Cowboy boots are inextricably linked with the lore and legend of the great American West. The West, with its dramatic, often unforgiving landscape and unsettled, often dangerous reputation, was the perfect backdrop for larger-than-life tales of honor, valor, betrayal, and romance. These tales, both real and imagined, were peopled by a cast of highly evocative characters as fascinating as the West itself. Lone gunslingers, hardened rangers herding epic cattle drives across the open range, and sheriffs and outlaws battling it out all took place among the buttes and arroyos of the Wild West. And the one thing linking all these uniquely American folks together, especially as we recall them today, is their unmistakable uniform of cowboy boots, hats, and jeans.
It might come as a surprise, then, that cowboy boots have their origins in an English creation, the Wellington boot. This shorter, military-oriented boot had its origins in a series of requests made by the Duke of Wellington for the modification of traditional Hessian cavalry footwear (a yet older antecedent of cowboy boots). The new style soon became wildly popular among the social elite, a craze which eventually filtered down to the masses.
Due to their military roots, Wellington boots were relatively nondescript, which means they took easily to mass production. Antebellum cowboys, a fairly poor demographic group with a need for resilient footwear, took to Wellingtons en masse. However, after the Civil War, when westward expansion redoubled, cowboys became more highly paid, and were thus able to invest in higher quality goods. Well-made saddles, formerly a luxury, became a staple. The same is the case with cowboy boots, a nascent fashion trend which combined the workhorse utility of the Wellington with the filigreed touches more elegant footwear. (It is this marriage that lends even the most affordable, tough cowboy boots an aesthetically pleasing edge). Style, a luxury once reserved for the rich, became ingrained in the fabric of daily cattle-driving life via cowboy boots.
Today, cowboy boots continue to embody this happy union, loved by laborers and the luxe alike. Tough yet stylish, hardworking yet handsome, and always making a statement, they embody that ruggedly individual essence of Texas also known as the American spirit.
Can't miss it! In the heart of the South Congress shopping district, the boot-emblazoned sign by the door leaves no doubt as to Allens' leanings. With over 4,000 boots on display, and representing 12 boot manufacturers, this is a serious shop for serious Western Wear!
Posted by D.R. "GeoCities review"
My husband and I were staying in Austin for a few days and happened to stop at Allens Boots. We had been seeking a pair of boots that would fit comfortably and not pinch for years - we'd bought some in Tulsa a few years earlier and they pinched so bad we never wore them. At Allens they not only had boots that fit, they had lots of them, and priced right. They stock quality brands such as Frye Boots, Lucchese Boots and Justin Boots. Their Western Wear is also extensive and reasonable. Personable and knowledgeable staff - we wanted to take Gayla home. Very understated presence and low-key atmosphere - no hype.
With live music venues such as South By Southwest and Austin City Limits, you never know who might be shopping at Allens! Movie stars as well as rock stars love our selection! Allens has also been featured in InStyle magazine, Rachel Ray magazine, Cowboys and Indians, and MTV videos (such as The Real World and The Making of the Ringer). Stick around, you might even see a movie star or two....
|Allens Boots||American West||Anderson Bean|
|Cuadra||Double J||Double J Saddlery|
|Elk Creek||Freebird By Steven||Frye|
|Lucchese Spirit||M&f||Macie Bean|
|Odd Molly||Old Gringo||Old West|
|Robert Graham||Rock 47||Rockmount|
|Soco Boots||Stetson||Taylor Brands|
|Texas Products||Tony Lama||Vogt|
|Will Leather Goods||Wrangler||Yippee Ki Yay|