Tag Archives: glossary

Triad Cowboy Boots

I think “triad” cowboy boots are once again picking up speed. So, what is a triad boot?

A triad boot is a cowboy boot made with three piece construction rather than the traditional four. In this style of boot, there is no heel counter. The boot top extends all the way down to the sole, and the vamp stops inches short of the boot’s side seams, giving this style the look of overlay.

In the 1980’s these were a popular style of dress boot. A couple of attributes make them fancy.

One, when you take away the fender stitching and the heel counter …the vertical styling of these make a girl’s legs look longer, not unlike a pair of uncuffed pants.

Two, these boots work well with exotic and extravagant materials. Since the vamp doesn’t wrap around the sides of the cowboy boot, you can showcase a lizard, snake or stingray skin without extra seams or patchwork piecing.

Today’s triad styles feature hand tooled leather and buck stitching. A new shorthand for luxury. Heritage Boot does a great job of filling their boot tops with stitchwork and balancing the weights of the contrasting leathers (see photo.) I like that.

Sheplers, Timsboots.com and eBay each have a selection of triad cowboy boots, go take a look.

“Riding High”

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.: President Ronald Reagan shows off his triad cowboy boots after signing the largest budget and tax-cutting measure in U.S. history August 13, 1981 at his “Rancho del Cielo” ranch. Reagan called it “only the beginning” as he set his economic recovery program in motion with the signing at the ranch, where he was vacationing.

CREDIT: UPI 8-21-81 Ron Bennett …purchased on eBay. (Zoom)


Kid’s cowboy boots crack me up. Look at the plastic soles with the molded “pegs.” I’ve seen brass nails pretending to be pegs… but these made me smile, kinda like those plastic pistols they sell at the dollar store. They are so bang bang phony.

(These are my boots, resoled and burnished by Brian Thomas in Abilene, TX.)

Cowboy Boot Glossary: Variegated Thread

When I was working on my book, I struggled a bit defining the word “variegated” as in variegated thread. I wrote…

Variegated Thread: Thread that has been dyed with patches of multiple colors or with different shades of a single color.

I wrote this as if the reader would picture the thread on the spool or running through a sewing machine, just like I do.

Recently, I happened upon a fashion blog, called “The Coveted.” In her post, stylish Jennine writes about a pair of pink cowboy boots with “rainbow” stitching.

Rainbow! Rainbow really is the perfect word, because these boots are colorful… they have a kinda light-hearted airy quality.

Variegated thread around a butterfly inlay gives the design a kind of flutter …stitched row upon row gives the thread gives the look of broad brush strokes. At a distance, some stitch patterns look a little like watercolors.

Try this…flip through my book and look only at the thread colors used on each boot. Isn’t it interesting? I’ve used the comment section below to note the pages where I found variegated rainbow thread. Did I miss any pairs?

(EXTRA: How does a bootmaker line up the colors? …it’s a trade secret.)

Photos by Marty Snortum. This boot made by Paul Bond is one of the many many swell boots left on the “cutting room floor” while making my book.