Parts of the Boot
Toe Box: A
stiffener at the toe of the boot to help retain shape and style.
Another name for the fancy stitching on the top of the vamp. This is used on
certain leathers to help the boot break over properly. Sometimes it surrounds
cording that is sewn into the vamp for more support, or looks. Exotics such as
lizard do not need this feature.
Dip: The curve in the top line of the quarter
(shaft). This curve is used for styling and the deeper dips also aid in better fitting.
Heel Counter: The heel counter is placed on
the inside of the boot between the lining and the outsole leather foxing. The counter is
formed and molded to hold the heel in place. The heel counter provides stability.
A high counter sometimes aids in keeping your foot from rolling over the side of
Heel Lift: Finished bottom of the heel base
which must be very good abrasive material. Our heel lifts are made of high quality,
long-wearing materials, with non-slip characteristics.
Heel Pad: The heel pad covers the unfinished
heel area and dissipates shock. This is the rubber on the bottom of the heel.
This pad should be replaced as it is worn down to protect the heel, and to
prevent your gait from breaking over in a wrong or uncomfortable manner.
The heel rand serves as a buffer between
the heel of the boot and the leathers of the counter and foxing. It is the piece
of plastic-like material that lines the top of your boot heel in welted boots.
It helps keep the heavier leathers from wearing through the thinner leathers.
Insole: A sole of leather or other material
which is attached directly to a boot upper and welt. In some boot construction, the sole
surface forms the inside of the bottom of the boots, in others, it is covered with a sock
lining of thick leather or other material. In many of the high-tech boots of
today, this insole can be removable and/or replaceable. You can often add an
insole to take some of the height from the instep of a between sizes
Lining: Inside of boots, usually made of
pigskin, glove leathers, or a heavy twilled cotton or linen fabric. Gives the inside of the boots a neat
appearance. Advances in synthetics now give waterproof or sweat dissipating
options like Gortex or Sympatex, as well as traditional materials.
Outsole: Outermost sole of the boot, the
surface of which is exposed to wear. On most Western boots, this is replaceable
as worn. On direct attach boots, the sole is formed onto the upper leathers in a
manner that makes a weathertight seal, but is not replaceable.
Piping: Decorative material used to give boots
a nice finished appearance. Piping often works as a washer to keep leathers from
rubbing through each other. Piping is almost always synthetic.
Allows for ease in pulling on the
boots by putting the fingers through the loops. Pull tabs are always found on traditional
western boots. Pull holes and "mule ears" are other options for the
pull tabs. Mule ears are long so that you can reach the entrance of the boot
without bending over so far. This option gets more acceptable with age of the
wearer! Pulls are used to get the boot started. If enough pressure is applied,
they will tear. Some makers are reinforcing the pulls with nylon for added
strength. Others use pull holes.
The part of the top that your foot enters first. That part of the boot that
rises from above the vamp.
Shank: Forms the arch, made of steel, fiber,
wood, or plastic. Supports the arch of the foot.
Side Welt: The side welt is stitched between
front and back quarter during closing operation. It does not really add any strength but
is decorative and traditional on cowboy boots.
Sole Stitching: Holds the welting and the sole
Stitching (Fancy Stitch): Decorative feature
Upper: (Quarter) The entire boot excluding the
Vamp: The complete forepart of a boot upper
which is attached to the insole and welting. It is the most important part of the upper
and the one which must possess the finest appearance and durability.
Welting: Strip of leather or synthetic
material used for attaching the upper to the sole.