Best Custom Bootmaker?

I received a very interesting (to me) email the other day that at first I thought would be an easy answer, but as I thought about it, I found it to be quite challenging. So I thought I would turn to you, loyal readers, for your opinion. The question was…

I wanted to hear your opinion (if you have one) on who you might think you would consider the best custom bootmaker hands down.

Wow, great question from a younger guy interested in building a quality boot collection.

As I thought about it, the names of certain custom bootmakers came to mind. Boots that I had seen and heard about. Boots I have seen on other men or on display. A few I have bought and worn, but not as many as one might think. But there are plenty of custom boots out there that I do not own and have no desire to purchase (either new or used.)

Huh? BHD isn’t interested in acquiring really great custom boots from the best bootmakers in the world?

There is some history here:

1. When I was getting into boots and expanding my collection, I was interested in getting boots that I would wear regularly and often — to work, about the house, and especially, while riding my motorcycle. The latter part (motorcycle riding) restricted my choices of custom boots, especially if they were cowboy boots. Serious safety-minded bikers never would wear cowboy boots while operating a motorcycle because the soles have no traction. They look good, but are unsafe.

2. Also when I was starting out, my boot budget was limited. If I could get two or three pairs of interesting-to-me boots for the same price as one pair of custom-made boots, then I often opted for the lower-priced commercially-made boots than the custom boots. But that was me — I really like variety and choices over limiting myself to a few only of top-quality. I know, it’s a choice and everyone is different.

3. I have not had much success or have been that happy with custom-made boots. I have acquired and worn custom motorcycle boots from Dehner and Wesco. Dehner? Frankly, I haven’t found a difference in how Dehners wear between those made custom (with higher-grade leathers and sizing) than those available as stock. Wesco? Man, great great well-made boots for sure! However, these boots are so damn heavy, I feel like Frankenstein when I walk in them and my feet tire quickly. I lost my passion for Wescos about 10 years ago.

4. My Spouse gave me a pair of custom Legendary Cowboy Boots that I wore to our marriage ceremony. Great boots and well designed. However, the heel height causes me to trip and fall (I am the world’s #1 klutz) and the boots are rather tight on my legs, so they get hot and uncomfortable. I’m not going to part with them, but let’s say that these boots are more for display than to be worn (by me) regularly.

This question is really hard for me to answer for another reason — let’s say that I named some custom bootmakers other than what I listed above (that is, other than boots that I own.) Bingo! How can I say “what’s best” if I do not have any or tried them out? To me, that would be a huge mixed message and somewhat hypocritical.

So let me turn to you, loyal readers. Use the comments section below to tell me (and other readers), what do you think are the best custom bootmakers, “hands down?” (Or boots up, whichever may be the case.)

Life is short: learn more from your boot buddies and offer opportunities for their input.

1 thought on “Best Custom Bootmaker?

  1. Great question. My very favorite custom bootmaker is Paul Bond. No matter how high the heel is, they are still easy to wear. They know how to build boots. I have about 7 pairs. Even though none was made for me originally, they all are great.

    If I had to pick a second, it would be a tie between Legendary and Champion Attitude (Caboots). Both are awesome.

    Miguel Jones out of Mexico is NOT on the list. His boots look great, but the drop in the heel always makes my feet feel like they are sliding forward.

Comments are closed.