A Quest for The Perfect Cowboy Boots

August 19, 2009 | By | Comments (26)

It began innocently enough. Earlier this summer I spent time on a Texas ranch to research a story. While there I fell hard … fell for the look of cowboy boots. Since returning home my fascination grew. I needed some cowboy boots of my own.

To be perfectly clear, these aren’t boots that I’m going to wear horse riding. I just like the look of them, and what Southern girl doesn’t? Thus began my quest for the perfect pair: ones that I could wear at work, on the road, with jeans, with dresses, when line dancing. OK maybe not that last part.

Here are some of my favorite stops along the trail of the perfect pair:

WildflowerWax  Wildflower & Wax — Located in Helena, Alabama (just outside Birmingham), this store actuallyspecializes in making their own beautiful and delicious smelling candles (here is their blog). But the owners discovered that customers were interested in the vintage cowboy boots they had on display for decoration, so they started selling vintage boots from all over the country.

I found several pair I liked, but none in my size. If at first you don’t succeed …

Keep shopping.

I looked around online a bit but am a believer in trying on boots for the right fit. So when I had some extra time during a Texas trip last weekend (Lubbock), I tried on a few dozen pair on for size.

At Cavender’s, a chain that has been in business since 1965, I found rows and rows of gorgeous new boots in every size, shape, and color.

Simple, ornate, tall, short, dressy and casual (seriously, I had no idea of the range of possibilities), I pulled pair after pair from the shelves, trying them on and learning from their friendly salespeople how boots should feel and fit.

Cavboots Here were some of my favorites (at right).

Although several of these caught my attention, I had a feeling that the perfect pair was still somewhere out there, waiting for me.

Luckily, I happened to be going to Nashville after Texas.

The odyssey continued.

Following a friend’s recommendation, I stopped off at the legendary Katy K’s, whose customers sing on the Grand Ole Opry. Rockabilly and rhinestone fashion galore, I knew this was my kind of place. And indeed, this is where I found them: The Ones.

Greyboots As soon as I put them on I knew I’d found my glass slippers. These vintage boots would go with everything, had an ever so subtle but colorful pattern, and fit like magic.

Move over Carrie Bradshaw. You don’t have anything on a Southern girl with the perfect pair of boots. (But if another pair come along, there’s still room in my closet … )

Related Links:

40 Things Every Southerner Ought To Do

Music City Shopping


  1. Isaac Lamentia

    I’ve never been to Cavender’s, but it sure looks amazing! There is definitely something about going into a cowboy boot store and smelling all that leather. I absolutely love it. Great post.

    March 26, 2016 at 11:05 pm
  2. Georgi

    Great post, can be hard to find an appopriate pair these days! There’s a great pair at http://picvpic.com/women-shoes-boots/lassen-jessop-extra-wide-calf

    October 6, 2015 at 11:46 pm
  3. Ava Gardner

    The boots worn by Ms. Mcclellan in the 2014 September edition of Southern Living are absolutely gorgeous…Where to order or special hand made?

    May 4, 2015 at 10:08 am
  4. Connie Martley

    I too have been on the hunt for the boots worn in the article featuring Mary Catherine McClellan. Could you please let me know where I can find them. They are awesome!!!

    October 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm
  5. Susie

    Where can I find the boots worn by Mary McClellan in Southern Living Fall Style Guide

    September 13, 2014 at 12:45 pm
  6. Susie

    Love the Mary McClellan boots in Southern Living Fall Style Guide

    September 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm
  7. Hilda Rozier

    i need to get information on cowboy boots in southern living fall style worn by Mary Catherine Mcclellan.

    August 28, 2014 at 4:43 pm
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    Those are some great looking cowboy boots! Are these for sale or available in Amazon?

    March 13, 2012 at 1:29 am
  9. ドボネックス

    Lavoro veramente bello, ci sono molte persone alla ricerca di che ora troveranno fonti abbastanza da vostre punte.

    September 8, 2011 at 6:54 am
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    Szia, nagyon szép munkát végzett, sok embert keres a most fognak talál elegendő forrás az Ön tippeket, még várjuk a további tippeket, hogy

    August 4, 2011 at 1:35 am
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    I do not know what to say,I just feel sad.

    July 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm
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    I still have a pair of Tony Lamas, made from Dumbo’s rump (elephant),
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    June 2, 2011 at 1:55 am
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    the tory burch handbags is so cool,thank you for your tory buch shoes.

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    I hope the UN will investigate because this wasn’t the whole story. Before the “Stampede” someone shouted “the bridge is falling” and then panic. I think this is the work of some bioterrorism group. I am thinking some sort of gas was released because those that were not directly involved in the stampede got sick later on when they got home and now laying in the hospital as well. If Cambodia was the test site, where are these bioterrorism group headed? …

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    The question is – why would people stampede because folks fainted? They did cause there own deaths….

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    very sad…are there even that many tigers left in this country?

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    Nice post. I have always wondered what would happen if I lost my driver’s license on a trip. This is somewhat comforting news.

    November 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm
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    Great blog. Do you guys also own the site http://www.callisters.com ?

    July 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm
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    Since when is a chinese buffet fancy its not wrong but your parents want to make you look presentable tell them you prefer casual wear or whatever but say you’ll wear the fancier stuff in fancier restraunts .

    June 25, 2010 at 3:01 am
  22. Jeffrey Vincent

    Thats good – its making a statement and being individual. However I assume that your parents pay the bill, therefore I think you should respect that and their wishes or not go with them.

    June 25, 2010 at 3:01 am
  23. Cowboy boots and Cowboy Hats

    It’s so fun to find your inner cowboy! With dozens of western wear styles, accessories, and fashions, the possibilities are nearly endless. You have the boots now, but did you know that just by revamping your cowboy hat or by accessorizing your current one you can achieve any western style you want?

    June 16, 2010 at 11:33 am
  24. underdog Dave

    the best way to buy cowboy boots is with a tape measure.
    find a pair that fits just the way you want, then measure from heel to toe and across the widest part of the sole.
    now your ready to shop. often cowboy boots are sized wrong inside the boot, so pay no attention to what it says inside. measure the boot.

    May 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm
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    It’s nice to hear that you found the boots you like. I think you feel them most suitable this time.

    March 25, 2010 at 2:29 am
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