1918 Blucher Custom Boots, Style No. 200

Vera McGinnis

Made for Vera McGinnis, the first Cowgirl to wear pants in the rodeo arena, by the Blucher Custom Boot Company in 1918. This is the pair of boots I reach for whenever someone asks me "How can a pair of cowboy boots be a work of art?".

More than hide and glue and thread and sweat and tools and blood and tears. These boots are. They have a presence. A voice that speaks of life and death and immortality. Everything in-between and ever-after.

If you're an "old hand" here, you know I'm a fan of Blucher boots... they made a boot that walked the walk and talked the talk. Vera McGinnis loved to rodeo. A World Champion Rodeo Trick Rider and Rodeo Relay Rider, Vera wore Blucher Boots.

Vera McGinnis In The Drunken Ride. Pendleton Round Up. W.S. Bowman

In 1934, her racehorse fell. Vera's back was broken in five places. Her neck, her right hip and some ribs were also broken. The doctors told her she would never ride or walk again. Sometimes it's hard, if not impossible, to keep a Cowgirl down. She rode and walked again.

Vera was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1979 and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Hall of Fame in 1985. A natural athelete, Vera recalled the day she decided to quit her office job and join the rodeo:
"If I'd pulled up right then, I likely would have missed the years of hardship, heartache, fun, adventure, a smidgen of fame, and finally, a broken body. But I'm glad I didn't, for I can honestly say the glamor never faded. It dimmed once in a while when I was hurt or overworked, but after a rest I always felt that I wouldn't trade being a rodeo cowgirl for any other profession."
- Alva Johnston, "Tenor on Horseback," Saturday Evening Post, September 2, 1939

Licks and kicks aplenty. Hard work and hard knocks. Made tough. Made beautiful. These Blucher Custom boots are as charismatic as the lady that wore them. Vera's autobiography, Rodeo Road; My Life As a Pioneer Cowgirl, is an entertaining recollection of her time.

Vera McGinnis died in 1990.

Her boots are still kicking...

Boot Photography: J. Davis

Blucher Boots, Collection: J. Davis
Vintage Photographs, Collection: J. Davis


  1. Awesome story and awesome pics!!!! Love it!!

  2. Nice to see these boots-how long have you owned them?