questionswhat should i look for in my first pair of cowboy…

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The cowboy boots I've owned in the past were for riding and ranch work. Thinking in terms of an office environment, a few things do come to mind. Since you are mostly going to be sitting still and not walking around, you want to be sure there are no pressure points that will become painful. Another important factor is the length of the upper. Do you want a low calf or a higher calf? Are you planning to tuck in your skinny jeans of wear the boots inside your pant legs? Again you want to be sure the boots aren't too tight on your calves as that will be very irritating over the course of a workday. While higher heels are good for riding (keep your foot from pushing through the stirrup), I'd imagine you'd want a low heel for the office. Do you want square toed ("Dingo") or pointed toe boots? That's really a style question, the pointed toes make finding the stirrup easier and protect your toes from being stepped on by horses.

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cont'd: Price.... the least I have paid for a pair of cowboy boots was $5 at a second hand store last year. The most was about $200 thirty years ago, half the price of a pair of custom ostrich boots some guy ordered and paid half in advance for never picked up. Those boots would be upwards of $1,000 now. I'd imagine you'd pay a lot more in Michigan than I would here in Texas on the Mexican border for the same pair of boots. But I would guess you'd probably be looking at a couple hundred for a good quality pair of top grain cowhide boots, more for exotic leathers. The care for the cowhide is the same as for any pair of good leather shoes. Exotic leathers vary, and I recommend against snakeskin as it tends to be quite fragile. The ostrich boots stood up much better than it seemed like they would, hundreds of hours in the saddle, being stepped on by horses, slogging through mud and sand building fences, etc. The only care i took of them was oiling them when I oiled the saddles.

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Dominating the conversation here... Lucchese is a classic and well-regarded bootmaker. The prices on their site are high, if you look you may be able to find them discounted on other sites.
https://www.lucchese.com/

Most of my mass manufacture boots have come from Tony Lama, another big name in boots, and less expensive. I see $200 men's boots on their site:
http://www.tonylama.com/en/index.html

Looking at these prices I think my handmade quill ostrich boots would sell for a good deal more than $1,000 now.

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You are not allowed to wear cowboy boots unless you also ride a horse. Full stop. Anyone that says anything to the contrary is high on life. Women appear to be immune to this rule.

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Sorry, Sheriff Woody, but wearing cowboy boots to an office job in Michigan is going to look silly and get you made fun of. Hard. Seriously, we're talking fedora-and-cape levels of nerdy fashion faux-pas here. Your only hope of making something out of that situation is if someone gets a picture and you become a meme, so for the rest of your life you can tell everyone you meet, "Hey, remember that 'Deputy Doofus the Cubicle Cowboy' picture that was on Failblog back in 2014? That was ME!"

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@moondrake: Thanks for the information.

@zuiquan: How frequently must I ride in order to qualify to join this exclusive club?

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@starblind: Well, then it's a good thing that I have enough self-respect that I can make my own choices about what I want to wear, and the rest of the world can deal with it; please note the lack of the "what will other people think?!?" interrogative in my question.

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@secretagentman02: When you are riding your horse you should be wearing your cowboy boots. If you ride your horse into town it is completely acceptable to wear your boots walking around until you get back on your horse. Other than that, you pretty much shouldn't be wearing them. Your choice of footwear says more about you than pretty much any other article of clothing. But if you're going for the poseur look then you can't really do any better than cowboy boots in an office. Maybe spit-shined combat boots. Maybe. Depends on the office.

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@zuiquan: I'm pretty sure it's also ok to wear your cowboy boots if you are mending a fence, stacking hay, or in danger of being bitten by a rattle snake.

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@nmchapma: Been there, done that. But it was a water moccasin, back when we lived in a tiny ranch town outside Dallas. I was dismounted leading my horse through an area where some trees had been knocked down by high winds, and when I stepped over a log, a water moccasin struck just above the ankle of my boot. The boot stopped it, but its fangs momentarily got stuck in the leather. So here I am on one leg astride this log just below knee height, trying to shake the freaked out snake off me with a freaked out horse pulling backward on the reins trying to run away from the snake. I was miles from home and unless I wanted to hoof it back on my own I had to hold onto the horse. Fortunately I shook the snake loose and it was the one that fled into the woods rather than my horse. It's funny because she was normally pretty calm about snakes, I was probably conveying my own freak out to her.

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If you get a pair of boots you should also get spurs. Oh, wait a minute, spurs probably aren't legal any more!!

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Don't listen to big city folk. A nice pair of cowboy boots can be just as stylish as a nice pair of normal "office" shoes. We have folk around here that wear them all the time and as long as they are tucked in and of the low heel variety, nobody really notices.

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Down here in south Texas the first thing the girls look for in the boots is the cowboy!

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@jkaleda: Uh, where is "around here" for you?

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@moondrake gave the kind of thorough and respectful answer(s) that build(s) the credibility of Woot. He could have made a crack but chose not to. Thanks for that.

I'm new to the Deals/Questions side of Woot but it seems snide comments detract and discourage real and sincere questions.

There are plenty of places in Michigan where people ride horses, including near major cities. It might take a special character to carry off the "cowboy boot look" in some places but it certainly can be done.

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I'm not a cowgirl, but have had horses in the past.
I think for someone's first pair of boots, you really need to try them on in person. And I wouldn't go high-end until you know you enjoy wearing them. They can be quite hot in the summertime, so make sure to get some boot socks:
http://www.carhartt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10101&productId=139661&storeId=10051&langId=-1
Maybe look online to see prices, and different styles. Then go to a western wear or shoe store to try them on. Also, they do stretch a little bit after they are broken-in, so allow for that when buying.
I mostly wore Justin boots (still have a lace-up pair) while riding my last horse because I lived in Fort Worth at the time. That's where their (Justin) Headquarters are located. But find something you like, and go with that. Good luck!

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You should look for a rattlesnake in your boots...cuz if there is one, you will want to be sure to NOT wear the boots

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@bluemaple: The fact that you're fairly new on this side of the site (as well as on the main side, for that matter) doesn't give you a free pass to assume anyone made snide comments on this thread. Honest, humorous, and maybe a tad pokey, but there was nothing snide about them. When there is snide, it will be painfully obvious. Stick around; you'll see it. Meanwhile, what you said was snarky.

Michigan is a big state. They have lakes, tall buildings and football players, and buses, cars, and horses. Florida is kind of like that, too. In fact, we have a major thoroughbred breeding industry right in Ocala. Lots of folks there wear boots, sometimes even to work in offices. In most parts of the state, though, you're gonna look kinda funny wearing boots with a suit or with any other standard office attire. Unless you're doing a line dance in a country bar.

Kinda like Michigan, I expect. No problem looking funny, of course, as long as you expect it.

P.S. Moondrake is a woman.

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In your first pair of cowboy boots?

A cowboy ;)

Thanks folks, I'll be here till Saturday. Tip your bartenders.

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For formal looking boots I love the ones that can be found here http://workingperson.com/double-h-boots-men-s-usa-made-vibram-sole-cowboy-boots-4620-131356.html They are very good looking and get lots of compliments and wear well with anything from business casual to formal. I ordered them in the same size as my 6 inch steel toed work boots I usually wear, and they fit perfectly. The uppers are not as stiff as cowboy boots made for working on the ranch and riding so they are good for office work. They are also made in the USA and are high quality. The way I wear them they will probably last me 15 or 20 years.

I live in Colorado and wear my boots to the office, out to dinner and most recently the symphony and have never been uncomfortable or felt in danger of being made into a meme or show up in a failblog, but there are probably a few people out there who's fashion sense may be offended. I'm not really the kind of guy who puts much stock in the opinions of fashionistas. Good luck.

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Genuine leather and good souls and comfort when you first put them on ...♡♡♡♡ tamara

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@moondrake, my apologies, I should not have presumed gender from your Woot name. Cool irony, nicely done.

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@magic cave: South Dakota, in a nice cozy office while it's -5 (not counting wind chill) right now.

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Must try them on. I don't think any of my boots are the same as my shoe size. Haven't bought any in some years but that is what I remember. If you buy a good boot they last forever. , mine go from dressy to casual to work boot and am about to discard a pair that took 30 something years to go the cycle. They would still be ok if I had oiled them regularly while getting muddy every day as the leather cracked.

Good boots are totally worth having half soled and heeled also - picked up a pair of Luchesse Ropers for $5 in a garage sale and $40 for new bottoms, some polishing and voila! (which is not a word cowboys use btw). Despite my strange screen name I live in Texas, drive a muddy 4wd truck and spend free time taking care of big animals.

Did I mention try them on? Very important.

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@bluemaple: LOL, no prob. Moondrake is the name of one of my superhero role-playing characters, and he is male. I often get gender switched in online discussions and it doesn't bother me a bit. I don;t know if you guys have seen them, but we see the Mexican dancing boots around here a lot. It's a very strange fashion trend, and you see plenty of macho guys in these boots that have ever seen a horse.

http://www.vice.com/behind-the-seams/mexican-pointy-boots

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@faughtey: Boot socks? This is the first I've heard of those. What's special about them that differentiates them from "normal" socks?

Also, what would you consider as "going high end"?

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@magic cave: what's wrong with you, pretending to be Woot police. @bluemaple started off by stating his gratitude to @moondrake for her sincere response to the question, made a general statement about the way some responses on these boards could discourage someone from asking a legitimate question, then gave an opinion. Snide comments and sarcasm are universal and being new to Woot has nothing to do with the ability to detect them. His comment was far from snarky, but you calling him out was rude and probably the kind of response he had in mind when referring to people opting not to participate on this site.

Also, your opinion of how "funny" someone would look wearing boots is far from an absolute. There's nothing wrong with a subtle pair of boots worn under jeans in a casual setting. Most people would probably never even notice, provided they weren't gaudy enough to attract attention.

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@stormshadow999: so you're the "good cop" of the Wootizen PD?

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@nmchapma: certainly not. In fact, I'm rarely active on these boards. I do, however, feel that flaming @bluemaple for his comments and saying they're not valid because he's too new (especially after he addressed it himself) is unnwarranted. If he'd said something bad, I would have left it alone, but there didn't appear to be anything wrong with his post.

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@moondrake: those dancing boots, worn when on horse, could serve as jousting poles! And it would require a truly special character to carry off that look here in Michigan. ;-)

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@jkaleda: Oh, you poor thing! Road trip down this way? High of 81 expected today.

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Okay, full disclosure: I'm from Michigan, born and raised in the U.P. so I think I know a little bit about the country vs big city folks since the biggest city we have there has a population under 22000. And it's a 90 minute drive to said metropolis. We don't have ranches in Michigan. Sure, there may be a few but not many. We do have a lot of farms though. The vast majority of those farms are not worked by horses. So 90some% of people with horses have horses for a hobby not because they work with them. Michigan is not Texas or Montana or the Dakotas. Just because some people ride horses somewhere near you doesn't mean your choice of footwear is not going to look out of place. Especially in a professional environment. Look, I lived in Hawaii for five years and it's totally cool to wear aloha shirts in the office there. Totally professional. Would I wear one in the office in Michigan? Come on.

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@stormshadow999: " Most people would probably never even notice, provided they weren't gaudy enough to attract attention."

Well, gosh. Sure, that's pretty logical. If people don't even notice the boots, then it doesn't much matter. OTOH, if they do notice them, some folks (in this area, a lot of folks) are going to think they're funny. As I said earlier, while some people will be bemused, it really doesn't matter what they think. I have a Christmas 1968 photo of myself wearing a pair of stained glass earrings. I still wear them. Same with a couple of late 60's tie-dyed t-shirts. I long ago stopped worrying about whether they're "in" and whether some folks think I'm a freeze-dried hippie. (I am.)

All that aside, though, the riff on "you're gonna look funny" was exactly that: a riff. A lighter response ["Yeah, but I can deal with that."] to @starblind 's comment would likely have shifted the conversation, but it is what it is.

Enjoy your day. And your boots.

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@stormshadow999: @bluemaple referred to a comment as building Woot's credibility. This corner of the world is "Ask the Community." Woot's* credibility isn't an issue here, since it isn't Woot that's speaking (unless it's literally one of the mods or staff posting.) We talk amongst ourselves over here, and the ability to vote comments up or down is a pretty effective measuring system. There's a lot of humor, a fair amount of trivial chit chat, some really good expertise, and a bunch of fluff.

Ask me about certain aspects of banking or how credit unions work, and you'll generally get highly credible, factual, well thought out answers. Other stuff from me? Usually just opinion, to be accepted, ignored, or challenged. Pretty much like any other social interaction.

Here's an example of opinion: you used the word "flame" inappropriately. I've never seen anyone flamed here. Ever. If you want to read a truly classic flame, I'll PM you one I found in a physics group a long time ago.

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@secretagentman02: Boot socks fabric features moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, temperature regulating, & odor control properties. Stays put all day without binding or squeezing. Ribbed comfort arch support & cushioned sole. Reinforced toe & heel. Ideal for wear with all types of western or work boots.

On high-end boots, the three things that determine the cost of a good pair of cowboy boots: the materials, where they are made and labor. These are handmade boots. They are not made in an assembly line by machines. Each element, like the sole, is made by a single worker. The fit and exotic skins used for high-end boots are also important factors.

Yes, my answer is copied and pasted this time. They described it better than I ever could.

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One thing you might want to consider/be aware of is the material the sole is made of. I've seen more boots recently with rubbery soles, especially those intended for on the ground working and not riding. No judgment on one being better or worse, but it does make a big difference on the feel (and comfort depending on what you like/are used to). I think the rubber soles tend to be less clompy sounding than the traditional leather soles. The same is true with dress shoes, just for perspective. You may not care/notice; I have loud feet :)

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@magic cave: Oh, I get it--this is a game of "you're always right, I'm always wrong," even though we're both just stating our opinions. Somehow my saying you "flamed" @bluemaple is different than you calling what he said "snarky." Makes sense now.

By the way, the comments you referred to as not "snide" are the ones receiving all the downvotes. So how was @bluemaple inaccurate when alluding to them?

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@ryjaek: Given that it's very snowy and icy in Michigan (I did a fair amount of growing up there in Detroit, Freeport, some other towns I don't remember, Sparta? -- I can't remember if that was MI or IL and there's one in each), I'd look at rubber soles if I were you. I wouldn't want them for riding, but they'd be a lot better on ice than slippery leather soles. Warmer too, no doubt.

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@zuiquan: For some reason, that old aphorism "all hat, no cattle" keeps rattling around in my head.

My son's godfather (who called himself as "the fairy godfather") used to chuckle over the fact that when he went into NYC's leather bars he'd be the only guy in the place who actually owned and rode a motorcycle. OTOH, he also owned and wore hand-tailored suits for his day job as a senior vice president of the corporate commodities division of the former Merrill Lynch.

When I was doing a lot of political organizing and media work, I wore jeans and loafers to speak to some groups and power suits and heels to meet with legislators. (Stand-up and behind-the-desk TV interviews were easier: jeans on the bottom, suit blouses and jackets on the top :::grin:::.) People pay attention to people who look like them and to people who look like they think "the expert" should look.

These days, happily, I seldom have to worry about all that. And I don't need the extra 2" in height from cowboy boots.

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http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/eb9d6752-7d82-48b4-ba93-a5a5697e8cab/the-cowboy-boot-store-10-off-entire-order-coupon-code-holiday10#3

This is from a few days ago, so I don't know if the deal itself is still active, but they have what appears to be a fairly good basic-info page here: http://www.thecowboybootstore.com/pages/getting-the-right-fit-g-8.html along with a couple other pages listed under "customer service" at the bottom of their home page.

If nothing else, it looks as if they may carry at least half of all the cowboy boots known to the Western world.