Tyler Beard, Cowboy Boots
Gibbs-Smith Publisher, Salt Lake, 2004.
Tyler Beard’s book, simply called Cowboy Boots is the third and final in this author’s cowboy boot “trilogy” …containing 381 never-seen-before vintage and contemporary boots from many of America’s finest makers. The book’s small format (6″x6″ pages) is just the right size to sit on the nightstand…perfect for dreaming about your next pair.
Tyler Beard, The Art of the Boot
Since the publication of The Cowboy Boot Book in 1992, the number of bootmakers across the country has nearly doubled, waiting lists have compounded, and the art of the boot has risen to mind-blowing proportions. The men and women who create our fancy footwear are both fascinating and funny. Their tales and artworks exhibited here are testament to the high-minded dedication of a down-to-earth contingent of craftspeople.
Books for the Boot Collector (out of print)
Jennifer June, Cowboy Boots: The Art & Sole
Rizzoli/Universe, New York, 2007
A beautiful hardcover book with more than 300 color photographs. Jennifer June borrowed new and vintage cowboy boots from private top-shelf collections and closets …representing the work of some of America’s finest bootmakers.
Learn the “hidden meaning” of cowboy boots. Discover what the inlay and stitching on a pair of boots can tell us about their owner …and about the history of our country. Photos by Marty Snortum. A must read. (I wrote it.) Foreword by country star, Dwight Yoakam!
David Stoecklein, The Cowboy Boot: History, Art, Culture, Function.
David Stoecklein’s (2004) boot book is part of this photographer’s Cowboy Gear series. A true “coffee table” book… with many photos of pre 1930’s vintage cowboy boots. Stoecklein was known for his portraits of working cowboy lives. The boots in this book aren’t just for show, even the fancy ones have to earn their keep.
Tyler Beard, The Cowboy Boot Book
Peregrine Smith Books, Gibbs-Smith Publisher, Salt Lake, 1992.
(Still available from the publisher and from abebooks.com.)
This is the ultimate source book for wearers and collectors. More than 300 artistic boot styles are included along with text on boot history, fit and care, a glossary of boot terms, and sources for factory and custom-made boots. The section with personal and professional profiles of some of the country’s finest bootmakers is one of this book’s best features.
Sharon Delano, Texas Boots
Penguin Books, 1980.
(Out of print, but available from abebooks.com.)
This book was published at the start of the Urban Cowboy years, and is still influential in bootmaking nationwide. Sometimes referred to as the original “boot bible,” it commemorates the work of Texan independent custom bootmakers, many of whom have, unfortunately, since retired or passed on.
Barbara Brackman, Cowboy Boots: The Kansas Story
This short book was developed in conjunction with the travelling exhibit “Cowboy Boots: The Kansas Story.” The chapters cover topics like Kansas and the cattle trade, a history of the cowboy boot, folklore and facts about boots and the ongoing tradition of custom-made bootmaking. 47 pages.
Thierry Benayoun, Mexicana Western Boots Made in Mexico
Editions Vers Les Arts, 1994. (Out of print, but sometimes available from
This oversized folio-type of book features many color and black & white photographs of Mexico and the cowboy boots manufactured by the boutique, Mexicana. Please note all the text is in French. Preface by Jean-Marc Theveney. Photographs by Richard Aujard. 115 pages are 12″ wide and 15″ tall.
Irvin Farman, Standard of the West: The Justin Story
Texas Christian University Press, 1996. (Out of print, but available from abebooks.com.)
This detailed history follows a family and a business from a little one room boot shop to the big ‘ol corporation known today as Justin Industries…a more than $500 million enterprise. Illustrated with black & white photos. 260 pages.
Books about Bootmaking
Dennis Cottle and Dave McKinny, How to Make Western Boots
This 170 page book was written so that the art of bootmaking would be passed on and live forever…(that’s what the dedication says). This spiral bound book provides a useful introduction to the steps of bootmaking, as well as to the materials, tools and patterns needed. Nearly every step is illustrated with a black and white photo. Order online. (Nov 2015)
D.W. Frommer II, Western Bootmaking: An American Tradition
Redmond, OR 1990.
This book is a complete tutorial on the creation the classic western
(cowboy) boot. Originally published as a series of 14 articles in Shoe Service Magazine, this book is a step by step guide through the construction of a pair of boots. It discuss tools, materials, and construction techniques in full detail.
[To inquire further, or to order a copy, contact the author at www.bootmaker.com.]
Sam Lucchese (& Tad Mizwa), A Lifetime with Boots
(Available from Lucchese, call 1-800-239-5925 or check online at
Originally printed in Western Outfitter magazine throughout 1969. This classic boot book is entertaining and opinionated…it’s a great “owner’s manual” whether you wear Luccheses, or not. The book provides an in depth and illustrated description of the bootmaking process, as well as separate chapters on exotic leathers, boot styling and boot care. 89 pages.
Vass Laszlo & Magda Molnar, Handmade Shoes for Men
Konemann, Cologne, 2000. (Out of print, but available from abebooks.com.)
This book is for those with a sense of both fashion and tradition, for those who love shoes. It is a worthy introduction, for both the professional and the layman, to the wealth of tradition that exists within a custom pair of shoes. A expected, there are many similarities between the making of custom shoes and boots. This book is outstanding in its use of detailed photography to document shoemaking step by step.
Rizzoli International Publications, July 2000. (Out of print, but available from abebooks.com.)
Some folks say you can’t judge a book by its cover…but sometimes that’s just not true. Hillbilly Hollywood with its rhinestone-studded and die-cut cover is dazzling inside and out! To be honest, there’s not a whole lotta of boots in it, but boy howdy!…it’s got a lot of sparkle! Most of the text is made up of quotes from folks like Buck Owens, Rose Maddox, Manuel and Marty Stuart…all folks who know their Western wear. It’s a “must have” for those interested in the roots of Western fashion.
Susan Lowell, Tom Curry (Illustrator), The Bootmaker and the Elves
The cowboy bootmaker is so poor that even his shadow has holes in it. Trouble is, the bootmaker makes terrible boots. No self-respecting cowboy wants to buy them. But then one night when the beleaguered bootmaker is down to his last piece of leather, a miracle occurs!