Tag Archives: El Paso

Heel Counter

Schwarz Custom Boots (Dillon, MT)


Most cowboy boots have a four-piece top. The piece of leather that surrounds the wearer’s heel is called the “heel counter.”

On most boots, the heel counter is just an echo of whatever is stitched on the toe. Not nearly as strong or as clear. Simple repetition …or all together plain.

A few boots do it better.

A working cowboy boot has a plain toe destined for muck and trouble. Schwarz Custom Boots put a pair of horse heads on the heel counter of these stitched boots. Shadows. Matched in color to the sole, heel and counter, the horse heads are hard to spot …hard to forget.

Rocketbuster Boots (El Paso, TX.)

Just married. Rocketbuster Boots made these white-on-white wedding boots. Instead of tying cans to a car bumper… Nevena Christi stitched these boots with good luck horseshoes, hearts and sparkles. Perfect.

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.”



Don’t miss out. This is part of my photo glossary series.

Photos by Marty Snortum (El Paso, TX.)

Spider Web Stitches, 1964

This spiderweb boot was made by the Champion Boot Company. It doesn’t look particularly dated now, because in August 1964 it was ahead of its time.

The Western Horseman’s Gear Guides always came out in May. That’s the issue where you’ll find the best cowboy boot advertising and old-timey descriptions. You know, back when boots were made in rich colors of “amber and pie-crust.”

Video: Lucky Stitch (1:33min)

Click here to view a video of Martin Chávez stitching a cowboy boot top at Rocketbuster Boots in El Paso, Texas USA. The speed at which Mr. Chávez is sewing is genuine…the video is not sped-up or altered.

Read my essay about cowboy boot stitchwork.

This is my first “videoblog” entry. I filmed the video clips last year using my digital still camera, so there is no sound.

I found some free online video hosting, so hopefully they’ll be more vlogging to come. I’m planning to buy a new camera (one that captures sound) …before I leave for Texas this October.