So you feel this irresistible urge to buy a pair of cowboy boots to commemorate your visit to Nashville…
Just so you know: boots can range in price from $100 to $1,000 so take your budget into consideration. If you want wear them for the long haul instead of turning them into matching flower pots next month, heed these wise words from Jacob at Boot Barn.
11 Tips You Should Heed
- Don’t go by your shoe size. Boots are a different beast.
- Every boot is slightly different so you can’t assume that even matching pairs of Size 10 are identical.
- Buy’em snug. A pair that is comfortable when you try them on will loosen up over time. And loose boots equal blisters. Jacob’s quote: “You’ve got to live with the pain to get the comfort.”
- Buy for width, not length. As long as your toes aren’t pinched, you’ll be fine.
- The best time to try’em on is late morning because your feet are at their largest.
- Also, keep in mind that the temperature is a factor–hot feet are larger than cold ones.
- Wear socks–both for trying them on and as a general rule, preferably wear the kind you’ll be using all the time.
- New boots tend to cause a bit of heel slip–the heel raises from the sole of your boot as you step. Once you’ve broken them in, the sole will flex a bit, causing slippage to diminish. Consult Dr. Scholl if you want to use inserts to modify your fit.
- Make sure you’re buying mates. Apparently a number of customers walk out of the store with mismatched boots.
- How many pairs do you really need? Instead of buy-one, get-one (or even two)-free deals offered by some stores, ask for a discount instead.
- Ask how to care for them. Different materials may require different upkeep.
Where to Buy Boots
At this writing, I found these stores specializing in cowboy boots.
- Ariat (inside Fifth + Broadway complex)
- Boot Barn (318 Broadway and at Opry Mills)
- Boot Country (304 Broadway), Nashville Cowboy (132 2nd Ave. N.) and Nashville Boot Outlet (Opry Mills) share the same website
- Tecova (inside Fifth + Broadway complex)
- Trail West‘s website lists five operations: Trail West (126 2nd Avenue, S., SoBro), Betty Boots (321 Broadway), Big Time Boots (410 Broadway), Mr. Hat’s Boot Company (121 3rd Avenue, S., SoBro) and Broadway Boot Company (301 Broadway)
- French’s Boots and Shoes (126 2nd Avenue, N.) has been in business for three generations and has two distinctions. It’s the only locally owned boot store downtown and it has exclusive Nashville distribution for John Rich’s Redneck Riveria attire.
A little farther from downtown:
- Lucchese Bootmaker (503 12th Avenue, S. The Gulch)
- Goodbuy Girls (1108 Woodland Street, East Nashville)
- Nashville Boot Company (603 8th Avenue S., between SoBro and The Gulch)