Next week is going to be all things CMA Fest and country music. With so many thousands of people from all over the country and all over the world coming together, we’re bound to see a little bit of everything fashion wise. But after all of the years of Fan Fair, as I still call it, one thing I KNOW I will see plenty of is cowboy boots–on guys, gals and kids alike. Everyone will be sporting their fanciest pair. They’ll wear them with wranglers, with shorts and with the female fans, sun dresses! That’s the look these days.
But then again, cowboy boots have always been the look in country music. When I came to town years ago to sing at Opryland Theme Park, my weekly paycheck wasn’t setting any records. Times were lean and I had to pinch my pennies most months. So given my financial situation, I could hardly believe that during that first year, I threw down my entire two week’s pay check for a pair of cowboy boots. Tony Lamas to be exact. I probably ate peanut butter & jelly for weeks afterwards, but I couldn’t help myself. I remember the day I got them at a boot store up in Hendersonville. I was with some of my fellow cast members from the park and I think we all splurged. I loved them then and I still love them. As a matter of fact, I’ve never bought another pair of cowboy boots…just these. One pair.
They fit great, with really soft leather and are very comfortable. They’re two toned so I can wear them with anything and I love the nice lizard detail on the toe with the orange color stitching. All these years later, I’ve never had to resole them or have them worked on in any way. And they are made right here in the good ole USA.
Many times in interviews on television, you don’t really see the shoes–unless you’re sitting down and there are some wide shots, so you’ll have to trust me when I say these boots have been around. I’ve worn them on the Opry show, the Top 20, at fairs, festivals, rodeos and of course, Music Fest. I’ve gotten my money back from them ten fold.
If you have it and can spare it, I say go ahead and spend a little money to get quality that will last for many years. Back in those Opryland days, I was probably careless many times with my little bit of cash, but thank goodness I knew quality when I saw it and I trusted my gut. Turns out, later that year, I saw Vince Gill in the same pair and then I knew for sure that I had bought well 🙂
Sometimes it pays to buy once and buy well. Sure there’s value in having variety to chose from in your closet, but there’s no better value than quality.
Here’s my two cents on shopping for boots:
1) Synthetics can start to smell after a while because your foot can’t breathe, so go for the real deal-a natural, breathable material.
2) Don’t sweat the heal slippage. Until they’re broken in to the fit of your foot, the heal will probably slip on cowboy boots.
3) Wear boot socks to try on boots and after you’ve purchased them. They’re more padded, especially on the heel and that helps with the slippage. Plus they give you a comfortable, more snug fit overall. I like the over the calf kind, so the shaft of the boot doesn’t rub the skin. Choose a pair with a wide band at the top so they don’t sag, with padding on the shin and look for a fabric that wicks away moisture.
4) Pay attention to the toe and the heel. There are different shapes in both. See what shaped toe and what size and shaped heel looks and feels best to you.
5) Leather will stretch so you may want to get a 1/2 size smaller–my Lamas are a 7 and I wear a 7 1/2.
6) If you’re going for a nice, quality pair, chose a color that you can see yourself wearing for years, like tan, black or two-toned. Electric blue & bright pink are fun & fashionable, but their shelf life might not be as enduring as the classic boot colors.