Wes Shugart

Wes Shugart and Deana McGuffin. Wichita Falls, 2018.

What inspired you to become a bootmaker?

I became a boot maker for a few reasons. One was the need to create, to make something tangible, functional art. Another was a fear of boredom. I was entering a new phase of my life and needed something to do as a hobby. What I thought was going to be a hobby however became a full time job. Continue reading

Dean Jackson

What inspired you to become a bootmaker?

I attended TSTI …… Texas State Technical Institute in Amarillo, Texas starting in 1978.  I completed the boot/shoe repair and saddle making and opened my own shop in Lovington, NM in May of 1980. After a couple of years making and repairing saddles I realized I hated all saddle work.  I heard about a bootmaker in Hobbs, NM that might take a “serious” apprentice. I started going to A. W. (Bud) Pate’s shop at night after I closed my shop and he worked with me until midnight or 1am in the morning.   Then I would go home and catch a few hours sleep and start all over the next day. After about 6 months Bud saw I was “serious” and he told me that he wanted to sell me the whole shop and that he would continue my apprenticeship and he would “piece work” for me.  I will always be grateful for him making me this deal so that a “kid” could survive. Continue reading

Lee Miller

What inspired you to become a Bootmaker?

As a young person I was attracted to art; drawing, sculpture, and painting. I spent most of my young years when not in school with my Godfather Paul Venne in the shoe department at my Grandfathers store. What a mystery Footwear was, like sculpture only in a practical sense, to fit people’s feet, to make them walk with comfort and style. Continue reading

Justin T. Walker

Tex Robin (left) and Justin T. Walker (right)

What inspired you to become a bootmaker?

I grew up in the shop as a young child. My mother and my grandfather did as well. The shop was always our favorite place to be when we were children and I spent most of my early childhood there. I decided after being in the Houston area for 15 years, going to school for audio engineering and interning in a recording studio for a year and a half, producing music, being a DJ and 12+ years in the food-service industry, that I wanted to pursue a career where I worked for myself and used my many talents to make a living. I moved to Abilene in May of 2009 and started learning the process. In May this year I will have been making boots for ten years, over a quarter of my life, as I turn 36 at the end of this month. In short, my grandfather, Tex Robin, inspired me to become a boot maker. Continue reading

Dustin Lauw

What inspired you to become a bootmaker?

The inspiration to become a boot maker came from a family history of leather craft. I am a fourth generation leather worker. Initially I wanted to be a saddle maker. In the late eighties/early nineties we didn’t have internet and access to all the information out there. I stumbled across custom boots by accident and ordered my first pair. After having Duck Menzies make that first pair for me, I became obsessed with the fit and design and wanted other makers as well as Duck to make me boots. Continue reading

Custom made, vintage and popular cowboy boot brands. Advice from author & expert, Jennifer June (& others) about buying cowboy boots online.

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