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Toe styles are based on personal preference. There are a variety of toes on our boots, some like more rounded toes or square toes for added comfort; snip, J, and fashion toes are narrower and are a personal preference of the wearer. Popular toe styles vary based on geographical location.
J Toe, Round Toe, U Toe, and Wide Square Toe’s are predominant styles for Double- H. The J toe is more fashion forward and popular in the east and southeast. The Round Toe is accepted nationwide. The U Toe is seen more in the southwest, but our modified U Toe in our work westerns are accepted everywhere. Our Wide Square Toe gained popularity in the southwest, but is rapidly growing. (See toe illustrations on lower left page)
“Classic work boot”- The round toe boot has a tip that is rounded, versus flat. A round toe boot could be semi-round, full round (U-toe) or broad round. Each may be a little wider and less tapered than the other.
The snip toe is similar to the square toe, except the front is narrower. The boot is tapered to a near-point, but flat at the front.
Western Square – lower profile toe built for work or dress.
The fashion toe boot is a J toe boot that has a bit more room for the toes to wiggle around, making it less-tapered and a bit more rounded at the tip.
In a Square Toe boot, the front of the toe is flat, with the corners almost at a right-angle.
Stitching can vary from simple to elaborate and extremely detailed. Some styles and patterns have been around for close to a century and others have been adapted and go in and out of style. Many boot makers have a signature pattern they use throughout their career, allowing the boot to be recognized as their design. Handmade boots patterns are done on a single-stich sewing machine, one row at a time, creating amazing works of art and fun flare to the boot.
2A. Toe Bug A toe bug is a design stitched onto the top of the vamp of many cowboy boots, visible when you look down at the boot. 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.
2B. Fancy Stitch Shafts on boots like cowboy boots may also have fancy stitching of various and contrasting colors sewn into the shaft, making each style distinctive.
Piping is a rounded strip of leather that runs up the side seams of some types of boots. Sewn dead center between the back and front of the boot, piping can be in the same color or a contrasting color of leather to make the boot or its stitching patterns stand out more. Piping is also used to hide stitching that holds the side seams together.
The upper, also called a vamp, surrounds and protects the foot from the sole up. Uppers are built around a last, which is a mold used to shape the boot’s materials. Some boots are made with a single layer of material (single vamp), a double layer (double vamp), or even triple layer (triple vamp) for added insulation and water penetration resistance.
Spurs rest on a ledge called a spur ridge at the top of the heel where it is attached to the boot. The spur ridge keeps the spur from sliding down the back of the heel.
Pull tabs, pull holes, or mule ears allow the wearer to pull on the boots on by putting the fingers through the loops. Pull tabs are 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, making them easier to pull on! Pull tabs were also used to tie up and hang the boots to prevent snakes, spiders and other animals from surprising the wearers in the morning.