Deciding to buy a new pair of boots is a good first step. However, if you’ve never browsed for this type of footwear before, you’ve got plenty of research ahead of you to ensure you get a comfortable, stylish pair. Just one of the many factors you’ll need to consider is whether your boots have laces or belts.
While these details may seem like a purely aesthetic choice, this is only partly true. Before you settle on new boots, consider this and other features, and what makes these designs practical.
Boots With Belts, Laces, or Nothing
Image via Flickr by allie44
If your boots have a belt instead of laces, it doesn’t serve a practical purpose, other than not having to worry about lacing your shoes up and down. Laces can be tied in a few different ways, whether you want to thread them for style, work, running, or climbing. If you plan to use boots for work and play, laces are probably a better choice. Also, if you have Western boots, you’ll just pull on the shoes using the leather straps.
Steel Toes, Waterproofing, and Other Functional Features
Some boots have features geared toward work or rugged outdoor use. These include:
- Steel toes: These boots are reinforced with steel in the toe. They’re designed for workers at risk of punctures or dropping something heavy on their toes.
- Waterproofing: Hiking boots and those designed for heavy outdoor use are often waterproof.
- Different styles: Western boots, in particular, are available in numerous styles, and though some are better suited to certain ways to wear boots, they were originally designed for a specific purpose. For example, “Roper” boots have a broader heel and other differences that make them suited for rodeo use. Western work boots are similar, but they may also have a steel toe.
If you come across these features in a pair of boots, the shoes are intended for heavy use, whether for work or for activities like camping and hiking. However, that doesn’t mean these boots will be plain. Especially if you’re shopping for Chippewa Western boots, you can count on the shoes being adorned with intricate stitching as well as being available in various colors and materials.
Fashionable Additions and Practical Considerations
Some boots have features that are purely aesthetic — they have no practical purpose and simply serve to make your new kicks look especially fantastic. For example, though belts may be easier to use than laces, sometimes they’re added purely for style. In fact, some boots — such as Western boots — don’t have laces, and if they have belts, they’re just added for flare. These boots are pulled on using the leather bootstraps on the side, so you don’t have to worry about lacing up or clipping and unclipping belts.
Though boots were originally designed for work, today you can find plenty of pairs that offer a mix of style and practicality. If you go with Western boots, you can count on finding a pair that’s loaded with personality. Keep these differences between fashion and purpose in mind, and look forward to walking away in a pair of boots that meets all your needs.