Lucchese Western Boots
Lucchese Cowboy Boots
Lucchese cowboy boots are perfect for those who seek excellence and quality in their western footwear. Founded in El Paso, Texas in 1883, Lucchese boots have gained the respect of boot connoisseurs worldwide by offering unparalleled comfort and exquisite design. Fine grades of leather ensure that your boots will mold to your foot, allowing the perfect custom fit for years to come.
We offer hundreds of styles, colors, and skins to choose from. Check out our in-stock sizes to see what is available for immediate shipping! Classics can be customized with your choice of toe, heel, and sole. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us!
The History of Lucchese Cowboy Boots - Since 1883
Sam Lucchese - The Lucchese Boot Company Founder
Unlike many modern western boot companies, Lucchese Boots have a rich history which spans generations. Back in the 1800's, a teenage Sam Lucchese moved from Italy to America. In 1880 he started working as a shoemaker in San Antonio, Texas. First he made boots for all the army personnel who were in the area, then for ranchers. In 1883, Sam Lucchese founded Lucchese Boot Company, which later became his legacy.
At that time, San Antonio was a major cowboy-boot-making hotspot. Around 60 other bootmakers lined the streets where his shop was located, all competing for the same customers. Sam Lucchese realized that, in order for Lucchese Boot Company to thrive, he had to make western boots more efficiently so that he could compete on not only quality, but price. In 1890, Sam bought the first inseamer machine to ever be shipped to the Southwest. This allowed a tighter inseam that would resist leaks far better than was possible with a hand-stitched inseam. From then on, he continued to innovate, adding more machinery as is was invented. By 1919, using man and machine in conjunction, the Lucchese Boot Company was able to produce 35 western boots a day.
Cosimo Lucchese - The Lucchese Perfectionist
When the time came, Sam's son, Cosimo, took over the Lucchese Boot Company for him. Sam and Cosimo differed in perspective. While Sam was very business-oriented, Cosimo possessed true passion for the beauty of the cowboy boots themselves. Despite his love of boots, Cosimo never designed Lucchese boots - he only made the designs which his customers specified. He was a perfectionist, however. Obsessed with the quality of his company's boots, he felt obligated to oversee every pair as it was made. If there were any errors in the construction of the boot, it would be torn down and rebuilt. Because of this tight control, the Lucchese Boot Company was only able to produce around 10 pairs of western boots a day. This suited Cosimo, though, as he had no desire to expand the business.
Sam Lucchese Junior - The Lucchese Pedo-Osteometrist
Eventually Cosimo trained HIS son, Sam Lucchese Junior, who had different ideas of where the business should go. By this time, "fancy cowboy boots" were popular - likely due to the Wild West shows in the area. Design became a solid selling point and customers craved "something different." This sentiment has remained strong, and as such, uniquely designed western boots remain popular to this day.
While Sam enjoyed design, FIT was his primary concern - after all, people don't wear cowboy boots that don't feel comfortable. Both Cosimo and Sam experimented with various measuring techniques. One involved a sock, which had a zipper down the back. The idea was to spray a hardening material over them so that they would form the shape of the foot. The foot was then removed via the unzipped opening. This proved to not work as well as hoped, and some people ended up having reactions to the spray. They further experimented with plaster of Paris molds, gridded paper, and photographs. None could duplicate the foot effectively. They came to the realization that when measured flat, the foot is a completely different shape than when it is raised by even a slight heel.
Sam Jr. became entranced by the anatomy of the foot and how it relates to western boots. Calling himself a "pedo-osteometrist" (measurer of foot bones), he learned a great deal about the way the foot is shaped and how it moves. He discovered that the higher the heel, the more it should be pitched so that the back of it does not become cumbersome when walking. He figured out that the back of the higher-heeled boot should also be more curved, and that the entire boot should fit tighter as the bones of the foot do not flex as much.
Sam continued with his studies for the Lucchese Boot Company, reasoning that the "last" of the boot (the model that the foot portion of leather is fitted to) is one of the most important parts of the boot, which all other parts must conform to. Different cowboy boot lasts are needed for different heel heights, different foot types, and for both men's and women's boots. Even then, it can be difficult to construct the perfect boot, as people's feet vary so much; the pigeon-toed, the duck-footed, the bow-legged, the shufflers, those with high arches, collapsed arches, and bunions all change the dynamic of the boot. It is hard to believe that before the 1860's, left and right cowboy boots were shaped exactly the same!
Sam didn't stop at measurements, he learned every angle of boot-making, striving for excellence in his field. From the boot shank to the stitching to the leather, Sam Lucchese studied everything. For instance, he has explained that, regarding leather, it's not just the animal itself that makes a difference in stretchiness and durability. Different parts of the animal, as well as the grain of the leather itself, influence how stretchy and durable the leather is. Did you know that leather generally stretches more in the direction the hair on the animal grows?
By taking all of these factors into account, Sam Lucchese Jr. was able to design boots that not only looked great - they felt great. This design allowed the Lucchese Boot Company to grow into one of the most well-known cowboy boot manufactures in the world - known for their superior quality and fit. In 1970, Blue Bell Inc. bought the company from Sam so that the Lucchese Boot Company could expand and be able to offer these exquisite western boots at wholesale.
NOTE: In 2012 Lucchese restructured their naming conventions. If you are interested in learning about how to tell the differences between the different lines of boots please read our Lucchese Name-Change Article.
Portions of this writeup are credited to the book, "A Lifetime with Boots" by Sam Lucchese, with Tad S. Mizwa. For an astounding look into the Lucchese History, along with Sam Lucchese Junior's research on the human foot and how it impacts boot-making, be sure to read it.