Artisan Boot/Shoe

Randy Moe: A Season for Boot Making

 By Nick Pernokas  Moe’s Custom Boots in Beggs, Oklahoma, is one of those ephemeral dreams that’s always been there, yet seems to be a more recent fixture. That’s the way dreams work sometimes.  Randy Moe’s family had a few horses and cattle on their Oregon acreage. Although it wasn’t large enough to be considered a cow outfit, it was enough to stoke a young cowboy’s dreams.   “I can’t remember not having horses,” says Randy.  Randy had a normal childhood, but a fight when he was 12 cost
Boot/Shoe

Beaverhead County’s Double-Barreled Bootmakers

Schwarz & Schwarz in Dillon, Montana  There’s gold in them thar boots  by Gene Fowler  When you get a pair made at Schwarz Custom Boots in Dillon, Montana, you not only get a great pair of boots, you also get a handy twofer. Bootmaker Dan Schwarz tackles the lower part of the boot build, where the hide meets the road, while his wife, Julia, handles the artistic stuff up top. Working
Boot/Shoe

Zoé Rios: Bespoke Shoemaker

by Gene Fowler  “And so that’s when I became the annoying English lady,” says Austin, Texas shoemaker Zoé Rios with a chuckle. A native of Windsor, the town on the Thames where the British royal family’s castle was built in the 11th century, the distinctly unannoying Rios was explaining how she came to be a “self-appointed” apprentice to cowboy bootmaker Greg Carmack at the Uptmor Saddle Shop, located in the Brazos River town of Waco, Texas.  “I studied
Boot/Shoe

The Cowboy Boot Destiny of Texan Mark Candela

by Gene Fowler Mark Candela makes custom cowboy boots in a turn-of-the-century farmhouse near Columbus, Texas.  Ever since I was a little bitty kid,” says Texas bootmaker Mark Candela, “I’ve loved anything western.” Having recently notched his 59th year wherever he notches ‘em, the Houston native grew up in an era when Hollywood westerns ruled the TV waves and the silver screen. “I had a Hopalong Cassidy watch,” he adds,
Artisan Boot/Shoe

Motörhead and Mule Ears: The Cowboy Boot Mojo of Pascal Davayat’s Hollywood Riff Raff

by Gene Fowler Southern California bootmaker Pascal Davayat grew up in the rural Auvergne region of France, fascinated with cowboy boots and all things Wild West. “I lived on a solid diet of western movies and TV shows,” he says. Young Pascal dreamed of being a pirate or a cowboy, but yo-ho-ho-and-a-bottle-of-rum seemed unreachable, so he concentrated on the cowboy way. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly was one
Boot/Shoe

TOUGH BOOTS FOR TOUGH CUSTOMERS

JK Boots builds on-the-job footwear for wildland firefighters, linemen, loggers, welders, mechanics, foresters, ironworkers — and more!  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Picture yourself lugging a 60-pound pack in the heat of summer, while hiking for miles across forested, mountainous terrain to reach your job site — literally, hundreds of acres of raging inferno.   There, in remote fire-prone regions like northeastern Nevada, central Utah and eastern Washington, you put in high-risk, 12-to-16-hour days. As your buddies race to hose down towering flames, you cut and dig wide swaths through the forest with chainsaw and shovel, hoping to contain backcountry blazes.   Special gear, like fire-resistant clothing, was provided by your contractor. But typically, one crucial piece of equipment is not covered: your firefighter boots!   Here’s where owning the right kind of footwear is a lifesaver. And, not just for
Boot/Shoe

STIEFELwerk: Bespoke in Brooklyn with Anne Marika Verploegh Chassé

Anne Marika Verploegh Chasse moved to New York from her native Switzerland 20 years ago and opened her Brooklyn bespoke boot and shoe shop 15 year ago. Her visual arts background makes her footwear creations unique and distinctive. By Gene Fowler    “Everything I do has rhythm,” says Anne Marika Verploegh Chassé of STIEFELwerk, a one-woman bespoke boot and shoe making company based in Brooklyn. “I have always been a maker
Boot/Shoe

“The Michelangelo of Cowboy Boots”

“Charlie Dunn, He’s the One to See” by Gene Fowler Photograph courtesy of The Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Photographer Jim McGuire made images of the Grand Ole Opry legends and other country-western stars, and here he shot bootmaking legend Charlie Dunn. Perched all pretty on the Colorado River, where the limestone hills of Central Texas tumble down from the west to meet the Blackland
Boot/Shoe

Semper Fi: Boots with a Mission

By Liisa Andreassen Sarah Ford, a San Angelo, Texas-native, former Marine officer and Harvard Business School grad is the CEO, founder and creative director of Ranch Road Boots – a brand deeply rooted in Ford’s love for the American West. Growing up in a small town, her parents encouraged her to be self-motivated and hardworking. As a kid, she participated in triathlons with her whole family. After high school, she