Photography ©Avery Pearson

Santa Fe Boot Camp

by Kitty Ault

Whatever the time of year, one thing is clear: boots are always in season! Boots are especially needed in the Southwest, where our roads are rough and the sidewalks aren’t always much better. Let’s face it: boots are everyone’s go-to fashion footwear. They look great and can go with everything from jeans and dress pants to a kicky skirt or classy dress. So, let’s find out what Santa Fe’s top shops offer in boots this season.

The first stop is just off the Plaza, at Goler Fine Imported Shoes. A favorite local shop for thirty-seven years, Goler offers the best in designer shoes. The Goler family knows their customers and knows which footwear will complement various looks. The shop’s manager and buyer, Paula Goler, loves two of their best performing boot styles, Sorel’s “Cate Lace” for women and Camper’s “Brutus” for men. The Cate Lace is rugged yet fashion forward. It’s made of comfortable, waterproof leather with a grip sole. It looks great with any outfit most of the year. The winter-friendly Brutus men’s boot features a GoreTex lining and Michelin-designed soles. It offers a cool look that easily transitions from season to season.

silver lace up combat boots
Camper’s “Brutus” boot for men from Goler.
Trippen women’s “Seam Boot”
Trippen women’s “Seam Boot” at Workshop.

Now, it’s on to the Plaza, where Santa Fe Dry Goods’s sister shop, Workshop, offers on-trend designer footwear for those seeking something unique. Shobhan Porter and her retail specialists know their inventory, and they highly recommend a best-selling brand, Trippen. Made in Germany, these ankle-high boots are stylish, architectural, superbly comfortable and durable. From minimal to experimental, each style is made to last, transcending seasons and outliving trends as they serve the wearer throughout life. These boots are vegetable-tanned calf leather, dyed through and treated with a wax finish. The “Seam Boot” has lace-up details, but has a side zipper closure. The “Alpin Boot” laces up.

Trippen unisex “Alpin Boot”
Trippen unisex “Alpin Boot” from Workshop.
The "Baron" boot by Lucchese
Lucchese's “Baron” for men. Photography ©Avery Pearson

Just two doors down from Workshop is the shop of the renowned boot-making company, Lucchese. Of course, the Santa Fean had to stop in to get their recommendations! Since 1883 Lucchese Boot Company has been producing handmade boots in Texas, so The City Different is honored they put their premier retail store here. Marketing Manager Victoria Mechler recommends two signature styles, the “Dale Exotic” for women and the “Baron” cowboy boot for men.

The Dale Exotic for women is a retro-inspired boot in black and white python that’s just plain fun! The boot’s shorter shaft, paired with a higher heel, harkens back to a 1950s cowgirl look. The classic western style and chic use of python offer an understated feminine look that will complement any outfit. The Baron cowboy boot for men is made of premium American alligator leather. Because of its beauty and strength, alligator is one of the most coveted boot skins. This boot is smooth, buttery and stunning. A year-round, casual-or-dressy boot, the Baron embodies the superb styling, materials and craftsmanship that have made Lucchese famous.

Wendy “Ostrich Ankle Zipper” boots
Back at the Ranch’s white Wendy “Ostrich Ankle Zipper” boots.
white cowboy boots
Horned-back lizard boots from Kowboyz. Photography ©Avery Pearson.

While on the subject of world-class custom boots, let’s cruise over to Back at the Ranch. More than thirty years ago, owner Wendy Lane Henry was inspired to bring the western boot into the fashion arena, and she continues to design for style-conscious customers globally. Back at the Ranch offers more than 700 pairs of luxury handmade boots. Ostrich leather is supple, yet strong, and two seasonal unisex standouts are the white “Ostrich Ankle Zipper” boots, which sport orange Vibram soles, and the “Ostrich El Rancho 12-Inch” boots, in nicotine, with a stitched pattern.

Our last stop takes us to the Railyard District to check out Kowboyz, a shop that does resale the way it should be done. This western wear and boot shop is loaded with treasures, but while you’re there, save time to chat with the owner, Cristine Iverson. (We think of her the Kowgirl-in-Chief.) The store is known for its selection and affordable prices, so this is your chance to put yourself in someone else’s shoes — literally. A couple of vintage gems from their current inventory of one-of-a-kind dazzlers, perfect for the holidays and beyond, are chic yet comfortable Olsen Stelzer women’s boot and the handmade men’s horned-back lizard boot by Ammons Boots in El Paso, Texas.

Now is the time of year to “reboot” your shoe wardrobe, and with its bounty of boot retailers, Santa Fe is the place to do it. Whether you’re an inveterate boot lover or a first-time boot buyer, these local boot experts can help you add this special type of “shoe shine” to your footwear collection.

Kitty Ault

Kitty Ault is a style consultant in Santa Fe. To learn more about Kitty, visit KAStyle — Style Consulting for How You Live — Refashion, Recycle, Renew.


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