If you have had the time or desire to stare at someone’s boots, you would have noticed that there are many parts to one. Each part has a purpose for the person wearing them. I will not bore you with the details of every boot part there is, but I will show what some are and their significance.
The shaft is a long, cylindrical part that goes up the leg. Shafts come in many heights and can be very decorative. They can have colored stitch patterns and embroidery, or tooling by hand or machine. If you can think it, someone can make it and put it on a shaft. This allows the owner to personalize their boots if they want to.
The shaft is also for the protection of the leg. Just like shin guards, chaps, and protective vests, this part of the boot offers the wearer protection against heat, cold, sharp objects, and prevents objects from entering the boot from the top and causing discomfort.
The shank is located between the midsole and outsole, and runs parallel with the foot between the ball of the foot and the heel. This significant part of the boot is commonly called the “arch support”.
Shanks are made from steel, carbon fiber, plastic, fiberglass, and even aluminum. They can be flat, forked, dished, and contoured. Have you ever discovered that some boots feel great on your feet, while others seem to cause pain in the arch of your foot, like you are standing on a shovel with bare feet? Frequently, this is caused by the shank not being the same shape as your foot.
The outsole receives the most amount of abuse, so it is, arguably, the most important part of the boot. Outsoles are made out of two main materials: leather and synthetic materials. Leather is a natural, breathable material that conforms nicely to your foot. It comes in many thicknesses to accommodate different needs. The only reason some steer away from leather soles is that they tend to wear out quickly when they are wet.
Synthetic soles offer greater durability in moisture and other liquids, but they come with one nasty side effect: heat. Leather allows heat to dissipate through the sole, but synthetic soles trap it. Synthetic soles usually offer greater longevity and can offer more slip and chemical resistance, but can you take the heat? For many, the answer is answered for them, due to the nature of where the boots are worn. Also, some prefer the cushion of a synthetic sole over a leather one.
Whatever your preferences may be or how you wear them, boots are worth staring at. Most boots are made by hand, so even in this age of mass production, no two pair are exactly, or fit exactly, alike. This makes each one unique, and an expression of the individual.
- A Little History of AA Callister
- In 1952, Arthur A. Callister began trading wool with his father in a little shop on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, Utah. Noticing how many customers were in need of quality tack to outfit themselves and their horses, AA Callister's Western Wear and Tack was born! Over 50 years and many satisfied customers we are still a family owned tack shop still located on the original site. We are proud to represent the traditions and lifestyles that made the West famous. We are also proud to feature some of the finest tack, clothing, and equipment made. Come live part of the American West today!