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One could argue that I live a cliché lifestyle in Texas. I live on a small ranch surrounded by animals, I drive a pickup truck that’s over 20 years old, I own enough guns to arm a small militia, and I always wear cowboy boots.  

Cowboy boots come in more flavors than ice cream. There is a design to fit any lifestyle or fashion choice, and I’m a firm believer that everyone should own at least one good pair of boots. 

Photo courtesy of Tecovas

When I shop for a pair of boots, I’m looking for ones that meet three key details. They can’t be overly expensive because I live in an area with dirt, dogs, and other leather scuffing hazards. They need to be lightweight because I’m going to be wearing them everywhere – the beach if necessary. Lastly, they must have the right “look,” which is subjective. The right look means I will admire them when I see my reflection and smile when I look down at my feet. Comfort is not a key detail because that should be a given when shopping for any footwear. 

Recently, I purchased a pair of boots from Tecovas in San Antonio, Texas. Tecovas is a cowboy boot manufacturer that sells everything for men and women to complete a lifestyle. From clothing to travel bags and accessories, Tecovas is a one-stop-shop if you’re looking to add some country to your rock n roll. 

Founded by Paul Hedrick, Tecovas has a growing reputation for building quality leather goods with traditional styling made using old school craftsmanship. In the last few years, they’ve expanded from Texas to nearby states like Oklahoma, Arizona, and gone as far as Alabama, South Carolina, and Nebraska. 

I wanted a pair of Tecovas because they had the right look. The model seen in these photos is The Dean, a zip calf-skin leather boot dressed in bourbon brown. This style caught my attention because it is an all-rounder cowboy boot. The zipper makes it easy to slip on and off. It has an eight-inch shaft, so it isn’t as long as a traditional roper style cowboy boot, and slim, so it can fit under most slim-legged jeans without looking like an overstuffed tube sock.

The Dean fit the bill in that it’s a cowboy boot I could wear with anything in my closet and look good in formal or informal settings. With a retail price of just $255, it also fits my budget for quality. I bought these boots in August 2020 and have been wearing them for nine out of ten times I go out in public (with my mask on, of course). After nearly five months of continuous use, The Dean is aging better than expected and getting broken-in like a baseball catcher’s mitt. 

Photo courtesy of Tecovas

Low-quality cowboy boots will crack and wrinkle like Tommy Lee Jones’ face within months of use. You want a pair of boots to age gracefully like Brad Pitt with subtle wrinkles in areas where your feet bend while walking. Scuffs will happen, but with cowboy boots, and most leather goods, it adds character. Best of all, Tecovas boots are comfortable. My personal life is littered with clumsy accidents, and my knees are paying the price for it now. Wearing Tecovas boots doesn’t hurt my knees or my feet. Granted, I’m not walking on clouds, but I won’t be sore at the end of the day, and that is all I ask for in a shoe.

Low-quality cowboy boots will crack and wrinkle like Tommy Lee Jones’ face within months of use. You want a pair of boots to age gracefully like Brad Pitt with subtle wrinkles in areas where your feet bend while walking.

The first few days wearing my Tecovas boots, I caught people looking down at my feet, and a few even complimented me on my “nice boots.” I suspect the bourbon brown leather had something to do with it since they can lasso the eye when matched with blue jeans. 

What I enjoy about Tecovas, apart from the beverages they offered me at the store while I was shopping, is their build quality. It takes over 200 steps to construct a single Tecovas cowboy boot by hand. All of which are constructed in Leon, Mexico. Each boot features hand-stitched boot shaft quarters, midsoles hammered in by hand using lemonwood nails, and stacked leather heels shaped by hand. Tecovas boots have the feel, weight, and smell of a quality product that has the potential to last for decades. If taken care of, a good pair of cowboy boots can be on your feet till the end of the line, and then some. 

Photo courtesy of Tecovas

The Dean has handled the ranch lifestyle with ease, walking amongst uneven terrain, rocks, dust, and the occasional mud puddle. I’ve worn them to job interviews and the local feed store to buy hay bales and oats for my horses. Tecovas claims The Dean is one of the most versatile cowboy boots around, and I’m a living testament to that. 

The Dean has handled the ranch lifestyle with ease, walking amongst uneven terrain, rocks, dust, and the occasional mud puddle.

People often assume that my Texas-rancher lifestyle comes with certain political beliefs, and it’s not the case. I don’t fall in line with any straight party ticket, but there is one weirdly specific personal belief that may seem controversial to some, and that is, “You can’t depend on someone who wears flip-flops in public.” Now that I’ve openly admitted this in writing, I’ll never be able to run for political office – shoot!

Photo courtesy of Tecovas

The reason for this odd belief comes from living on a ranch 20 miles from the nearest town. One always has to be ready for something to happen because something WILL always happen. Horses can break free from the corrals, coyotes can appear in the middle of the night and attack livestock, a water line can burst, and every rock you turn is an opportunity to disturb something venomous. Flips-flops are no good in a moment of action. You can’t run without them blowing out, leaving your feet bare. The same goes for certain sandals and Crocs.

Boots bring a sense of security. Slip them on, and you feel like you’re ready for anything. Cowboy boots and work boots don’t need a celebrity endorsement to fetch a high price tag and are built to last with soles and heels that can be easily replaced once they wear out. Most importantly of all, when you buy a quality pair of boots, one doesn’t have to ignore the underlying guilt that these were probably made by someone in a third world country earning pennies on the dollar. 

The next pair of cowboy boots I buy will be Tecovas. It won’t be easy deciding since Tecovas’ catalog offers a range of different styles, each with multiple color options. I may not be able to settle on just one pair.

Shop The Dean, and all other Tecovas boots, here.

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