Where to Go to Buy Boots
NICE CVB MAN SAYS: Wild Bill's Western Store.
WE SAY: We'd never heard of Wild Bill's. But a place with a name like Wild Bill's in the West End sounded very suspect. We locals think of the West End as being like our dentist's office. We don't like to go there. But a little research has us convinced that Wild Bill's is actually a pretty solid choice. Bill Dewbre has run the joint for more than 40 years, and though he does stock some tacky Dallas-y stuff to attract tourists, he also carries some fine boots. You can walk out of there in decent pair of off-the-shelf Lucchese calf skins for $300. If you're up for it, though, you can sit awhile, have a beer on the house, and pick out some custom beauties—choosing the hide, toe style, inlay and cord, stitching, heel—and pay a few thousand, depending. Or or you can even go whole hog and get made-to-measure boots, where the pros here actually make a mold of your foot and cut the suckers to fit just you. That'll cost you. So bully on the nice CVB man.
But we'd also point you to M.L. Leddy's in the historic Stockyards, where the fourth generation of the Leddy family operates a store they opened in 1941. The sign out front IDs the place as a saddlery. When you look at it on Google street view, you'll see a guy in the street sitting on an actual horse. It's the real deal, is what we're saying. And they make the finest bespoke boots money can buy (in addition to selling off the shelf). For the real deal, expect to pay upwards of $5,000 and wait a year. Finally, in the Uptown area of Dallas, check out Cowboy Cool for "traditional Western gear with a contemporary edge." Like maybe a $775 pair of pink calfskin Liberty boots with a toothless skull on them and white bones pull straps.