In a city famous for its Western heritage, it’s quite a compliment to be considered a highly respected boot maker. Such is the case with Lucchese (255 E. Basse Rd., 210/828-9419, www.lucchese.com), which claims to have outfitted “all the great cowboys including Gene Autry and John Wayne” with their handsome boots. This fancy footwear has been custom-made since 1883 with top-notch leather, lemon-wood pegs, and quality finishing (you can ask for your initials to be stitched or inlayed).
These boots take time, but customers claim it’s totally worth it—especially considering how many years they’ll last. Lucchese has a retail store in the Alamo Quarry Market with stock-sized boots, shirts, cowboy hats, belts, and other Western accessories.
Another local legend is Little’s Boots (110 Division Ave., 210/923-2221, www.davelittleboots.com), a family operation that’s been in business for nearly a century. Little’s specializes in custom boot making, but also provides special makeups and made-to-measure boots. Customers can choose from a variety of non-PC materials—kangaroo, ostrich, alligator, lizard, and eel—or simply have their worn-out boots repaired here.
If you’re on Alamo Plaza, drop by the Menger Hotel to take a gander at the impressive Western apparel at Silver Spur (212 Alamo Plaza, 210/472-2210). If sparkly things catch your eye, this is the place to go—much of the clothing is embedded with rhinestones and crystals, perfect for a night out on the town. Silver Spur also has a limited selection of clothing for men as well as an extensive jewelry collection, hats, belts, handbags, and other accessories.
Not quite as charming but appealing in its immense size and selection is the chain option of Shepler’s (4911 Whirlwind St., 210/656-3010, and 6201 NW Loop 410, 210/681-8230, www.sheplers.com). These stores are practically warehouses of Western clothing items, including decent yet moderately priced boots, cowboy hats, jeans, shirts, belts, and the obligatory big buckles.
© Andy Rhodes from Moon Texas, 6th Edition