Album of Boot Makers' Brands and Labels

  • Justin - Joe Justin opened a boot repair shop in Spanish Fort, Texas in 1879. Before long, he was making boots for cowboys who come through town on the Chisolm Trail cattle drives. His wife devised a successful strategy, a paper form for the customer to trace his foot and order a pair of boots by mail. Justin moved to nearby Nocona in 1889 to be closer to the railroad. In 1908, Joe brought his 3 sons in the business. By 1910, Justin Boots were sold in 26 states and 3 foreign countries. Joe Justin died in 1918 and his sons carried on the business as it continued to grow and prosper. In 1925, the operation was moved to Fort Worth where it is still headquartered today. In 1948, grandson, John Justin Jr, purchased controlling shares in the company. John Jr. continued to grow the company and branched out into other areas. After acquiring Acme Brick, the company was renamed as Justin Industries. In 1981, John Jr. bought Nocona Boots, and in 1984 added Chippewa Shoes to the company. In 1990, Justin Industries bought its major competitor, Tony Lama Boots. The company which has a long record of strong management and high quality products, was acquired by billionaire investor Warren Buffet's company, Berkshire Hathaway, in 2000.
  • Tony Lama - Tony Lama, a child of Italian immigrants, learned the shoemaking trade from his uncle in Syracuse, New York. After serving in the US Army in El Paso as a cobbler, he decided to open a boot repair shop in the Texas border town. As the Army phased out horse soldiers, Lama turned to making boots for cowboys and ranchers in the area. By the 1930's Western wear stores were placing orders for Tony Lama boots. By 1961, after nearly 50 years in operation, the company was producing 750 pairs of boots a day. Tony Lama passed away in 1974, but his sons and daughters carried on the company business. In 1990, the company was sold to Justin Industries. Tony Lama's most famous boots were the El Rey boots. He made the first pair of El Reys in 1953. The boots were encrusted with diamonds and other fine jewels. The boots were valued at $3,000. In 1977, the El Rey II boots were made, again the boots were encrusted with diamonds and this time were valued at $10,000. Both pairs of boots were stolen while on tour. Recently, the company made a pair of boots, El Rey III, valued at $32,000. These boots are accompanied by an armed guard when on tour or display.
  • Lucchese - Founded in San Antonio in 1883 by Sam Lucchese, an immigrant Italian bootmaker, who first made military riding boots for the soldiers at Fort Sam Houston. As he became better known, he started making custom cowboy boots. Lucchese gained a reputation for fine quality boots with outstanding style. His boots were popular with kings, movie stars, politicians and athletes. As Sam aged, his son, Cosimo took over management of the company. Then grandson, Sam Jr, ran the company until his death in 1980. Lucchese boots was located in San Antonio until 1987 when it was moved to El Paso. Today Lucchese is owned by Arena Brands, maker of Resistol and Stetson hats and Charlie 1 Horse boots.
  • Nocona - Enid Justin started working with her father, Joe Justin, to learn the boot making trade when she was twelve years old. She dropped out of high school at age sixteen and worked full time in her family's boot company in Nocona, Texas. In 1925, her brothers decided to move the Justin Boot Company to Fort Worth. Enid felt strongly that her late father would have wanted the company to stay in Nocona. She borrowed $5,000 and with seven employees, founded Nocona Boots. During the early years of the company, she worked as salesman, shipping clerk, secretary and credit manager, plus used her home as a boarding house for her employees. For many years, she drove a Model T over the rugged roads and trails of West Texas to take orders on her boots. At first men had trouble doing business with a lady bootmaker, but the fine quality of her boots made her company a success. Nocona Boots was sold to Justin Industries in 1981. Enid worked until her retirement at age 88 in 1982.
  • Larry Mahan
  • Dan Post
  • Olathe -
  • Rios of Mercedes

Album of Boot Makers' Brands and Labels