To survive in the rugged toughness of the El Paso high desert terrain, you not only had to be tough; you better have tough gear, too. Tony Lama recognized that when he first started making boots in El Paso, Texas, back in 1911. The only difference is that the quality and durability handcrafted into every pair of new Tony Lama Boots is even better with today's technology. So, whether you are a high desert Cowboy, a Buckaroo from the Northwest, a cross-country hauler, an executive on Wall Street, a professional rodeo team member or just dream of being one, the brand for your Cowboy Life is Tony Lama Boots.
More than 100 steps go into the building of a Tony Lama Boot, each carefully completed by seasoned craftsmen. Starting with only top grade leather, Tony Lama's craftsmen begin their work.
In addition to the most styling options available, Tony Lama Boots are constructed to fit a wide variety of sizes and widths--literally thousands of options -- to give each customer a good fit. Incorporated into each boot are special features such as a shank, a heavy gauge double ribbed steel strip that supports the arch, that make Tony Lama Boots the world's most comfortable footwear.
All leather construction, a handcrafted fit, that's the legacy of Tony Lama kept alive by a select group of bootmakers who have earned the right to be called craftsmen.
Born to Italian immigrant parents in 1887, Tony Lama learned his first lessons in the boot industry at the early age of 11. An uncle apprenticed the boy to a shoemaker in Syracuse, New York where he learned the leather and boot trade.
After the turn of the century, Tony Lama joined the U.S. Cavalry as a cobbler for the soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. Once he completed his tour of service, he decided to stay in the nearby border town of El Paso. Realizing the importance of a good boot fit from his stint in the Cavalry, Tony Lama set out to make the best fitting, most comfortable boot possible.
Initially, repairs were the biggest segment of his business but word quickly spread throughout the Southwest about Tony Lama's Western boots. Soon, cowboys and ranchers were joining the cavalrymen at his doorstep, carrying hides and requesting custom- made boots. That first year, Tony Lama and one helper made 20 pairs of boots.
When the army phased out the horse soldiers, Tony Lama concentrated solely on making quality Western boots. In the 1930s, Western wear stores began asking for his boots. To meet the growing demands, Tony Lama developed methods to produce greater quantities without sacrificing the key steps in hand crafting. In 1961, nearly 50 years after the first store opened, the company moved into larger quarters and began making 750 pairs of boots a day.
Tony Lama passed away in 1974, but his sons and daughters continued his tradition of quality and handcraftsmanship, making this a true American success story. In 1990, Tony Lama became part of the Justin Boot family. Once competitors, these companies have set the standard for quality and craftsmanship worldwide.
The legacy created by the humble cobbler, a hard working entrepreneur with a fierce pride in his craft, lives on. The same commitment to quality is reflected in the corporation that bears Tony Lama's name today.
For more company information visit the Tony Lama website.