Note: this post was updated June 21, 2016, noting a difference discovered over time in the comfort, or less thereof, of Black Jack boots.
I have seen now more than once the phrase, “Black Jack Boots vs. Lucchese” appear in searches that lead visitors to this blog. Since I own and wear both brands of these fine cowboy boots, I thought I would respond with my opinions about the comparison of these boot brands.
Few people are aware…
…that the company that makes boots under the Black Jack label was formed by former employees of Lucchese Boots. The company is based in El Paso, Texas, and was opened in 1996.
What follows is not from an interview with the owner or any company representatives, but purely my own opinions and observations.
Common features — Lucchese Classic boots and Black Jack boots have these features in common:
- High-quality leather and exotic skins are carefully selected.
- Many intricate and individual steps are taken by experienced bootmakers in making each pair of boots they sell.
- Soles are made with a 10-iron* leather outsole, 4-iron welt, and 9-iron insole.
- Boots are fully lined with leather.
- Steel shanks are used to provide arch support.
- Lemonwood pegs are used to hold the insole and outsole together.
Differences between brands — I have observed the following differences between these high-end commercial boot brands:
- Black Jack boots have many new or different styles, including boots with hand-painted decorative shafts and many more choices of exotic skins and color choices.
- While Black Jack boots are hand-crafted (like Lucchese boots), Black Jack boots are about 20% less expensive than comparable boots by Lucchese made of the same skins and style.
- Lucchese Classics are more widely available (more vendors) but seldom discounted.
- Lucchese boots seem to have a slightly smaller calf circumference which can make their boots feel tight on the legs.
- From my personal perspective, Black Jack Boots are a better value. If you’re going to spend over $500 for a pair of hand-crafted boots, Black Jack is a good choice. Lucchese Classics are overpriced for the same quality, so the value is less.
- For some reason (I believe the lasts are different), Black Jack boots are not as comfortable to wear as Lucchese Classics
- The Lucchese Boot company offers 3 choices of boot sub-brands — Lucchese Classics (hand-crafted), Lucchese 2000 (mid-range), and Lucchese Since 1883 (entry-level, lower quality). Black Jack boots only has the one brand.
Overall, there are not many differences between Black Jack and Lucchese Classic boots. In the past few years, I have favored Black Jack over Lucchese for two reasons: 1) the style, skin, and color choices of Black Jack boots appeal to me; and 2) Lucchese Classic boots are overpriced (in my opinion) and are not a good value.
Life is short: share your opinions based on experience — and always — wear boots!
* Iron: a term used for measuring thickness of sole leather. One iron equals 1/48 in. (0.53 mm).