The cowboy boot is more than a sturdy piece of workwear. It’s more than a fashion statement, too. It’s a vital piece of Texas culture, as complicated, diverse, and ever-evolving as the makeup of our state. We explored the art and culture and traditions that surround the official footwear of Texas—so named by the Texas Lege—with a little help from a few of our favorite neighbors.
What we know today as the cowboy boot is a distinctive offshoot of styles favored by Genghis Khan, the Duke of Wellington, and myriad other horsemen throughout history.
The stories, the traditions, and the deeper meanings of the boots in their lives.
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“With a boot, you’re sending a message. Fashion is all about communication. You’re saying, ‘This is who I am. This is what I think is important.’”
The master bootmakers at Little’s, in San Antonio, demonstrate what goes into a fine boot.
Across the state, custom bootmaking legends and their successors are building on a handcrafted tradition with a dizzying array of styles.
From the Archives
A British man is feeling guilty about walking around in exotic animal hide.
A Connecticut Yankee new to San Antonio’s social circuit is vexed by an invitation’s dress code.
A Texan who spent a quarter of a century in Massachusetts is flummoxed by his former neighbors’ footwear foolishness.