A buddy sent me a link to a posting found on the “Art of Manliness” blog titled, “A Man’s Guide to Western Boots: A Cowboy Boot Primer.” This post started off well with some encouraging statements:
Most men, though, will go through life without ever having tried a cowboy boot on. My advice? Don’t be that guy. Give it a shot. You don’t have to be a cowboy to wear and appreciate Western boots.
…a man can enjoy a touch of Western style in his outfits now and again….
…well-dressed men can be comfortable taking the cowboy boot out of the Southwest and into America’s most fashionable cities.
Further, the blog described the different styles of western boots.
Unfortunately, after it began encouragingly, the post spiraled into total stereotyping, clichés, and ridicule from there. It turned out to be a badly-written piece because…
…instead of doing what it claimed to be doing — providing a primer for men about wearing cowboy boots — it fulfilled all the wrong-headed stereotypes about cowboy boots. Examples (as a review, I am quoting verbatim employing the “Fair Use” doctrine of U.S. Copyright Law):
- Your cowboy boots are going to be social wear rather than business (unless you’re a Texan)
- A T-shirt and blue jeans with cowboy boots will fit right in at a country music show, but unless that’s where you’re actually going, you should wear something else.
- Jackets really help take you from “urban cowboy” to “snappy dresser.” I would almost tell you to never wear cowboy boots without a jacket, at least in a major metropolitan area.
- If we haven’t made it clear by now, Western-style boots are casual clothing.
- They’re not business wear unless your business involves cattle or oil.
- Every once in a while you’ll see a businessman wearing a fancy suit with cowboy boots, but you don’t want to be that kind of eccentric.
- For the most part we recommend keeping the cowboy boots to “fun” social events.
- Good places for cowboy boots include: Most kinds of step dancing — salsa, square, etc.; Bars; Casual restaurants; County/state/grange/etc. fairs; Rock and country concerts; Comedy shows (but if you sit in the front row they might say something).
Holy crap! What a bunch of stereotyping is going on here.
Here is my refutation by personal experience:
- Your cowboy boots can and should be worn both socially AND professionally, such as I do when I wear boots every day with dress clothes to the office (and I am not a Texan).
- I wear cowboy boots with a t-shirt and blue jeans every day, casually, as I go about my daily business such as grocery shopping, visiting with family & friends, etc.
- I don’t wear jackets or sport coats — too “uppity” and confining for my personal style.
- Western-style boots are both dress and casual clothing.
- I wear western boots as business wear in a professional office (an my office has nothing to do with cattle or oil.)
- Every once in a while, I have to wear a suit. Always with cowboy boots. Always. And I’m not an eccentric.
- Keep wearing the cowboy boots to all events: fun, social, professional, political, wherever.
- Good places for cowboy boots include: home, office, attending sports events, dining out, dancing, etc.
Seriously, fellas, if you read the insidiously “anti-boot” statements riddled throughout the blog post, you’ll see that the author’s primary purpose was two-fold: 1) discourage, rather than encourage, men to wear cowboy boots; and 2) ridicule boot wearing in the majority of places that men go.
It is no wonder that my Guide to Wearing Cowboy Boots remains the most popular page on my website. When men read the badly-written non-objective drivel in that “Art of Manliness” blog, it’s no wonder that they revert to wearing silly dress shoes, sneakers, flip-flops, and the worst yet: crocs. Men fear trying anything new to them, and with blog posts like that, they won’t wear men’s boots because it fulfills and reinforces long-held stereotypes.Life is short: wear cowboy boots every day, everywhere — to work, school, around the community.