Someone who reads this blog sent me an email to ask me if I had heard about or had an experience with Tecovas Boots. I answered, “no, I haven’t.”
Intrigued, and after viewing the company’s website, I did a little research. Soon enough, I bought myself a pair of these boots. What do I think about the company and the product?
From articles I found on the internet, the company founder and CEO, Paul Hedrick, grew up in Texas and wore boots regularly. He didn’t like how expensive good quality boots were from manufacturers like Lucchese, Nocona, Tony Lama, Justin, and other popular brands. He thought he could do better.
A millennial marketer and entrepreneur with an academic background in math and economics from Harvard, he took jobs in New York City at a consulting company and a private equity firm. He was courageous to wear boots with the suits that he wore to his NYC office!
But in 2014, he gave up the “city slicker” life and went back home to Texas to pursue his passion for making quality cowboy boots available at affordable prices.
Hedrick knew that there was a market for good quality cowboy boots sold direct-to-consumer via the internet, cutting out middle-man expenses. He also knew that a lot of quality cowboy boots are made in Leon, Mexico, the bootmaking capital of the North America, if not the world (excepting China where more boots are made than any other country, but I’m talking about boots made with quality materials and craftsmanship, not cheap junk from China.)
Hedrick traveled to Leon a number of times, and found a bootmaker there (claimed to be “the oldest bootmaker in the world”) that had production slack and was willing to go into business with him.
Through lots of marketing and even going to trunk shows and other venues to display and sell his boots, he earned over $1,000,000 in revenue during his first year of business.
My thoughts? Good for him. Great for young guys promoting cowboy boots. Terrific for him that he is comfortable as a company CEO in boots, jeans, and a Stetson.
So few young’uns wear boots any more. I’m so tired of seeing the millennial generation wearing sneakers and flip-flops, or dorky dress shoes for those that work in an office or other setting where dressing up is required.
My thoughts about the product line of Tecovas Boots
I commend Hedrick for limiting his line of production to offer basic, affordable cowboy boots to what can be reasonably offered and sustained. So many bootmakers these days carry so many styles, colors, and designs of boots that it is mind-boggling. Sure, I own more than 100 pairs of cowboy boots in a variety of colors, skins, styles, heel heights, and designs. I love the variety.
But most guys are reluctant to wear boots at all. So after studying the market, Hedrick designed some basic boots that are “evergreen” in style. Rounded toes instead of blunt-point or full-square. Moderate heel height of 1.5 inches (3.8cm), four simple colors (light tan, light brown, dark brown, and black). Leather or ostrich. Men’s or women’s. Two calf heights — “tall” at 12 inches (30.5cm) and roper height at 10 inches (25.4cm). That’s it — four men’s choices and two women’s choices.
He launched the company he named Tecovas Boots in October, 2015. He built an email list and did a lot of marketing. I’m sorry that for some reason, I didn’t make the list for the initial offer. (Now boots that were initially offered at $195 are priced at $235.)
The cost of his ostrich boots at $355 (as of March, 2017) is just a little lower than competitive boots available from other makers like Dan Post, which also has boots made in Leon, Mexico, as well.
There are some people who may find Tecovas Boots a bit too bland, too simple. However, as Hedrick is quoted to say, “We design our boots to be very wearable for first time boot buyers. They’re simple and made of super high-quality, mostly unadorned leather.” This is the type of bootmaking principles that just may get more young’uns into cowboy boots again. Yay! I’m all for that.
The only thing that I do not like about this company is that it has frequent stock-outs. They say that they replenish stock in 4 – 6 weeks. Some guys will come back and buy them when returned to stock. Some guys are impatient and won’t.
I recently bought a pair of Tecovas “Cartwright” boots — a plain leather boot. I wanted ostrich boots, but they were not available in my size. (BTW, interesting note about the Tecovas website: it is kept up-to-date with real-time inventory. You cannot place an order if boots in your size are out of stock.)
The boots arrived at my door three days after I placed the on-line order. Hedrick works with a “shipping facilitator” in Chicago that expedites the process of shipping boots within the United States.
I pulled them on, and at first, it was a struggle. But after they were on, they felt great. I walked around and admired how the boots looked with dark blue denim jeans stacked on top of them. (Note: I do *not* subscribe to rolling up the bottom of jeans like kids do these days.)
I have worn these boots now on three occasions — at home and at the office.
Lots of people notice them and all have said, “new boots? Nice!” All compliments… always. No funny stares or expressions of dismay, even by East Coasters who don’t know boots from a flip-flop.
The only thing that is odd about these boots is that they are completely silent. I walked on hardwood floors, and I could not hear the boots at all. These boots are as silent as slippers for some reason. As an avid cowboy boot wearer, I find the lack of a distinctive cowboy boot “clunk” to be a bit sad. After all, these are BOOTS and should identify themselves when a confident man walks into a room!
These boots are also very soft. That makes them comfortable, but also raises concerns about the durability and longevity. Time will tell.
Overall, these are good boots for a good price. If you are looking for a pair of well-made basic, simple cowboy boots, I would recommend them.