Friday, June 25, 2010

Rusty Franklin Boots...San Angelo, Texas

Here are my boots made by Rusty Franklin from San Angelo, Texas...Rusty's retired now, but my boots aren't.
These are some of the best wearin' boots I've ever had on my feet. Rusty and his cousin Rod were the best to work with ever, along with Rusty's shop foreman Eugene Lopez. When Rusty retired he sold his lasts and paperwork to Robert Brest of Brest Boot and Saddle Shop in San Angelo.
You can find out more about Rusty Franklin Boots on pages 68-69 of Tyler Beard's & Jim Arndt's The Cowboy Boot Book.
Rusty's mom was Joyce Leddy, M. L. Leddy's daughter and Rusty grew up in the Leddy boot shop in San Angelo. That's why his boots resemble Leddy boots so much, right down to the "cookie stitch." That's the short little stitch along the inside of the vamp next to the piping, which you'll only find on Leddy and Franklin boots. The throat of the boot, the toe, the counter, and even the "toe bug" look a lot like Leddy boots.
This proved to be very true one day over in Bryan, TX when I was waiting in line to do some banking. A cowboy up in front of me just kept looking at my feet...finally he up a says, "hey, are those boots from San Angelo." I told him, "made by Rusty Franklin, San Angelo, Texas." He said he could tell by the toe.
Now the wider square toe is very popular today...but I'll stay with the 1" hog-nose. This a similar toe to my Stewart Boots I posted a while back and right on the Stewart-Romero boots from their shop in LA back in the 50s.
Rod Franklin and I put these boots together with colors I wanted...the first pair Rusty made were the green tops, followed by the yellow tops, and finally the black tops. The black tops have a 8-stitch pattern with colorful varigated thread...which came out pretty good.
The vamps are all kangaroo hide and soft as butter...and, they're all custom, so they fit me like a glove.
There are still some quality boot makers in San Angelo...Leddy moved their shop downtown with glass windows separating the showroom from the boot shop, very cool. Of course Robert Brest is there, and Mercer has a downtown shop too, and there's at least one more small boot shop.
Anyway, more later and until then keep on the hunt for cool vintage and retro stuff...and shop our site @
Always tell me what's hot and what you're looking for...we're headed out on another buying trip the first 2 weeks of July...all the way up to Lima, OH with stops along the way...hasta luego and happy trails.

No comments: