The term "cowboy boot" may conjure a variety of images depending on who hears it, as Western movies and stereotypes have made boots' popularity rise on and off in the fashion world throughout the years. However, there are actually many different types of western boots, differing not only in materials and colors, but also in the toes. Just as a heel can be different sizes and shapes, the tip of a boot can also range in shape, size and appearance.
The square toe boot is shaped exactly how it sounds: square. The front of the toe is flat, with the corners nearly right-angled and are as sharp as possible. When worn under a pant-leg, this boot might be mistaken for square-toed dress shoes.
The snip toe (or D toe) boot is similar to the square toe, except the front is narrower. The boot is tapered to a near-point, but flat at the front.
The round toe boot has a tip that is rounded, versus flat. Usually, these boots also have more of a rounded, dome-like top as well, which gives the foot a little more room inside. A round toe boot could be semi-round, full round (U-toe) or broad round. Each may be a little wider and less tapered than the other.
The J toe boot is the most pointed, with the tip tapered into a V-shape. This is considered the “classic” cowboy boot. These are not the most comfortable of boots, as the toes are very restricted.
The fashion toe boot is a J toe boot that has a bit more room for the toes to wiggle around, making it less-tapered and a bit more rounded at the tip. Real cowboys may scoff at someone wearing a fashion toe boot.
Laila Alvarez has been writing professionally since 2002. She has written for Houston Community Newspapers and "L.A. Zoo View," "North O.C. Magazine," "Perpetual Phlegm" and other magazines, newspapers and websites. Alvarez has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University-Fullerton.