Luxury Boot Makers: Even in these tough economic times, a pair of custom-made boots is a luxury item with long-term value a gentleman can add to his wardrobe. While styles range from the narrow needle nose to the roundly R-toe, wearing a pair of perfectly-fitted boots can be so uplifting that it is cathartic. Dare to be pricey, and it is also possible to score the ultimate in deluxe footwear to boot.
Depending upon the intricacies of the design and the skin of the boot, custom-made boots could range from $500 to $10,000. Of course, an escalated custom job with the works could cost a lot more.
The slideshow shows off 10 of the world's premier custom-boot makers and their finest wares. A suit may make the man, but his choice of shoes determines where he can and cannot walk. A man in boots can go anywhere he wants, anytime he chooses. That's what makes owning a pair custom boots such a luxury experience. In tribute to singer Nancy Sinatra from her hit single from the mid-1960s, these custom-made boots are made for walking!
Giddyup to the slideshow!
Casa Fagliano is family business that dates back to 1892. Headquartered in Hurlingham, Argentina, the company offers various styles and custom designs. Woodward Boots, which is located in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, has various styles featuring exotic skins, such as ostrich, lizard, stingray and alligator. Jewelry, belts, buckles, and accessories also are sold. Stallion Boots & Leather Goods has collaborated with the giants of the fashion world including Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, and Donald J. Pliner. The well-connected company is based in Pasadena, Calif.
From presidents to rock stars to singers to actors to CEOs to cowboys, there are people of all walks of life who love boots. It may be the only fanciful footwear that attracts aficionados of both sexes. Many folk don't like boots because of how the boots fit. A boot must fit perfectly to be worn. Anything short of perfect is a miserable experience for the wearer. That's why boot connoisseurs insist upon custom-fit boots only.
Custom Boots by Michael Anthony start at $2,000 and can go for as much as $7,500 based on the design and the skin selected. Michael Anthony's collection offers a wide variety of styles. J.B. Hill of El Paso, Tex, has boots and mules available. All styles have both men and women's versions. Since 1975, the also El Paso-based Mercedes Boot Company has made handmade boots that require more than 250 steps to produce. Canada is represented by the Alberta Boot Company. The company produces around 10,000 pair a year. The firm has made boots for Hollywood and has appeared in various acclaimed films, such as Clint Eastwood's classic "Unforgiven."
Genio Boots make custom-fitted boots for working professionals, as well as presenting brash dressy designs. Blucher Boots of Beggs, Okla., claims to be the oldest custom boot maker in America. Lucchese has special boots than honor 18 states.
Great boots can be a bold fashion statement, an expression of practicality, or a manifestation of preference. I have worn custom-fit boots for years, and there definitely have been times when a fellow boot lover has kicked up a conversation regarding our footwear in common. There is a common bond that lies deep in the hearts of boot lovers that there are no shoes better than boots, period.
Pony up, gents.