Why Arnold Schwarzenegger Has a Passion for Custom Western Boots

arnold schwarzenegger
Arnold Scwarzenegger, host of "The New Celebrity Apprentice."
REX Shutterstock.

When “The New Celebrity Apprentice” host Arnold Schwarzenegger was recently in search of a pair of vintage-inspired cowboy boots, he contacted legendary El Paso, Texas-based custom bootmaker Rocketbuster.

According to Rocketbuster owner and designer Nevena Christi, among the actor and former California governor’s picks were looks based on the company’s Pulp Romance style, designs inspired by ’30s and ’40s pulp Western magazine graphics.

“He fell in love with our Pulp Romance boot,” said Christi, about working in tandem with Schwarzenegger to design boots for himself and girlfriend Heather Milligan. “People take advantage of the fact we can make whatever they want. He gave us the inspiration to re-create the boots with a bearded likeness as the cowboy and Heather [as] the inspiration for the cowgirl. The boots also featured an image of an Indian inspired by a vintage oil painting in his private collection.”

rocketbuster 1 Rocketbuster custom boots made for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Courtesy of brand.

Rocketbuster boots are handcrafted much like those from the late 1800s to early 1900s, explained Christi, complete with pegged soles and leathers with rich patinas. “I’m inspired by old patterns,” she said, notably boots dating back to the ‘30s through ‘60s, a sweet spot for vintage product.

rocketbuster 2 Custom boots made for Arnold Schwarzenegger and girlfriend Heather, made by Rocketbuster. Courtesy of brand.

Rocketbuster is not the only bootmaker Schwarzenegger has been shopping these days. According to a Feb. 5 report on “CBS Sunday Morning,” he has also ordered boots from Wheeler Boot Co. in Houston. Owner Dave Wheeler said in the segment that Schwarzenegger recently received a pair of custom boots detailed with a California poppy. While Wheeler told CBS he has a 2 ½-year backlog, it seems the “Terminator” star convinced him to rush the job.

Wheeler will be retiring in three years; he’s finishing up a list of orders he expects to take him nearly that long to fulfill.

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