Ariat was one of the first companies to include modern orthopedic technology in the design of classic western boots, and for it, they enjoy a wide customer base and a loyal following. The fact that many of their western boots are attractively decorated with traditional stitching and premium materials makes them even more popular.
But Ariat has boldly taken strides to develop a variety of contemporary work boots as well, many of which have modern features like square toes, composite safety toes, advanced waterproofing, support, and more.
One thing that many modern Ariat square toe boots lack is lacing. But why are they made without laces in the first place, and do laces have any functional effect?
A Nod to Tradition
First off, it should be observed that traditional western boots typically had pointed toes, slick leather soles, and were also produced without laces. These designs only became a staple of fashion later – originally, they were all about function.
The pointed toe was easier to direct into a stirrup and the smooth leather soles were unlikely to grip the stirrup or prevent the toe from entering. To give the rider a better sense of grip, cowboy boots often had stacked heels to prevent the boot from sliding too far forward.
As for the lack of laces, this was a matter of necessity. Riders often traversed close country, thick with brambles, thorns, and other impediments to travel. Laces were a downright hazard, as they could tangle in passing brush, severely injuring the rider.
In this respect, modern Ariat square toe boots that lack laces do so as a nod to tradition, but they have preserved this laceless design for functionality as well.
It’s about Safety
In the event that you’re wondering how this can be, given the fact that most modern laborers don’t ride horses, let us stop you right there. Laces can still be an impediment to safety, regardless. Just think of how many work boots have zippers that cover the laces in order to protect the wearer. Laceless work boots just take this a step further by eliminating the laces altogether.
Naturally, boot laces can become untied when not laced properly, which presents its own type of hazard. A person can trip over loose shoelaces on flat, even ground and be injured without any additional hazards present.
But modern machine operators, farmhands, and other industry professionals that directly operate or work in the presence of powered machinery face a different threat – entanglement in machinery. Boot laces that become trapped or tangled in the moving parts of an industrial or agricultural machine are a serious occupational hazard and can and have caused severe injuries.
Ariat has simply preserved this feature in many of their modern work boots, not only as a nod to tradition but because laceless boots that fit properly are safer, anyway. Naturally, the fact that it’s easier and quicker to get on laceless boots is another bonus, and they can be more comfortable as well.
Visit Jackson’s English & Western Store to Learn More!
Looking for a new pair of Ariat square toe boots to replace a worn-down pair? Check out Jackson’s English and Western Store online at JacksonsWestern.com or visit them at their store in Wayland, Michigan. They have the area’s largest collection of western boots and other western wear, and you’ll even have the option of free fitting and break-in services with the purchase of a new pair of boots!
Visit their website or contact them by phone at 269-792-2550 to learn more!