The cowboy boot is a kind of footwear originally designed for horse-riding and protection from snakes. Once utilitarian in design, these boots have become more widely used for fashion than utility.
In 1865 cattle driving cowboys discovered that they needed a different type of boot as opposed to those used during the Civil War. It was around 1870 that someone finally took their boots to a shoemaker and requested a pointed toe, in order to slide his foot into his stirrup more easily. He also requested a longer shaft to protect his legs from snakes and other dangers as well as a thicker under-slung heel so his foot wouldn't come out of the stirrup during a rough ride. The boots would also be stitched on the outside of the boot to keep the leather from buckling and rubbing against the wearer's leg. The shoemaker complied and the first cowboy boot was born and quickly became a part of the cowboy's everyday life.
Cowboy boots are constructed in two different ways, welted or cemented. In welted boots the upper part of the boot is stitched to the sole and in cemented boots it is glued.
Cowhide leather is the most popular choice for cowboy boots as it is cheaper, more durable than other materials, and allows the wearer's feet to breathe. Other materials such as alligator, eel, elephant, lizard, anteater, and python are mostly for fashion purposes.