22 – Incredible Pair Of Circa 1880s Cowboy Boots

By Museum of Northwest Colorado

Sometimes the fact that something still exists is what makes it so amazing. These boots are a perfect example. They possess no grandiose story and aren’t tied to any major historical event or figure. They are, however, an absolutely iconic piece of the American West that seldom survives.
These 17” tall boots with additional 2” heels were a typical style worn by any serious cowboy in the late 1800s. The height of the boot protected the lower legs from cactus, sagebrush, snakes, chafing, wayward kicks, water crossings etc. The heel helped lock the cowboy into the stirrups. Plain and simple, early cowboy boots were designed explicitly for countless, rough hours in the saddle. Even though they could cost up to a half-month’s wage, a well-made pair of boots were absolutely essential for the range riders of the day.
These boots were originally used by a member of the Forman family of Heber, Utah, and likely date to about 1880. The spurs, also early, are unmarked (maker unknown), hand-forged, with silver and copper inlays and fancy graved-silver overlaid buttons.