The man who signed a formal resolution from the Texas Legislature declaring the cowboy boot the state's official footwear has hung up his boots—and a lot of Texans aren't impressed. Rick Perry says he has given up wearing cowboy boots because the arched heels worsen his back problems, but some see his dress shoes and thick-rimmed glasses as an attempt to drop his cowboy image ahead of a rumored 2016 White House run, the New York Times finds. Perry strategists have said his back problems had a big impact on his failed presidential run in 2012, the Washington Post notes.
But Texas traditionalists aren't buying that excuse. "Tell Rick that boots can be purchased with normal heels," Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a fellow Republican, tells the Austin American-Statesman. "I lament the fact that our governor could now pass for a West Coast metrosexual and has embarrassed us all with his sartorial change of direction." In Houston, the elderly bootmaker who has made cowboy boots for the governor—and the six presidents before Obama—says he can help Perry out. "I'll just lower the heel," he tells the New York Times. "I do that all the time." (Read more Rick Perry stories.)