I stopped by Texas Custom Boots (Austin, TX). Noel Escobar…. even after all this time in the bootmaking business, has not lost his passion (and patience) for vintage cowboy boots. One of the few places that able and willing to return a beat up vintage pair to wearable condition. Noel is still a great collector. Lots of boots on the shelves. If you can’t find what you are looking for… then you should have the shop make you a custom pair!
This morning I spent daydreaming… what would it be like to wear these boots, faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt? In a airport…headed somewhere warm and dry. Somewhere flat and quiet, where you could see everything coming at you, and it was all going the other way. Sun on my face. Money in my pocket. Time. Yeah, I’d like all that.
I love driving through Texas visiting boot shops, but I know I’m in trouble when I hear…
“Turn at the second dirt road on your right”
“Look for a brown fence with some horses.”
“We’re on the left, down the driveway…back a-ways. The shop’s behind the house.”
Yeah, right. Sure thing.
Here’s my travel tip… forget GPS. At times like this, I find my way with DQ.
What’s “DQ”…you ask?
After you get lost, drive back to town, and park at the Dairy Queen. Then you call the shop with your cel phone. The bootmaker will either give you more detailed directions (usually having to do with the color of the mailbox, the spots on the horses, or maybe the truck parked out front) …OR if you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear these wonderful words…
“Just wait there. I’ll come and get you.” (Yay!)
These are some photos I took when I visited Tom Smith in Aspermont, Texas. Tom makes a beautiful sturdy cowboy boot. Sometimes I think hard working cowboys pick such bright punchy colors, so at least some of the color can manage to fight its way through all the dust and muck.
Tom’s shop looks small on the outside, but feels big on the inside…I’m not sure how that works.
Tom Smith Custom Boots
PO Box 482
Aspermont, TX 79502
Custom made, vintage and popular cowboy boot brands. Advice from author & expert, Jennifer June (& others) about buying cowboy boots online.