While students begin to trade in their backpacks for bikinis for summer, cowboy boots have made their way out of the western wardrobe and into the major trends of 2022.
“It’s an interesting trend; old-fashioned styles always make their way back around,” said sophomore journalism major Sydney Jackson. “I don’t think it will last. Cowboy boots aren’t an essential styling piece that many people keep in their closet.”
Keeping up with different fashion trends can be difficult while in college, especially when it comes to pieces like cowboy boots.
Boots can be expensive and, unless you find a staple piece you know you will get use out of, keeping up with trends like wearing cowboy boots might not seem worth it.
However, with the ease and accessibility of Amazon, there are many options for affordable, trendy cowboy boots. There is a wide range of prices and styles to fit anyone’s budget.
Many department stores such as Kohl's, Target, Walmart, and DSW offer cowboy boots.
Cowboy boots are versatile, allowing the wearer to follow traditional styles with a modern and trendy twist.
By offering different prints, boot cuts and heights, colors and styles, the fashion world transformed the traditional style of cowboy boots to fit a modern trend.
“The personalization of cowboy boots and the modern take on the trend, like white cowboy boots, is super fun. It is something that is really cute, especially for a festival or summer look,” said sophomore psychology major Bella Stoepel.
Western trends have trickled back into modern fashion following the highly anticipated “influencer” events like Coachella, which happened this April.
Colored cowboy boots and ankle cowboy boots rose in popularity on social media platforms like TikTok, where influencers have shown the world the trends they keep up with. Many outfits explored modern takes on a traditional western or bohemian trend.
The versatility of the modern cowboy boot allows for more room to pair them with a range of styles; you can pair a black cowboy boot with a casual black dress or jeans for a night out, wear a white or sparkly cowboy boot with a dress for a more dressy event, add some cowboy boots to a bohemian look with a flowing skirt or take a more traditional approach to style them.
“I think it makes some outfits look more put together,” said sophomore kinesiology major Julia Levine. “I do think that the popularity of wearing them will decrease after a bit, like any other trend, due to practicality.”
The practicality and comfort of cowboy boots raise questions about the trend for many and remind us of the reality that beauty is not always pain.
Depending on the quality of the boot, cowboy boots can range in comfort level, and, generally, the comfortable ones are high-quality and expensive.
Well-made cowboy boots are very good for your feet because they are designed to hold up throughout farming and other hands-on jobs. The heel is designed to reduce pressure on your Achilles tendon, which also takes stress off your ankles. When properly made, the soles are reinforced with metal from heel to toe, which gives you extra support as well.
However, these boots are difficult to commit to, both financially and because of the fast-paced shift in fashion trends throughout the seasons.
“I feel like it’ll be a summer trend and then die down in the fall and winter, but I’m hoping they stay in style for a little longer,” said Stoepel.
While many are hopeful for the return of cowboy boots to modern fashion, there are limits to styling and buying them that take away from the shoe’s popularity and longevity.
“I don't think that cowboy boots will stay in style,” said DSW Sales Associate Alexis Smith. “I think people will keep trying to bring them back in style but I don't think it will last.”
Leather and denim are also on the rise in popularity, with many fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar highlighting denim jeans and jackets and leather jackets as essential for their fall 2022 looks.
While trends like cowboy boots are fun to follow, the most important aspect of fashion is wearing what makes you feel good. So, if cowboy boots make you feel good, wear them.