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Custom Cowboy Boots and Vintage Cowboy Boot Collecting

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11587
FaughnderPerson was signed in when posted
07-06-2015
03:32 PM ET (US)

Daniel Gordon elephant boots
11586
FaughnderPerson was signed in when posted
07-06-2015
03:31 PM ET (US)

Recently someone asked where they could get some well-made boots that didn’t cost a fortune. I would highly recommend Daniel Gordon, owner of Thompson River Boots. I just received the boots he made for me and they are fantastic.

I had been a fan of Daniel’s for quite some time but I thought his prices were really high based on the boots he made. Turns out, I was very wrong. His base price for a stock boot is $875 in Canadian dollars, which is right around $700 in US dollars (conversion rate changes daily), plus shipping. That includes your choice of heel and toe shape, 12" tops and 1 row of stitching in soft buffalo vamps for dress or wax calf, oiltan, or roughout for a work boot, with goatskin, calfskin or glazed water buffalo tops. His prices are very reasonable so if you want a taller top or more stitching, it won’t crush your wallet.

I’m not a cowboy so I have never hammered my boots as hard as a cowboy would but I’ve worn boots for about 10 years and got into custom boots about 9 years ago. While not a cowboy, I have served almost 21 years in the Army and many of those years have been in tough units where I did a lot of walking and road-marching, so I know a little about quality boots that support your feet and body. I do wear my cowboy boots pretty hard. I have one pair that I try to be careful with, the rest I just beat the snot out of them.

I will also say I am a pain in the butt boot guy. I got so interested in custom boots that I spent time with a top-notch bootmaker in Oklahoma several years ago. We made two pair of boots together over the years and I came away from that experience accepting boot making took more skill than I had and ever would. But I learned a great deal about what a high-end boot looks like. Daniel’s boots are in that category. Daniel uses top grade materials throughout the boot. He crimps the boots, which removes the extra stretching that happens with factory and poorly made custom boots. He stitches the tops one row at a time, which takes tremendous skill. He makes his heels one layer at a time and has them wider than factory boots so they give you more stability when you wear his boots. He uses strong materials for the back of the boot so they won’t break down and roll over when they get wet. He doesn’t use nails, he uses lemon-wood pegs that will swell when the soles get wet, not rust like nails will.

A few years ago Daniel and his family visited some of the best bootmakers in the United States. He already knew how to make boots but he wanted to get better and refine his methods. Daniel learned what the best bootmakers do, the ones that have a waiting list several years long and prices that begin at well over $1,000, at least one over $2,000. Take a look at his Facebook page (Thompson River Boots) to see some of the amazing boots he has built over the years and the bootmakers he visited.

I’ve had boots made by some of the best bootmakers in the business. Daniel is from Canada and initially I was reluctant to order boots that the he, the bootmaker, didn’t personally measure my feet. Unfortunately, not all of my boots fit well, even ones that I got personally measured for by the bootmaker. Thankfully the boots Daniel made for me are some of the most comfortable and best fitting that I own and were a fraction of the price. He sent me a fit kit where I stepped into foam impressions, had me trace my feet and take measurements as well (he encourages people to watch a video on YouTube to make sure you do it right). All that effort is what nailed the fit of my boots. On the second day I wore my boots, I wore them to a college campus that my son is interested in attending. I wore the boots more than 12 hours that day and when I took them off, my feet weren’t tired, my back wasn’t sore and I had no blisters or hot spots. I put them back on the next day and wore them another 12 hours (currently on leave so I can wear my boots a lot thankfully).

I will conclude by saying that Daniel is a first-class guy. He, his wife and daughter make all the boots in their shop. He is honest and ethical and is great about communicating with you as he makes your boots, which was important to me. There are some fine bootmakers in the United States and I have visited many of them over the years. I won’t knock down another person’s work in an effort to build Daniel’s up but I will rate his boots as some of the finest you can ever get made and the price he charges for them makes them even more spectacular. If you are interested in giving Daniel an opportunity, send him an email. He will send you a fit kit; there is a small price for that but he credits it to the boots once you place your order. After you get your impressions, tracings and measurements done, go back to the Post Office. You will need to get an international money order, which is easy to do since you can get them at the Post Office and is only a couple of dollars. Put it all in a box and wait for your boots to come back to you. I am super happy with my boots and will order more from him. If anyone has more questions, send me an email and I will answer them. I will post a couple of pictures too.
11585
Deleted by author 07-06-2015 03:28 PM
11584
Rhythm and BootsPerson was signed in when posted
07-04-2015
09:10 AM ET (US)

Texas, too.
11583
Rhythm and BootsPerson was signed in when posted
07-04-2015
09:08 AM ET (US)

Happy Independence Day.
11582
BamabootsPerson was signed in when posted
07-04-2015
08:47 AM ET (US)

Happy 4th of July, all.
11581
Rhythm and BootsPerson was signed in when posted
07-01-2015
03:38 PM ET (US)
I may be wrong, but I think some older Dan Posts had that type of pull label.
11580
touchofskyPerson was signed in when posted
07-01-2015
09:45 AM ET (US)
I have an old pair of Justin boots with the label in a cut out on the inside of the boot pull.
11579
CowboybootnutPerson was signed in when posted
07-01-2015
08:27 AM ET (US)
I've ordered several boots from James Leddy Shop in the 2000s. That was there standard label. I can't remember another maker doing that, but I am sure some have tried.

James thought that he may have been the first to do a different side stitch than the one we see in the San Angelo boots. After that, many bootmakers did their own version, Tex Robin, Alan Bell, Brian Thomas, etc.
11578
turpinPerson was signed in when posted
07-01-2015
12:43 AM ET (US)

  James Leddy Boots label. Interesting design with name printed in cut out in inside boot pull. Never seen this in other makers label.
11577
turpinPerson was signed in when posted
07-01-2015
12:40 AM ET (US)

James Leddy Boots. Note distinctive V on side stitching of boot.
Edited 07-01-2015 12:44 AM
11576
turpinPerson was signed in when posted
07-01-2015
12:39 AM ET (US)

James Leddy Boots
11575
BamabootsPerson was signed in when posted
06-30-2015
11:43 PM ET (US)

Jesse Bogle smooth ostrich boots.
11574
BamabootsPerson was signed in when posted
06-30-2015
11:42 PM ET (US)

Jesse Bogle stamp.
11573
turpinPerson was signed in when posted
06-30-2015
09:31 PM ET (US)
I recently acquired this pair of well made vintage custom boots. They look to be from the 50's or 60's with Sieberling rubber heels and are kangaroo hide. The name of the maker is stamped in the tops "Davis Boot Shop Billings Montana". So they come from cowboy country. A Google search turns up nothing about the shop, it probably closed years ago. Has anyone here every heard of them or have a pair of boots with the same stamp?
11572
CowboybootnutPerson was signed in when posted
06-30-2015
09:22 PM ET (US)
Rhythm and Boots, a lot of San Angelo boot makers used that side stitch, Leddy's, Mercer. I've seen it on old Nocona and Hondo boots. I was told it was started by Charlie Garrison in the 1920s or 1930s.

turpin, any info on Davis Boots?
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