I knew the moment I saw Carrie Cameron’s Cock of the Walk boots– in the summer of 2013 when we bought our house — that I would be saving up for for my own pair. While I love Carrie’s designs, I instantly began thinking about designing my own pair! She told me the Master Bootmakers were all in Leon, Mexico. I knew I would be searching out and hiring a local artisan to work with my own designs. What I came to realize is I was already connected to one of these guys through my eBay account! And a further search in Etsy turned him up again!
It’s true, getting some custom cowboy boots made has been a goal of mine for a very long time.
Here are some of Carrie’s that I photographed during my first visit to San Miguel in 2013 – aren’t they wonderful!!
Pretty much ever since my sister Anni came home with a purple pair while we all still lived in Chicago! Years later, when Mikey and I lived in Bucktown, we would venture into the neighborhood called Pilsen that is home to a high concentration of Mexican immigrants. It was there, in a caballero store called Alcala’s (check ’em out here) that I learned firsthand about the craftsmanship of the Mexican cowboy boot. Even in nineteen-ninety-whatever it was (’94? ’95? Can’t remember!) I was asking the boot sellers there what was involved in ordering my own custom pair. Hello two thousand dollar price tag, goodbye custom boots for awhile.
Custom cowboy boots can easily go into the upper teens and lower twenties when you’re talking hundreds of dollars ($1500 – $2500 not being uncommon). I didn’t usually have a bag of money lying around that would enable me to go forward with boot plans. But then — fast forward to Mexico — Carrie told me that she could share her access to her team in Leon and suddenly boots that might have been $1700-$1800 might be as low as $700-$800! This I might be able to do! So I started a Boot Fund immediately hoping in the coming year during the sale of our home in Kentucky and our move to Mexico I could save up enough as a reward for surviving this major life transition.
Two years and one move to Mexico later, the Boot Fund money had gotten to about $600 and was miraculously intact! And guess what — you don’t need a whole lot more than that to get one of a kind custom boots made in Mexico!
Turns out – years before – during one of my routine “Let’s look for an affordable boot maker” campaigns I had favorited his storefront on eBay! It’s called CoyboyBootsUSA. He’s had his eBay shop since 2006 – I found him and bookmarked his store about 5 years ago. His actual shop, the bricks and mortar building is in an out of the way neighborhood in the “Boot Capital of the World”, Leon, Mexico. The same guy!!!
Here’s the type of boot he sells that comes the closest to the ones I had made: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hand-tooled-cowboy-boot-made-to-order-any-style-from-gallery-or-send-picture-/311445116394?hash=item48839355ea
He also has a store on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/cowboybootsusa?ref=l2-shopheader-name
Miguel Alvarez Castillo and his team create heirloom quality boots that have earned them 5 star reviews across the board on both eBay and Etsy and now me! These babies are built to last and the craftsmanship is top notch!
From start to finish, you can have a custom pair of boots designed and hand made and sent right to where you live! I’m offering design service of you’d like me to design your boots. Here or in my Etsy Store. You order the boots from Miguel, he sends me pattern based on your boot size and tow type selection, we go back and forth until the drawings match your dreams and I send the finals over to Miguel for bootmaking!
Here’s how the drawings convert into actual boots: