Get the Boot

How to shop for cowboy boots, a wardrobe essential for real Texans

How to shop for cowboy boots, a wardrobe essential for real Texans

Pinto Ranch Rios Boots
Pinto Ranch recently added a new line of to its collection of handmade boots: Rios of Mercedes.  Photo courtesy of Pinto Ranch
Pinto Ranch Rios Boots
The key elements to a good boot are true fit, all-leather components and hand craftsmanship. Photo courtesy of Pinto Ranch
Top Chef Seattle, Josh Valentine
Every Pinto Ranch employee will visit Rios of Mercedes in Mercedes, Texas, to see how the boots are made. Photo courtesy of Bravo
Pinto Ranch Rios Boots
Pinto Ranch Rios Boots
Top Chef Seattle, Josh Valentine

If there is one thing we Texans must have in our wardrobe, it's a good pair of boots. Whether you wear them daily, occasionally or only for the Cattle Baron's Ball, cowboy boots are the ultimate expression of our Texas pride. But, like any other type of shoe, there are differences in shape, color, material and fit. So how do you choose?

Recently Pinto Ranch announced a new line of boots, Rios of Mercedes, which has been expertly crafted by hand for more than 150 years in Mercedes, Texas. The new collection for Pinto Ranch was designed specifically for the store and its customers.

 Forget what your mother told you about needing to break in a new pair of shoes. Pinto Ranch's Mike Burchett says the right boots should feel great in the showroom.

"It's our first major boot brand introduction in the last five years," says Mike Burchett, Pinto Ranch merchandise manager. "All of the components are leather, including the toe-box and heel." 

With this news, and because Pinto Ranch has the largest selection of handmade boots in the country, we asked these experts for advice on how to shop for a pair of boots.

If you're buying boots for the first time, forget what your mother told you about needing to break in a new pair of shoes. Burchett advises shoppers to focus on fit first. "A new boot wearer should look for comfort when purchasing a pair," Burchett says. "New boots should feel great on your feet in the showroom. You should not have to break them in."

Burchett says there are three key elements to consider when shopping for a good boot: all-leather components, a fit that is "true to your foot" and hand craftsmanship. "When you have all three, you have your perfect boot," he says.

Once you find a line that meets your standards of comfort, then you can focus on skin type — from basic leathers to exotics such as python, lizard or ostrich — and toe shape. Next, consider flourishes such as colored leathers, hand-stitched patterns and customized embroidery.

Pinto Ranch's new Rios of Mercedes line meets all the requirements. The collection includes exotic skins, and, with prices ranging from $495-$1,495, it's affordable to boot.

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See the new Rios of Mercedes line of handcrafted boots at the upcoming trunk show on Saturday, February 9.