Artisan Boot/Shoe


Moccasin-style footwear collections spark leap of success and faith   By Lynn Ascrizzi  It’s easy to recall a business that has the charmingly quirky name, Broncy Donkey Leather Company. It trips off the tongue and delights the ears, and we might even find ourselves repeating it a number of times, just for fun.   But the company co-founded in 2019, by two Texas women, has earnestly grown into a significant success in
Artisan Boot/Shoe


Sharlot Battin has made a full career out of building shoes, boots and sandals for Broadway actors — and beyond.  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Who’d think that someone born and raised in the old railroad town that is Whitefish, Montana, would establish a highly unique career in New York City building leather footwear for celebrities of stage and screen?   “My grandparents had 200 acres in Whitefish,” said Sharlot Battin, reminiscing about
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Tim Bishop: Just What He Wants to Do 

By Nick Pernokas Tim Bishop was raised in the small, eastern New Mexico town of Logan. Tim’s high school had only 13 in his graduating class. In this rural ranching community, there were only a few choices in lifestyle for a teenager. Tim chose the most attractive one to him which was the western one.   “Everybody wore boots,” Tim remembers fondly.  Tim’s dad retired from the military in Logan and
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Boots from Harlick & Co

A Skater's Dream  by Gene Fowler  Figure skating legend Brian Boitano, who won a gold medal at the 1988 Olympics, still has the first pair of skates he got at the age of nine. Why hang on to something you outgrew an eon and a half ago? Simple. Boitano's childhood winter-sport boots aren't just any old slapped-together slabs of hide. They're Harlicks.  Generations of amazing skaters have acquired the leather
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Music City Leather

Wes Shugart: Makin' Boots in Nashville  by Gene Fowler  Wes Shugart heard the call of leather back around 2011.  At the time, the Nashville-based cowboy bootmaker was a builder of multi-million-dollar homes. “But I was stressed out, big time, and not very happy,” he says.  “I knew he was searching for something different,” adds his wife, Sandra. “He came to me one day and said he wanted to make footwear or

Houston’s Parker Boot Company

LIVIN' A TEXAS LEGACY by Gene Fowler  Most fine, custom cowboy bootmakers have at least a passing awareness of the artists and artisans who preceded them. But few live that legacy as fully as Zephan Parker, who hangs his bootmaking shingle in wide-open H-town, the frontier space-age megalopolis named for Sam Houston, one of the most maverick Texans who ever lived.  Zephan grew up in Sam's town. “Cowboy culture, of course, was a
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Mercedes Boot Company: A Legacy of Horsemen

By Nick Pernokas  You probably noticed those old boots over in the corner. Leaning up against that canvas suitcase like an old dog begging for one more road trip. Orange tops. Black bottoms. Yeah, I know, not to everybody’s taste. They suit mine though and fit just as well. They should, because they are the only pair of custom boots I’ve ever had made. In 25 years, they’ve literally traveled around the world. From the subways
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Oklahoma Boot Maker Finds Solace in Leather

by Liisa Andreassen  When Dan Hickman couldn’t find the right boots to fit his feet, he decided to take matters into his own hands – quite literally – and has been making boots since 1975. Bootmaking was not really a job for him; it was more of a calling. He’d meet with other bootmakers while he traveled the country during his 37-year career with the railroad. Today, he reflects on his past, present and future.   Nurturing a passion  
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Run and Hide Leather to a Whole ‘Nother Level

‘Cowboy Booties’ Ascending  by Gene Fowler  Shoe and bootmaker Murphy Thiel of Run and Hide Leather in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, knows a thing or two about taking it to the next level. She moved back to the Eastern Seaboard just recently after an intense, two-year apprenticeship with bootmaker Deana McGuffin in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But at age 30, her personal journey to leatherwork goes much further back and includes a number of