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
Boot/Shoe

Oak Street Bootmakers: Rebuilding the Footwear Landscape

By Gene Fowler There are many steps in building a handmade shoe. Longtime Chicago-area shoe repairman John Vlagos chuckles recalling his reaction upon first learning that his son, George, was starting the handmade footwear business, Oak Street Bootmakers. “I freaked out, you know,” says the father, with obvious pride in his son’s success. Founded in 2010, Oak Street ships its trench boots, penny loafers, camp mocs and other styles—made in
Boot/Shoe

Ty May: Making up for Lost Time

By Nick Pernokas Ty's primary products are boots. When we speak of an “up and coming” artist, we usually think of a young person. That is an assumption that is not always true. Grandma Moses, for example, began her painting career at the age of 78 and became one of America’s most famous painters. Another case in point may be Sullivan, Missouri-bootmaker Ty May. At 55, Ty is really just
Boot/Shoe Saddles/Tack

A One-Man Leather Shop

Long-time leatherwork instructor, Mike DeWitt, keeps his heritage craft alive and well in Oklahoma By Lynn Ascrizzi Michael DeWitt, at the workbench in his leather workshop, with saddle trees and stirrups in the background. You never know where a passion for the age-old art of leathercraft will take you. For Michael DeWitt, owner and operator of DeWitt Custom Leatherworks, the long and winding trail that leading to his current workshop
Supplier

Montello Heel: An Industry Icon

By Liisa Andreassen Montello Heel Mfg., Inc. in Brockton, Mass. has been handcrafting custom shoe components at the same Brockton location for 110 years. In 1956 John Alden Pearson, the superintendent of the factory at the time, was able to purchase the company and it has been in his family ever since. Handcrafting custom heels and maintaining a solid foothold for more than a century, Montello Heel MFG., Inc. is
Boot/Shoe

Wheeler Boot Company

1960-2020 By Danna Burns-Shaw The Wheeler Boot Company has announced their retirement; they will be closing their doors in July 2020 and is now no longer accepting orders.  How many companies do you know that have to quit taking orders nearly four years before they close their doors (due to the sheer volume of pre-paid orders)?   This is the unique, inspiring story of such a company; a company that started
Artisan

Howard Knight:

The King of Detail By Danna Burns-Shaw Few leather artisans have the attention to detail like Howard Knight; his diversity in style leaves one mesmerized in amazement. Howard creates works of fine art in his small leather shop, which is adjacent to his home in the beautiful, mountain community of Stevensville, Montana. Howard and his wife, Amy, moved to Montana from Northern California, after Amy retired as a nurse practitioner.