To walk like a Texan you will need boots, preferably more than one pair. You need an old, comfortable beat-up pair to do things like rope a steer or chop cedar in the back forty, but you also need a fancy dress pair to wear with your tux at your daughter’s wedding. Here in Texas we take our boots seriously.
The quintessential San Antonio brand is Lucchese. The Lucchese brothers emigrated from Palermo, Sicily, in 1883 and set up their bootmaking shop near Fort Sam Houston, making boots for the U.S. Calvary School. They’ve made boots — many of them of exotic leathers — for everybody who is anybody. Cowboys wear them. Presidents wear them. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders wear them. They have their own polo team that wears them. In the ’80s they moved their manufacturing to El Paso, but San Antonio still considers them their own. There is a Lucchese store in The Quarry Market (255 East Basse Rd #800) about 8 miles north of the event hotel.
When you picking out your boots you’ll be dazzled by the choices in leather and colors, but the two fundamental decisions you will have to make are about the toe and the heel. Toes can be pointy, rounded or squared off: the pointier the dressier. Heels can be flat (a “roper” heel) or stacked to an inch or more and slightly curved inward (a”walking” heel.) The stacked heels are dressier. Cowboy boots fit differently than other footwear so it’s worth your while to try on a selection of different brands and styles under the guidance an experienced fitter.
There are a few places to buy boots downtown. We’ve already mentioned Paris Hatters (which also sells boots) but for a bigger selection you might want to go to Cavender’s, which is across Loop 410 from the North Star Mall (303 NW Loop 410). It’s about 10 miles north of the event hotel.