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Biker Boots
Bush Boots
Campus Boots
Chelsea Boots
Civil War Cavalry Boots
Combat Boots
Cowboy Boots
Dress Boots
Engineer Boots
Firefighter's Boots
Harness Boots
Hiking Boots
Knobelbecher Boots
Lineman Boots
Logger Boots
Mocassin Boots
Motocross Boots
Platform Boots
Police Patrol Boots
Ranger Boots
Riding Boots
Rubber Boots
Snakeproof Boots
Specialty Boots
Station Boots
Ugg Boots
Western Boots
Wildland Fire Boots
Work Boots

Some basics for bootmen -- Types of Boots

Click on the individual links for more information on each type of boot.


Biker Boots are boots made for motorcyclists. Dating back to the early days of motorcycling in the 1900's, motorcyclists often chose to wear sturdy, tall boots for protection in case of a fall or crash, and also to prevent burning their legs on hot exhaust pipes.

There are four main varieties of Biker Boots: Engineer, Harness, Police Patrol, and Motocross (for those who race motorcycles), plus boots made for other purposes but adopted by Bikers, such as logger, lineman, and wildland fire boots. Various adaptations of some of these boots are also made.



Campus - Vintage Frye Boots have a special place in the hearts and on the feet of many Bootmen, who discovered these boots when they became popular in the '60's and '70's and became the "boot-of-choice" for both men and women. The jury is out about exactly what it is about these boots that make them so popular: the style, looks, color choices, shaft height, sound of their clunky heels when walking in them, and affordability are among the reasons cited for their popularity. The Frye Campus, Harness, Square-toe, Engineer, or other versions can be found in many a Bootman's closet and on his feet!


Civil War Cavalry Boots have a long history. Tall boots, usually black and in a pull-on variety, were common in the United States and other countries. These boots are knee-high, and have smooth leather soles. Some have side boot pull straps to make them easier to pull on. Many had a spur ridge, because they were made to be worn while riding a horse.


Combat Boots are military boots designed to be worn by soldiers during actual combat or combat training. Modern combat boots are designed to provide a combination of grip, ankle stability, and foot protection suitable to a rugged environment. Variations on the basic lace-up combat boot have been designed for special types of troops (tanker boots, jump boots) and special environments (jungle boots, desert boots, cold weather boots).


Cowboy (Western) Boots are riding boots worn by cowboys. Traditional riding cowboy boots usually have an angled heel over 1" high, pointed toes, and smooth leather soles. Boot shafts range from 12" to crotch-high, but the standard is 13". Buckaroo Boots are made for the workin' cowboy -- they are usually 16" - 18" tall and are usually two-tone leather with high heels and a spur ridge. Ropers are cowboy boots as well, and have rounded toes and straight, rounded heels of 1" or less.


Engineer Boots are a type of motorcycle boot. The boots are most often made of heavy weight black leather, have a rounded toe and range in height from short (10") to crotch-high (38"). The most typical height is between 10 and 18 inches. They usually have a rounded toe and rounded block heel of about 1". Engineer boots typically have an adjustable leather strap across the ankle as well as an adjustable leather strap at the top of the shaft to adjust the fit.


Firefighter's Boots are built to meet standards to provide protection to firefighters when spraying the wet stuff on the red stuff. Standards require impact protection, electrical hazard protection, and sole puncture resistance. The boots used to be made of rubber, but now are made of synthetic materials designed to provide the greatest protection to the firefighter.


Harness Boots are a type of motorcycle boot, most often made of heavy weight leather and range in height from short (10") to extra high (38"). The most typical height is between 10 and 18 inches. They usually have a square toe and stacked heel, and may have rubber, tread, or smooth leather soles. These boots get their name by having four leather straps and two metal rings: one strap goes across the top of the foot at the ankle, one strap wraps around the rear of the foot at the ankle and two more straps rise from sole on either side ankle. The four straps are held in place by the two metal rings that are located on either side of the ankle, and look somewhat like a horse harness.


Hiking Boots are chosen to provide the wearer many miles of walking comfort. They are usually 4" to 8" tall, and lace up. Modern hiking boots have many features to make them even more comfortable, including thick innersole padding, waffle or Vibram soles, and cushioned ankle tops. They come in a variety of colors, but most are tan, brown, or black. Some common brands are Hi-Tec, Tecnica, and Vasque.


Knobelbecher Boots, also known as "Jack Boots" became famous during World War II. These boots were worn by the German Infantry. They are made of sturdy black leather. They got their name from the dimple on the side of the boot by the ankle which looks like a leather dice cup. The word "Knobelbecher" means dice cup because the boots would develop that characteristic dimple when broken in.


Lineman Boots These rugged boots are made for linemen, cable installers, arborists and tree service workers. The Lineman Boot is essentially a Logger Boot with four added features which customize it to its job of protecting the boots from poles & trees and from the climbing irons worn by linemen: leather side patch, steel side plate, steel breast plate, and leather half slip. The boots are made of the same extra heavy cowhide leather as loggers. They range in height from 14" to 20", or higher. They lace up from the toe to the top of the boot in a traditional crossed pattern.


Logger Boots These rugged boots are made for men who work in the timber industry. They are similar to Lineman Boots (see above). The boots are made of extra heavy cowhide leather. They range in height from 14" to 20", or higher. They lace up from the toe to the top of the boot in a traditional crossed pattern.


Motocross Boots are used by those who engage in racing motorcycles. Because motorcycles are driven at very high speeds, a special boot was created to provide extra protection to the racer. These boots are usually 16" tall and are made of synthetic materials that can withstand tremendous wear as well as provide superb protection to the rider's legs and feet. Many high-quality motocross boots have Kevlar inserts for additional strength. Kevlar is a fabric used for rigid and protective applications and is fragment resistant, lightweight and flexible. These boots have buckles so they can be put on very snug over pants or racing leathers.


Police Patrol Boots are used for protection by motorcycle police officers while riding a motorcycle. They are usually black in color and 17" - 18" high, and are made of calfskin or cowhide. They usually have rubber or tread soles with heels of 3/4" or less, and most often a round toe. They may or may not have laces on the instep. They may have laces or a buckle at the top of the boot shaft to adjust for fit.


Ranger Boots come from a long British heritage of "ranger" boots, the boots worn by British rangers which share the design features of the famous jump boots worn by U.S. paratroopers. The boot is tough and gives the wearer a tough appearance. Rangers boots are measured not by height, but by the British way of counting the number of eyelets or holes up each side of the boot.


Riding Boots are boots made to be used for horseback riding. The modern riding boot is usually low-heeled, and has a rounded toe. The boots are normally 17" to 20" tall so they come up to but not above the knee. There are different types of riding boots use for field work, hunting, or riding dressage. They have a similar appearance to police patrol boots and are made of similar leather.


Rubber Boots are made to give the wearer protection from water, snow, or other liquids. Pull-on rubber boots are usually knee-high, but may be higher. Rubber boots with buckles are also available to provide a more snug fit on the leg. Waders are special rubber boots that usually come up to the crotch, and are designed for men who enjoy sports like fly fishing, which requires wading out into lakes or streams to cast.


Specialty Boots come in many varieties. These include: Platform Boots popular in the Disco Era of the 70's; boots worn in the movies like Han Solo's Boots in Star Wars; boots made to keep feet extra warm, like mukluks and Uggs; and even boot moccasins. If it could be made to fit the foot and there was a market for it, it probably has been made and worn somewhere.


Station Boots are made to provide durability and good appearance when working in and around a fire station, or on EMS duty. The boots are usually 8" high, and have a zipper to make them easy to put on and take off. The boots are made to provide protection for impact, compression, electrical hazards, and to resist sole puncture.


Wildland Fire Boots are closely related to logger boots. Until recently there was no difference between logger boots and wildland fire boots. In recent years they've become differentiated by silicon leather tanned for fire resistance, Kevlar thread and Vibram soles which are more fire resistant. The boots are very sturdy and some models have a thick leather shank instead of steel, considering that they may be exposed to high temperatures. (The shank is the narrow part of the sole of the boot under the instep.) These boots are usually 10" high.


Work Boots worn by construction workers, skilled tradesmen, and workers of all sorts -- including guys working around the house. These are durable, hard-working boots for the workin' man. These lace-up boots are anywhere from 5" to 10" tall, some taller. Most are 6-8". Red Wing, Carolina, Sears, Skecher, and Timberland, among others, are popular brands.

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