Often relegated to men wearing Wrangler jeans, driving pick-ups trucks, and pounding cans of Budweiser, the cowboy boot has a distinctly negative connotation. Unlike it’s cousin the engineer boot—a staple in Margiela collections for decades—ranch hand’s footwear of choice has remained firmly out of the fashion sphere for generations. Recently, however, a sudden fascination with cowboy culture and the American West has pushed the once overlooked shoe into the minds, and runways, of fashion’s foremost voices. With an onslaught of fall trend reports posing cowboy boots as this season’s it item, we found it prudent to explore the storied past of a shoe whose history is intrinsically tied with that of the United States.