Tag Archives: Lee Miller

Cowboy Boot Photo Glossary – Inlay


Shapes are cut out of a boot top, and layers of colorful leather are placed underneath. The inlays are held in place with one or more rows of stitching.

A simple, wonderful pair vintage boots. The the red hearts and the white flashes are inlay …bordered by 2 rows of yellow stitches.

Inlay can be crude, like it was pounded out with a cookie cutter. In the 1950’s, the factory makers of kids cowboy boots were clever at this—simple punchy shapes like pistols, stars, longhorns and ponies. Yee haw!

Inlay can be fancy. Here is a special “behind the scenes” look at leather inlay. The cowboy boots made by Texas Traditions (Austin, TX) have an undeniably elegant look… this photo essay teaches you a few of the shop secrets. Even their simple designs get a fine touch. The shapes are cut into the boot tops using a sharpened blade fashioned from a sewing machine needle. The leather inlay pieces are thinned down at their edges with a sharp knife (“skived.”) And, the rows of stitched are placed one at a time. Beautiful.

You can see more finished boots made by Lee Miller, here.
Unfortunately, the shop is no longer accepting new customers.

Photo by Marty Snortum.

Texas Traditions (Austin, TX)

I first visited Texas Traditions almost ten years ago. Nowadays, I go every time I’m in Austin.

These are some photos taken during my last couple of trips. Why aren’t there more? …because that would mean I’d have to put down my coffee cup and get up out of my chair. (Please note… even Lee Cooke, a local Austin dignitary, scored only one out of two.)

Visit my Flickr page to add some comments and notes of your own.

Texas Traditions

When the Boot & Saddlemaker Round-Up is over, I always have one more thing to look forward to…and that’s my visit with Lee and Carrlyn Miller at Texas Traditions in Austin, TX.

My visits have a nice worn-in feeling about them now. Lee asks me if I want coffee and pours it at the same time…because he knows that I always stay for a least two cups. This time a took a little video footage…”tracing” the origin of a custom fit.

I head back home tomorrow.