Visit Silver Dollar City’s website for the prize winning cowboy boots of the Best of American Bootmakers Competetition 2006.
Park visitors voted for their favorite pairs in five categories: “Novice,” “Work,” “Office,” and “Stage” boots… along with “Best Shop Effort,” a category for larger boot companies where a boot is passed from hand to hand during its construction.
As the newest offering in the Festival of American Music & Crafts …there were nearly 60 pairs of boots entered in the contest and bootmakers demonstrating their craft. I’m making my plans to attend next year’s competition… September 13 through October 27. See you there!
(Use the comments link below to tells us which boots got your vote?)
These Carmack’s Custom Boots won 1st place in the Stage Boot Competition and Best in Show. (Photo courtesy Silver Dollar City. )
Carmack’s Custom Boots
Greg Carmack, Bootmaker
6020 North Hwy 6
Waco, TX 76712
Well the “buzz” has already started for Bodacious Boots, an hour-long feature documentary all about cowboy boots.
Bodacious Boots is a high-spirited ode to the cowboy boot and the famous and infamous personalities who make them, wear them, and love them.
Yep. It’s true. The film includes an ever-growing list of boomakers including Pascal, Lee Miller and Stephanie Ferguson …filmed in high-def along side the likes of Lyle Lovett, Kelly LeBrock, Kinky Friedman (and appearing soon, yours truly.)
Click here to view the trailer. Spring 2007 release…for info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Eagle boots” were insanely popular during the early 1950’s. In large part because of the patriotism and prosperity our country felt following World War II, but also because of big western stars like Roy Rogers (remembered for his wide-winged eagle inlays in red, white and blue.)
Pictured here is a great pair of vintage boots. The eagle is made by overlaying leather in two colors, gold and green…on top of the boot’s white vamp. This is the best “eagle toe” I have ever seen. [zoom]
What makes it so great?
- The cut-outs mimick the shape of the boot’s toe…going from wide to narrow somewhat gradually.
- The toe design is bold to balance the heavily inlayed top and mule ear* …even without the bird’s head, the overlay makes a great “wing”tip.
- The eagle’s head sits well above the wrinkles across the vamp at the boot. It’s unfortunate how often wrinkles and folds wreck the detail of the beak and eye.
- The row of yellow stitiching provides a nice sharp outline. Even after all these years.
Remember! An eagle on a toe of a boot does not need to be an exact match for the eagle on your boot top.
On this pair, the bird on the toe has narrow wings that reach high over his head. The eagle on the top has widespead veined wings, almost like a butterfly.
(* You get to see the entire boot in April 2007 when my book comes out.)
Photos by Jennifer June.
Boots belong to Karen Robinson.
Keep your eye on the Paul Bond Boot Company website. Even though the gallery of cowboy boot styles isn’t online yet… it’s worth a visit just to see the video of Mr. Bond.
Rumor has it, the legendary Paul Bond printed-on-paper catalog is also going through some “big” changes…stay tuned.
1. Always make an appointment! Many bootmakers have their shops at home. Business hours vary greatly…for good and for bad.
2. Ask if there are photos or cowboy boots in the shop for you to see. When bootmakers know you’re coming sometimes they can hold on to a finished pair for a little while before shipping them out. I’ve been places where the only boots in the shop were the ones on the bootmaker’s feet.
3. Don’t do too much drinkin’ or dancin’ the night before your visit. If your feet are unusually swollen it will interfere with your measurements. (This can go for long airplane rides as well.) Most people like afternoon appointments because it’s often a “happy medium” for boot fit.
4. Bring your checkbook. Relatively few bootmakers take credit cards. Most often when you buy a pair of custom cowboy boots you’ll be asked to pay half the amount at the time of the order, and the rest when your boots are finished.
5. Wear clean socks. Pick a pair similar to the ones you are planning on wearing with your boots. Your foot measurements will be taken with your pant legs pulled up and your socks on.
6. Put the bootmaker’s phone number on your cell phone’s speed dial …some boot shops are really “off the beaten path.”
7. Be honest with the bootmaker and respectful of their time. In one-person shops all bootmaking stops when you walk in the door. If you are just stopping by to say “howdy” and look at their work…make it a short visit. Bootmakers will gladly take your measurements if you’re a serious customer, but staying two hours, getting fitting and planning out a pair of boot that you never order …just isn’t cool.
PHOTO: After 15 years of bootmaking, Brian Thomas has just opened his shop in Abilene, Texas. Better act fast before his waitlist gets too long! Contact Mr. Thomas at B17CREWDOG@aol.com (…or phone 325-672-2344.)