I’ve always been obsessed with boots. It started with a pair of Yves Saint Laurent riding boots, then ankle boots, then I moved on to black paratrooper boots courtesy of the Hollywood Army store (pre-grunge!). Since the ’90s, I’ve acquired a collection of more sophisticated stiletto ankle and knee high boots that I can walk 20 Manhattan blocks in without a single ankle turn. Boots… they make me strut.
But what has really captured my boot lovin’ heart are my beloved black Tony Lama cowboy boots. The bottom half are shiny, sleek goat skin; the uppers black leather stitched in an ornate white design. I originally purchased them in 1996, but did not wear them until right before my fortieth year. By then, I felt I had earned the right to wear these shit-kicking classics.
I love the saunter my boots give me. Cowboy boots require that you push your heel — not the balls of your feet — into the earth, forcing your walk into a slightly arrogant shuffle. It’s the walk that is as American as apple pie: think John Wayne or Kris Kristofferson. It’s the walk that says, “I’m so confident in my own skin, that I don’t care what you think!”
It’s a swagger that says you got some years on ya. To really wear a pair of cowboy boots, you must have lived, suffered, laughed, conquered, and failed a little. All the markings on my face and body match the creases and cracks forming on my dust covered boots. I’m proud of every one, and I’ll continue to wear my worn down boots until they can be resoled no more.
Until then, I’ll keep struttin’.
Go out and buy yourself some cowboy boots. NOW. Practice working on your strut in your living room, and then… swagger out that front door.
Tags: cowboy boots, forty, forty-plus, John Wayne, Kris Kristofferson, middle aged women, over forty, Tony Lama, women, women over 40, women over 50, women over forty