in boot shops.

And colors? You had your choice—black…or black.

If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or e-mail him at

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