These boots are made for gawking.
Hunter Shires, 25, didn’t seem to mind when the sound of his cowboy boots click-clack on the Midtown sidewalk during a recent morning commute raised more than a few eyebrows.
Making a statement with the pair of black leather beauties nabbed from a Park Slope vintage store for $150, he said, was the whole point.
“Cowboy boots in New York City make zero
f—ing sense, but I think that’s why they work,” Shires, who lives in Brooklyn, works in marketing for HBO Max and runs the fashion blog High End Homo, told The Post. “Going off-grid is hot , post-pandemic – people dress like that.”
To complete the unexpected look, he arrived at his office — ready to lasso his laptop and sell ads — in a rodeo-ready outfit, including a pair of wide-leg Wrangler jeans.
The West wins the wardrobes of fashionable New Yorkers. Think boots and jeans on the subway, and Beth Dutton-inspired prairie dresses in the office, a cowboy hat tip to the tough heroine played by Kelly Reilly in Kevin Costner’s popular Paramount series “Yellowstone.”
The show, which follows a family of ranchers fighting to protect their land, has spurred a fashion movement, with brands like Seattle-based Filson selling a Yellowstone collection, including a $995 women’s wool trench coat.
The look, known as Westerncore, has now gone seriously high end. MiuMiu sells $1,850 silver-toed black leather cowboy boots, while Ganni hawks $725, knee-high embroidered numbers. There’s a pair of $700 calf leather from Anine Bing and $1,100 metallic ankle boots from Celine. Boots are a big deal – the #cowboyboots hashtag on TikTok has racked up 566.8 million views, with some users spotted wearing metallic silver, pink and lime green boots on city pavements.
Lauren Gentry, 26, who works in fashion and lives in the East Village, boarded an R train heading to her Midtown office earlier this month in knee-high black Vagabond cowboy boots and an oversized Lioness shearling -coat, and decided Beth Dutton, the headstrong “Yellowstone” character who Gentry said reminds her of her grandmother – determined, yet feminine.
“She was a total cowgirl and had horses, and eventually taught me how to ride. She gave me a pair of her beautiful authentic Lucchese boots,” Gentry told The Post. Gentry styled the gorgeous hand-me-downs with a sky blue maxi -long-sleeved dress for a recent Manhattan rooftop birthday dinner.
While Gentry has had a little experience with ranch life, visiting her grandmother as a little girl in Colorado in the summer and riding horses, she said she subscribes to more of an urban cowgirl aesthetic these days.
“I was always more interested in the look and feel of the boots as opposed to the actual purpose of them,” she said. When she started watching “Yellowstone” a few years ago, she was an “instant fan” and wanted to adapt the prairie aesthetic to the concrete jungle.
“When I put on my boots, I literally feel the strong power of women like Beth Dutton and my grandmother—my source of strength and style,” Gentry said.
Lex Kelly, 26, of Park Slope, never thought she’d be caught dead in a pair of cowboy boots. Now she struts around her office and wears them to dive bars in Manhattan after being spotted by other townspeople on social media. Kelly’s favorite way to pair her white and nude studded Steve Madden boots is with a mini dress, or with a blazer and jeans for a day at the office.
“I used to associate cowboy boots with being on a ranch somewhere, riding a horse, but once I saw someone wearing them street style, I was totally hooked,” Kelly told The Post.
Fashionistas have galloped to the trend. Resale marketplaces like Poshmark have seen sales for Western-style boots increase 25% year-on-year in 2022 and as much as 338% in the past five years; while cowboy hat sales are up 37% in 2022 and 395% in the past five years, Chloe Baffert, Poshmark’s head of merchandising, told The Post, noting that location is no longer a factor when it comes to dressing like the Wild West.
“Westerncore has come to a rise and has been embraced by New Yorkers, taking key elements of the trend and pairing them with wardrobe staples to avoid being in a costume,” Baffert said. For example, pairing low-rise jeans with a vintage concho belt and oversized sweater is the perfect example of an urban cowboy look, she said.
“Besides classic colors and fabrics, we’re seeing the cowboy boot take on a new iteration in recent years with fashion over function with bright metallic colors,” Baffert said.
Shires calls Westerncore a form of “escape dressing” — fashioning oneself in staples that reflect a longing to be in mountainous states like Montana or Wyoming, not a fluorescent-lit office space just off Times Square.
As Shires put it, “Everybody’s like, ‘I live in New York City, but mentally I want to be in Wyoming on a ranch.’ ”