All around the world, for hundreds of years, anyone who considered themselves a horsemen chose to wear higher-heeled boots to display that they were a rider and sometimes to show nobility. This pattern of high heeled cowboy boots was popular throughout most of the 20th century, but now you're seeing a trend for the ladies to have the higher heels and the guys getting more reasonably sized heels.
The actual origin of the cowboy boot is impossible to pinpoint, as horsemen have been protecting their feet since the fifth century, in the times of Attila the Hun and his band of warriors. Yet somehow, when the world sees a cowboy boot on display, they immediatly think of the American Cowboy. The cowboy boot is as American as applie pie.
I don't mean to suggest that you've got a little bit of Attila in you everytime you pull up your cowboy boots, but it's amazing to think how something we use today hasn't changed that much since near biblical times.
Cowboy Boot Pictures