There is so much thought that goes into designing custom cowboy boots, but lately, I have had several questions around the concept of ostrich boots. People often ask, what is the difference between full quill, half quill, and smooth ostrich? What is an ostrich leg boot? How do you take care of your ostrich boots? How do they feel on, do they stretch? Well today, I want to go into all of that!
For starters, let's define the differences in the hide. As you can see below, an ostrich hide provides several areas to create an excellent boot. For instance, the crown is used for a true full quill ostrich boot. This is where the quills are the most pronounced, while the smooth areas of the hide are used for smooth ostrich boots. Another option is to use part of the belly and part of the smooth area to create a half quill look. All three are very popular, it is merely a matter of preference and price point. As you can imagine, price goes from high to low based on the amount of quills. Therefore full quill is the most expensive, while smooth is the least expensive.
Full Quill Vamps
Smooth Vamps and Half Quill Tops
While we are discussing the ostrich hide, let's talk ostrich leg boots. This is a popular trend that creates a very unique looking cowboy boot. What is interesting about this type of boot is the amount of intricacy and talent it takes to craft one. You must assemble the legs together in way that is both appealing to the eye, as well as matches it's mate - it is quite the challenge but has a beautiful end result! These boots can take as many as 15 - 20 ostrich legs with approximately a 13" height restriction due to the size of the ostrich leg itself. This boot below combines both ostrich leg tops and hornback alligator vamps. Pretty cool right?!
Now that we've covered the anatomy of an ostrich skin, let's move onto to the fit and feel of an ostrich boot. In terms of malleability and long term wear, it doesn't get much better. However, like any boot, particularly exotic cowboy boots, we do recommend cleaning and conditioning them on a regular basis to extend their life. Our favorite line is Bickmore, specifically Bick 1 and Bick 4. While Bick 1 cleans your boots, Bick 4 is important to follow up with in order to condition the leather. If you allow too much dirt into the leather, over time, your leather boots will lose their strength and that's the last thing we want! According to the Bickmore experts, "if (your leather) feels dry or if it’s dirty, it needs to be cleaned and conditioned. We generally recommend applying Bick 4 once a week if the item is used every day."