We all know breaking in a pair of cowboy boots can be a tortuous endeavor. (Read More Below Products)
Your feet can end up swollen and full of blisters after just one hour of wear on the first day. And things probably won’t get much better the second day. The truth is, breaking in cowboy boots is hard work in most cases. Although attractive, those flat toe cowboy boots are always tight. But, if cowboy boots weren’t tight in the toes and around the calf, they wouldn’t be cowboy boots.
Why Flat Toe Cowboy Boots are Flat
Flat toe cowboy boots are flat for a reason. They conform to certain brand dimensions. Plus, flat toe boots were originally for horseback riding, not for walking. Walking was not as important as riding a horse in the golden days of boot wearing. Even though that scenario is different now, bootmakers like to stick to the way they do things.
Here are four ways to break in a pair of long toe or flat toe boots without putting your feet through the pain:
Boot Stretch Spray
There is a boot stretch spray on the market. It will give your feet more room across the top and sides. A boot stretch spray can help make the shafts more comfortable in a short amount of time. Be sure to get the right spray for your type of leather, though.
A boot stretcher is another great tool for giving your feet more room in flat toe cowboy boots. Boot stretchers have an impact on boot leather. But, some men will not get the fit they expect if a boot stretcher. The best part is, you can use a boot stretcher at home. That is the motivation for most guys to try it.
Heat and Steam
The heat and steam method is another old remedy for tight boots. This method can be a home remedy. Heating boots over a pot of boiling water, then wearing them until they are not hot is an easy way to break in boots. But do note that there is a risk of leather damage. Some men like to use a hair dryer or they soak the boots in hot water, but those remedies can cause damage.
The fourth and best way to avoid boot damage and feet blisters is to go to a professional to break in a pair of flat toe cowboy boots. A boot cobbler has the experience, tools and ability to identify exactly where the boots are too tight. Stretching specific areas of the boots keeps the integrity of the boots intact. It also keeps your feet safe and comfortable.
If you love to stay warm by wearing mens boots and/or western footwear styles, but they aren’t comfortable, consider stretching them. But remember, leather cowboy boots are an investment you will wear for years. For best results, make sure you have a professional stretch them for you.
Comfort can be an elusive companion, especially when snip toe cowboy boots are part of your daily wardrobe. (Read More Below)
Your feet have important dimensions for you to consider when boot shopping, other than just the foot size you may use to buy a pair of shoes. Those other dimensions are key variables, and all shoe manufacturers have standard dimensions. They also make cowboy boots adhere to those dimensions. If you think you cannot wear snip toe cowboy boots, think again. Here is some information to help you find a pair you’ll never want to take off.
Snip Toe Cowboy Boots and Beyond: Footwear Making Standards
Even though most feet have a dimension or two that are not in sync, manufacturers follow the rules of volume boot making, and they use their own standards. Those standards may be good for keeping production costs and productivity in line, but they fail to provide a lot of men with the level of comfort they want in a pair of boots.
A good example is snip toe cowboy boots. The manufacturing dimensions of snip toe boots do not conform to the dimensions of most feet. But that doesn’t stop some men from buying these fashion statements. Men who wear snip toe, long toe, pointed toe, and square toe boots learn a few tricks to make them more comfortable.
How to Wear Snip Toe Cowboy Boots Every Day in Comfort
Some men must wear boots every day, and to do that, they should follow these rules:
- Pick a toe shape and boot shaft that fits. The first rule is picking a toe shape that fits, and a boot shaft that doesn’t scratch or irritate the calf. Finding a cowboy boot that exactly fits your foot is a challenge, but finding a boot that fits in the heel, and is loose at the top, but a little tight in the toes is a good start.
- Break your boots in slowly. Once the fit feels almost right, the breaking in process begins. Breaking boots in requires a pair of good quality, clean socks and a little time. Boots should be on the feet for an hour a two a day for about seven days before they are ready to wear all day.
Some Final Boot Tips
Besides the boots, try buying:
- A gel-filled insole. The insole and the sock lining are important boot elements, and they make up the second rule in getting boots to fit comfortably. All boots have some sort of insole, and most of them are removable. Replacing the factory insole with a gel-filled insole will make a big difference in the comfort of a boot.
- More than one pair of boots. This is the most important rule for men who wear snip toe cowboy boots or other toe shapes every day. The rule is to have more than one pair of boots. Men who have two or three pairs of cowboy boots can wear them for different occasions, and with different clothing. Wear one pair for one or two days and then switch to another pair for one or two days. That routine will help your feet adjust quicker to the dimensions of the boots without causing foot issues or blisters.
Mens cowboy boots are a fashion statement, but they can be uncomfortable if you don’t take the time to break them in first. It only takes a bit a time and effort to make sure your boots feel and look great, too.
Finding the right pair of mens caiman boots can be a challenge. (Read More Below)
How can you tell what kind of gator skin is in the boots, or if they are really gator skin at all? There are some great gator prints on the market, but if you jump into the boot-buying process without the right information, you might end up paying too much for a boot that doesn’t meet your expectations. If you are confused, here are a few ways to identify what kind of alligator is in those expensive boots. After all, celebrities look like a million bucks in quality gator skin boots and you can, too.
Three Types of Gator Skins
If you want to own a pair of genuine gator boots, do a little homework on gator skins before you go shopping. The first thing to know is boot makers use these three types of gator skins to make quality boots:
- American Alligator: Most expensive boots of all gator skins, because it is soft and flexible without tiny blemishes and pock marks on the scales or tiles.
- Nile Crocodile: A middle price point for exotic skin boots, it is soft and supple.
- South American Caiman: Most popular because they are the least expensive boots in the genuine gator skin boot category, yet they are a bit more rigid than the rest.
How to Tell If You Have Mens Caiman Boots or Not
Shoe manufacturers also use printed leather and synthetic leather to make a price conscious version of real skin boots. Even when men know the small differences in gator leather, there can still be mud in the water in terms of identifying those differences. Here’s a few tips to help make it easier:
- Look for a Hornback design. If boots have the back skin of an alligator or crocodile, then the Hornback design of the animal is obvious.
- Think about price point. The price sets these three exotic boots apart, but if they’re synthetic, it will be unrealistically lower.
- Reject perfection in the scales. Identifying the irregularities in genuine scales can be a tedious process, but identifying a leather with an alligator print is easier to identify. Most synthetic or printed leathers have tiles that are perfect. They are uniform, and they don’t show the natural irregularities in real gator skins.
- Gaze upon a star. Alligator skins have an umbilical scar in the shape of a star. Alligators are the only animals that have that marking. That scar is never present in printed leather or in synthetic alligator boots.
- Search for small pores. Tiny pores are present in crocodile leather due to a loss of sensitive hair during the tanning process. Those pores are hard to duplicate in embossed leather or in synthetic skin boots.
If you want a real gator skin boot, try to find good quality mens caiman boots that fit your style and budget. Caiman boots will give you what you’re looking for at a reasonable price. Do your homework to make sure you don’t mistake your real alligator shoes and gator skin boots for a fake reproduction.
Urban Cowboy, the 1980 movie starring John Travolta and Debra Winger, set the mood for a city slicker transformation.
Men in big cities around the country wanted to ride a mechanical bull and listen to Mickey Gilley, Charlie Daniels and Bonnie Raitt. Country music was on fire back then. Urban cowboys went for black, brown and blue ostrich boots. They also loved wearing jeans, white T-shirts, and 10-gallon hats.
Men who never thought about wearing a pair of brown, black or blue ostrich boots were showing up in New York City clubs looking like they just rode in from the range. 1980 was the year western fashion got a healthy dose of credibility from the clothing industry. But it’s not easy to dress western. Pulling it off without looking like a city dude in a Halloween costume can be a challenge.
Blue Ostrich Boots and Beyond: Western Fashions are Runway Worthy
To get a great GQ rating, men must shake off their city mentality and channel Sam Elliot’s horseshoe mustache. Thinking about how to wear western clothes is the first step. Ralph Lauren makes western fashion runway worthy. It’s a good idea to look at how his designers put outfits together and then pick the styles that work for you.
Jean Jackets and Leather Belts
In other words, if a short jean jacket or vest feels right, go for it. And if a plaid shirt or a no-collar shirt looks like it belongs in your closet, buy both. All men own a pair of jeans, but western jeans are the jeans that fit snug in the crotch and legs. They are also tight around the ankle. A leather belt with an oversized silver buckle can make those badass jeans look saddle worthy, even if you are walking down 6th Avenue in New York.
Making Your Own Western Fashion Statement
A red bandana around your neck is a little over the top for some men. But if you stuff that bad boy in your back pocket, the bandana can come in handy if you need a distraction while making a point during a conversation. Western style is all about being chill. So, if you’re wearing a pair of blue ostrich boots in the middle of downtown Chicago, have no fear. The people that watch you strut to the beat of your own western fashion statement know you got what it takes to look dope in any situation. Find these and more great deals on mens alligator shoes by shopping our online store.
Wearing a pair of dress boots, blue cowboy boots or a pair of casual Chukka boots to work or to a special event is part of the modern-day dress code.
Men wear boots in every season, but wearing boots in the winter can take a heavy toll on the upper material and the soles of dress and casual boots. Even though the winters are not as cold and snowy as years past, they can still be rough on a pair of boots, even if they are cold weather boots.
Water Resistant Vs. Waterproof
Some men say wearing a pair of blue cowboy boots in the snow is like wearing a pair of dress boots in a swimming pool, and they might be right. Nothing good comes from wearing a pair of leather western boots in the snow, unless you treat them with a solution that makes them water resistant.
Water resistant is not the same as waterproof. The products that make boots water resistant help maintain the leather for a short time. Most tanned leather is not waterproof. Some boot companies say their leather boots are waterproof because there is a tanning process that keeps the water from soaking into the leather.
Blue Cowboy Boots and Beyond
The question about how to wear boots in the fall and winter is more subjective than objective. Men usually find a pair of dress boots with lug soles for traction and an upper leather that has a water-resistant solution in the leather. Other men turn to synthetic materials like nylon, polyurethane and vinyl, so their boots are waterproof. A quality synthetic material boot is a great alternative if a man lives in a part of the country where snow and rain are the norm, instead of the exception.
Most men who want to wear boots that look good in the snow wear hiking boots. They tuck their trousers into the high shaft version of the hiking boot, and they proudly wear those boots. Other men put on above-the-ankle, rough leather hiking boots, and they wear pants that fit tightly around the ankle.
There are men who still want to wear their black, brown or blue cowboy boots, no matter what the weather. Those men are die-hard cowboy boot fanatics. If the only option is to put on a pair of blue cowboy boots and wade through two feet of snow, then so be it. But those men should know their boots should at least be water resistant. Walking through two feet of snow is not fun for any man, especially when his feet get wet. Find these and more great deals on mens alligator shoes by shopping our online store.
Exotic leather shoes are a symbol of status. All shoes and boots tell a story – a personal story.
Great style starts with a great pair of shoes or boots, like Cuadra boots for men. A sense of opulence surrounds men who wear exotic leather boots. They are confident, self-aware, and able to cross fashion lines to make their own fashion statement.
Exotic leather shoes and boots enhance a man’s personal image, and the world takes notice. Great men know being well-dressed starts at their feet. Owning and caring for a pair of great leather shoes is a responsibility. Those leather shoes have to look as new as they were when they came out of the box. That means the leather must get a royal treatment in the form of the three C’s: care, clean and condition.
Why Cuadra Boots for Men?
All leather has dignity and honor. A dirty pair of boots or a scuffed pair of shoes. No man wearing a pair of nasty boots, except for maybe John Wayne, is a crowd favorite. Companies like Cuadra Boots for men go out of their way to help men care, clean, and condition their boots before and after they wear them.
Not all leather is polishable. Cow, kidskin, calf, and finished pigskin will hold polish, but alligator, crocodile and caiman, Python, and other animal skin boots and shoes are allergic to polish. Exotic leathers need babying. A damp cloth, a small brush as well as exotic leather conditioner is the key to keeping exotic boots looking like a million bucks.
Exotic Boots and the Weather
But it’s not just the three “Cs” that make exotic leather boots keep their mojo. The trick is to think of exotic boots in the same way you think of an Armani suit. They are delicate, and they don’t need to show their strength in the rain or mud. When it rains, wear a pair of weather-treated shoes. When it snows, keep exotic leather boots in your closet. Exotic boots are rock stars that need attention and tender loving care.
Cuadra boots for men (mens cowboy boots) has a diverse product line that appeals to men who like the feel of well-made urban, sport, and western exotic boots and shoes. Cuadra makes boots that withstand the test of time when they are treated in the right way. Not all exotic leather boot makers take the time to show men how to wear and care for their leather footwear, but Cuadra does, and the company does that through example.
Formal is a word that beckons rules of etiquette and convention. For most men… continued below.
being formal seems official and rather bland. Fashions and formal shoes for men have been part of American history for at least three centuries. Men in the 21st century have cut the cord of standard formal wear, and they are in the process of reinventing the word, “formal,” especially when it comes to footwear.
What Type of Footwear is Formal?
Formal shoes for men can be any type of footwear in today’s rogue, outlandish, bold and sometimes obnoxious fashion trends. However, men who dress for success dress from the feet up. While shoes are the soul of any style statement, it is important to understand the details that make shoes formal, casual or just plain cool. And most men know finding shoes that are cool is a badge of honor.
After all, a hot pair of brogues makes a man stand up and out in the social scene. They have history dripping from their perforated uppers and welted soles. Brogues are royalty, and they demand respect when they are part of any style statement. But brogues are misunderstood. The word, “brogue,” comes from Scotland.
Why Do Men Prefer Brogues for Formal Affairs?
Mens dress shoes, more specifically, brogues were country walking shoes in the early 1900’s because the holes in the uppers let them dry after a man walked through the soggy moors. Today, brogues are everywhere since they can be formal, casual, boot, and sneaker-worthy, and women even wear them. Formal brogues come in different toe cap styles like wingtips, straight tips, and plain toes.
The most recognized formal shoe today is the wingtip version of the brogue on a leather or hard sole. The straight tip, welt-constructed brogue is a close second. A black patent leather, no welt, plain toe brogue is the popular choice for tuxedo duty. Laces play a role in brogue wearing.
There’s an Oxford tie brogue, the derby tie, a Ghillie tie, a slip-on and a monk strap. The Oxford tie can be the Blucher version or the Bal version. When they stitch eyelets over the vamp, the brogue is a Blucher, and when they stitch eyelets under the vamp and the tongue is concealed except for the tip, it’s a Bal.
The latest formal shoe craze revolves around the wingtip and the straight tip Bal. The spectator wingtip is back in fashion. Long, pointed toe wingtips and straight tips in two-tone calfskin and leather soles are kings in the suit world today. Black and white, tan and dark brown, and other color combinations are spectator worthy.
What About Upper Materials in Formal Shoes for Men?
Any conversation about formal shoes for men must include upper materials. Canvas spectators and alligator and ostrich leather straight tips are formal shoes these days. Men wear polished leather penny loafers and dress moccasins to formal events. The penny loafer is a classic. It is always a fashion favorite, especially in bright colors on an athletic inspired bottom.
Mens alligator shoes and boat shoes in special leathers can be formal shoes too. And no one would deny the fact that certain athletic shoes have a formal vibe as well.
The point is, almost any shoe goes in today’s casual inspired formal wear. Men make formal shoes for men, formal. A man’s style creates the formality because style has no boundaries or restrictions.
Long before the Kennedy boys wore a pair of wingtip mens spectator shoes, the two-tone wingtip was an important part of British history.
John Lobb, a famous 19th century English bootmaker, made the first spectator shoes for English cricket players. Before 1868, cricket shoes were white. Playing a game of cricket is a dirty adventure in sportsmanship, so Lobb thought a two-tone version of the cricket shoe would civilize the sport. Needless to say, two-tone wingtips and straight tips became a fashion item in the early 1900s. By 1920, spectators were on the feet of businessmen and elite sportsmen in civilized countries around the globe.
Not All Mens Spectator Shoes are Brogues and Visa Versa
To be clear, not all mens spectator shoes are brogues, and not all brogues are spectator shoes. In order for a shoe to be a brogue, a perforation design must be present. It is usually around the toe area or another area of the upper. Even though most mens spectator shoes have a perforated or “perf” design, some spectator shoes for men have none.
Today’s mens gator shoes and more specifically, spectator shoes for men, are a mixture of vibrant colors and unique toe shapes. They also have versatile sole designs and other important style features. Men today prefer a perforated white vamp spectator with a tan calfskin straight tip toe on a welted leather sole.
Mens Spectator Shoes in the 21st Century
Spectator shoes have taken on new fashion energy in the 21st century. Earmarks of the old 1920s and 1930s mens spectator shoes are still present. However, the new longer last versions built on welted leather soles are in demand across the country. Spectators are the new urban look. No one can deny the beauty of a brown and white spectator penny loafer. And many men love the exquisite lines of a brown and tan brushed calfskin winkle picker.
Men who understand urban styles are not afraid to wear a square toe, navy perforated cap toe spectator. And when they add a tan and white spectator wingtip ankle boot to their wardrobe, the words, “on fleek” take on a whole new meaning.
How to Style Your Spectator Shoes
Men who love style tend to dress from the shoes up, so picking the right suit depends on the shoes. Men who wear Zoot suits love spectators. In fact, most men who have more than one double-breasted linen suit in their closet also have more than one pair of spectator shoes.
Let’s face it, spectator shoes work with any wardrobe. Spectator shoes go with baggy pants with wide legs and skinny slacks with a two-button jacket. Spectators for men cross the lines of fashion in the world of personal style. Mens spectator shoes carry the character of yesteryear, but they also speak the language of the tech age. Men’s spectator shoes are casual and timely, but formal and appealing. In fact, they can also be athletic and inspiring.
Men’s spectator shoes break the laws of staunch and lethargic fashion pundits. They also trample on the rules of conventional mens styles. Mens spectator shoes stand on their own with a pair of vibrant colored shorts, but they can also rock a pair of cut-up jeans. Every man should have at least one pair in his closet.
At times, myths become rules. The myth that wearing white after Labor Day is a no-no is one of those rules.
The same people who follow that rule believe summer ends on Labor Day, and we all know that is a myth. Wearing light colors, like white mens cowboy boots after Labor Day is okay, but the rule followers still have a hard time adjusting, especially if those people live in the South.
Mens White Cowboy Boots Make a Bold Fashion Statement
Wearing a pair of mens white cowboy boots, and a white three-piece suit in an early December snowstorm is still not a good idea. Yet, there are ways to wear white and feel comfortable as well as fashionable, even in the winter. One way to pull off white is to wear a white sweater over a pinstriped shirt and under a dark sports coat. That touch of white gives the outfit the color it needs to make a statement. The shoes can be tan or dark brown, or an athletic-inspired casual in a dark color suede works, too.
White is Not Always White
In today’s fabric world, white is not always white. There is cream, crème, eggshell, off–white, and natural, and they all pass for white as long as men feel it and call it a good look. Off-white is certainly a holiday color, but it’s not just okay for one winter month. It’s okay for all the winter months.
Wearing White After Labor Day
Off-white athletic-inspired shoes and white jeans are a great after Labor Day look if the shoes and the jeans compliment each other. In fact, the athletic shoe industry has done more to break down the stigma of wearing white in the winter months than any other fashion industry. Men wear touches of white in their athletic-inspired casual shoes during the cold months, and they don’t give a damn about the white wearing myth. In today’s anything-goes fashion world, white is a key color that puts individual fashion statements together.
Some Final Words on White
Do you wonder about wearing mens white cowboy boots and T-shirts after Labor Day? White cowboy boots, a white T-shirt and a pair of designer jeans is a year-round style staple look. Sure, the white cowboy boots are a bit of a stretch for some men, but remember, those boots don’t have to be bright white. They can be cream, eggshell, off-white or natural and still pass for white. Just like the myth about wearing white after Labor Day, calling all colors of white, not white, is okay too.
The old shoe factories in Boston, St. Louis, and in states like Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi are history now. Low price imports (continued below)
Low price imports put most of these old shoe manufacturers out of business in the 1980s and 1990s. The art of making shoes that fit, according to exact specifications, is history, too. China makes more than 60 percent of the shoes in the market today. China-made shoes conform to a different size standard, but Zelli shoes, an American company, is still producing standard size shoes today.
Shoes Today: Why It’s Hard to Find a Perfect Fit
The old American factories had exact size measurements for American feet, but the Chinese manufacturers have a size scale that fits feet in countries all over the world. That may be a good thing for big Chinese shoe manufacturers, but it is hard for men who like to buy a certain size shoe.
Shoes don’t fit the way they did 40 or 50 years ago. In fact, finding a shoe that fits is almost impossible, unless you buy a shoe from a brand that still makes shoes the old fashion way, like with Zelli shoes. The old fashion way is not a massive machine-driven production system. It is a handmade and machine-made process that only produces a certain number of shoes a day.
American Styling: Classic Companies Like Zelli Shoes
A company like Zelli Shoes is a good example of a company that still makes shoes the old fashion way. Zelli shoes and leather boots still offer impeccable Italian craftsmanship, American styling, and the company only uses quality materials.
Getting shoes and boots to fit the right way depends on several things. The material, the last, the lining, the outsole, and the heel, all play a part in a proper fit. If one or more of those things is out of whack, your shoes may fit like socks on a rooster. Shoes can also stretch out, and when they do, men must shrink those shoes so they fit.
How to Shrink Your Shoes
Shrinking shoes may sound like an impossible task, but it’s not. All you need is:
- Hot water
- A blow dryer
Just follow these steps:
- Spray: Get the shoes or boots wet using hot water. A spray bottle is the best thing to use to complete this first step.
- Dry: Put the shoes or boots in the sun and let them dry, or use a blow dryer. Drying shoes with heat forces leather and fabrics to shrink. Holding a hair dryer six inches above your wet shoes should do the trick.
- A Big No No: Don’t use your clothes dryer. Shoes will shrink in a clothes dryer, but they will also lose their shape, and the original shape may not come back.
- Condition: Leather and suede shoes need a conditioner, so they won’t crack. Conditioning kits are available in most shoe and big name stores.
Shrinking shoes that don’t fit happens a lot. Even top brand names like Zelli Shoes need some tender loving care from time-to-time. Shoe making is not an exact science, and as we all know, feet aren’t either.