Day Four, Oklahoma State Boots

Day Four: the making of the Oklahoma Boots, which are now part of the Oklahoma State Capitol permanent art collection

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the wing and counter tips and their design inspiration.

The countertip is the design part that goes on the heel area; it features the first line of Oklahoma’s official gospel song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” This song was written by Wallace Willis, an enslaved Oklahoma man. There were dreams of Oklahoma becoming an all-Black state — a place to be free and own land and escape the shattered dreams of Reconstruction in the south. Oklahoma has many historically Black towns and is also home to Langston University, a historically Black college that opened in 1897. The counter tip is in memory of the many Black Oklahomans who sought freedom here.

The wingtip is the decorative part over the toe. A traditional boot making technique is a line of little round holes along an edge; these are called perforations. If you look closely you’ll see that the perforations on the wingtip are teardrops. This is in memory of the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of over 60,000 Native Americans from their homes to Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma. The teardrops honor the ones who died on these marches, and the ones who survived.

About customboots

I'm a custom cowboy boot maker. I own a business, Sorrell Custom Boots, and I create bespoke cowboy boots using vintage machinery and hand tools. I also own, a company that specializes in tools, supplies, and leather for the boot and shoe making trade.
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