Shoe of the Week: Lucchese’s All-American Boot That Bites Back

This Shoe of the Week is truly a catch. The Lucchese Santos boot is a Texas-made shoe constructed from wild-caught Florida alligators and ranch hand cow leather.

Aside from its looks, the Santos boot is also comfortable. Teddy Boxberger, the senior director of marketing, told FN: “The boots are made with a covered side seam that eliminates rub by placing the cording on the outside of the boot.”

Built for comfort and style, the shoe is ideal for not only making a statement but getting the job done.

Lucchese, Western boot, aligator boot, brown boot, cowboy boot
The Lucchese Santos boot.
CREDIT: George Chinsee

Lucchese, which has been in the boot business since 1883, continues its tradition of craftsmanship by sticking to techniques by hand. A made-in-America company, Lucchese employs artisans to hand-stitch the boots with a needle and thread. (Take note of the diamond chain pattern on the shaft of this shoe.)

Another special touch is the old-world bootmaking technique of using lemonwood pegs. The pegs, which are carefully hammered by hand into leather, complete the structure of the boot by keeping the insole and outsole together.

Lucchese uses lemonwood pegs as opposed to brass nails because they are more malleable than metal. They expand and contrast with moisture just like the leather used to make the boot.

The company itself has quite an American tale. Lucchese was founded by Salvatore Lucchese, who emigrated to the United States from Palermo, Italy, in 1882. He reportedly arrived in Galveston, Texas, by ship with his brother Joseph.

The next year, the brothers set up shop in San Antonio, and the rest is history. Many Americans have cherished the brand, including President Lydon B. Johnson and actor John Wayne.

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