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Some basics for bootmen


There have been lots of questions on the correct way to wear spurs on your boots.
Here's a photo guide.
Western Spurs are made to rest on the top of the spur shelf on the back of a western heel found on most buckaroo western boots.
English Spurs should be worn 3/4 of the way up the heel counter on a riding boot. Most English boots have a spur rest sewn onto the heel counter.

Usually the buckle on the spur should be on the outside of the boot, but the whole issue of buckles on the inside/outside of a spur is worthy of a look. It depends on the design of the strap itself. Like everything else, there are a multitude of designs with pass-through straps, conchos, etc. where the "pretty" part is shown outside and the buckle happens to be on the inside, and sometimes on the outside.

Both English and Western Spurs come in three sizes: men's, women's and children's size. Their is a big difference between these spurs in the way they fit. You will always be able to tell the difference between a children's and adult spur, but the difference between a man's and women's spur is not as obvious. Since a women's boot is not as wide in the heel counter as a man's boot, the women's spurs are not as wide. This may be why some guys have problems getting their spurs around the heel of their boot. Make sure you have a man's spur for a man's boot.

Most spurs can be spread a little to fit around the heel of the boots. Never force spread the spur, just apply a little pressure and you should be able to get the spur around your boots. It can be difficult and risky to spread the opening to fit larger boots. You have to be careful of any silver mountings when trying to open up the spur bands. The spurs should never be so tight that they can't move on the boot, or you'll have sore feet! Spurmarks says he has generally been successful spreading spurs using two pairs of pliers, some rags to pad the metal, and a little sweat equity!

Some purists think that you shouldn't rely on a "spur rest" or have the spur actually sitting on the jutting heel, but that they should rest about 1/4-inch or so above. This is where the straps are so important to get the spurs to sit just right. There can be lots of variations. Many cutting horse riders wear their spurs down actually on the heels of their roper boots. (See photo, below left.) They do it specifically due to their height, the size and shape of their horse, and the type of riding they do.

Just be sure not to wear your spurs upside down - which happens with alarming frequency!


    Left: Cutting horse rider's spurs worn very low - actually ON the heel of roper boots
    Right: Mexican charros often wear their spurs low on the heels.


         Western Spurs by Eduardo Garcia and English Cavalry Spurs by August Buermann

Content and photos from:
Spurmarks and The Other Larry

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