Book Review, “The Cowboy Hat Book”, by Rich Brand

Cowboy Hat Book

Cowboy Hat Book

You can find most everything you want to know about cowboy hats online, but it’s nice to kick back with a book in your hands. This book should be left out on your coffee table or on the bookshelf where it is easy to get to.

“The Cowboy Hat Book” covers the history, construction, materials, and styles for Cowboy Hats and is well illustrated with a couple of hundred pictures. Photo’s of real cowboys and the drug store type are included.

When you finish this book you will know what style hat is for you, how to determine the size, how to clean it and how to properly handle a Cowboy Hat.

I own this book. Get a copy for your ranch.

Stetson Cowboy Hat

Creation of the original felt cowboy hat was initially attributed to John Stetson. The unique conditions on the trail made a hat constructed from water-resistant fur felt very useful. However, unless you are a genuine cowboy riding fence, there is not much need in purchasing a water-resistant beaver or muskrat fur felt hat. And even for a cowboy a $700.00 100X hat used to work in, might be a little excessive. (100x is 100% beaver fur)
A 10x hat that is 50% beaver fur, might be a better choice.

John B. Stetson amused his pals by demonstrating to them how he could make material out of fur without having to weave. Stetson created a hat using a big brim to shade the wearer from sun and rain. Stetson made the decision to wear the hat during the hunting excursion, and it performed so well that he persisted wearing it on his trips throughout the West. In 1865, he begun to produce the first of his fantastic hats in volume. The original Stetson hat sold for 5 dollars.

Stetson is now owned by Hatco a hat company consolidator. They also own Resistol Cowboy Hats.

Justin Boots

Today Justin Boot has evolved into a boot consolidator under the Justin Brands label.

Justin started as a boot repair shop in 1879 by H.J. “Daddy Joe” Justin.   Joe came to Texas in 1879.  He settled in Spanish Fort, on the Texas-Oklahoma border and also located on the old Chisholm Trail.

The business was started as a boot repair shop repairing boots for the cowboys who rode the Chisholm Trail.
Justin Boot Company relocated to Ft. Worth TX in 1925.

Nocona Boot was started in 1925 by a member of the Justin family. The shop was located in Nocona Texas.  Nocona Boot merged with Justin Boot in 1981, bringing the book making of the family back together.

Tony Lama Boot Co. is now also owned by Justin Brands

Barrel Racing Saddle

Racing implies performance and as few pounds as possible in the saddle. As a result this is the lightest of saddles, under 30 lbs.

An additional characteristic is a flat seat permitting a rider effortless positioning to help balance the mount in turns. The fenders are free swinging to provide extra balance. The cantle and also pommel are usually higher to provide the rider a secure and safe ride. The horn is usually taller for a quick dismount.

Stirrups have a slim tread for a more secure grip on the boot as well as rawhide trim which increases resilience when coming in contact with the barrel.

Purchasing Barrel Saddles
Barrel Saddles are speed saddles and as a result are a customized piece of equipment. Any type of racing will be affected by weight, although it is probably not a decisive factor other than in the highest levels of competition.

When you are in the market for a saddle, bring your horse with you. You would usually shop and try  many hats on before you make a buying decision and saddles are no different. Take your own horse and get feedback from several saddle stores. You will learn a lot in the process. Work out for yourself what is important in a saddle for you. Know the following terminology as well as it’s significance before you go shopping.

Pay attention to weight, ability to move in the seat, breast collars, higher cantle and pommel, slender stirrups, durable tree and modest skirt.

The saddle needs to fit your horse, but it also needs to fit you. Try it on for size to determine a good fit.

The barrel horse works at high-speed and can make tight turns. The saddle should be built with skirt rigging to keep everything tight and provide close contact from horse and rider.

Trail Saddle Fit

The Trail Saddle is on your horse for extended periods.  Proper fit is essential.

Frequently we hear discussion that when a saddle does not fit, just try out a variety of pads. This way of thinking is bothersome for many reasons.

  • Whenever a saddle is truly too narrow for the horse, a larger pad will simply cause the problem to get worse. If the saddle is actually too narrow , there is no special pad, breast collar, or even a increased tight cinch that will ensure fit.
  • The saddle that’s too narrow may slip sideways, producing pressure spots in front and back of the saddle.  This uneven pressure will also cause the horse irritation. The saddle is not in position to perform its function by equally disbursing rider weight. It is forced to concentrate weight in small points forward and back.
  • Whenever a saddle is just too broad for a horse, the rider may be sitting right on the horse’s backbone rather than utilizing the bars to distribute the bodyweight.  The saddle is going to rest too low on the horse’s withers and may push up in the back. Additionally since there is no standardization for the terms “semi Quarter horse bars” and “full Quarter horse bars”. A full Quarter horse bar for one brand of saddle will fit differently than another brand saddle. This is especially true with regards to saddles with specialized trees.

Several techniques to test your Trail Saddle and see if your saddle fits:

1) The saddle remains in place when you ride without a breast collar and the cinch does not cut into your horse.

2) The perspiration pattern beneath the saddle is even without dry areas.

3) The horse does not have whitened spots or rubbed-away hair.

4) The saddle looks even and not tilted forward or popping up in the rear. The saddle is not sitting low on the withers. There is sufficient width in between the withers as well as the gullet.

5) Place the saddle on the horse without a saddle blanket. Feel underneath the saddle. Is there is contact all the way around the horse’s back?

 If your horse has gained weight, the saddle will not fit the same. In the event the saddle was tailored to your horse while young, his shape has changed as he has aged.  The saddle will fit differently. Always be aware of changes and saddle fit.

Cowboy Hat Style

Cowboy hat style is a personal decision.  A lot of factors are involved including function such as keeping the sun and rain out of your face or off your neck. 

For most of us however it’s not the function, it’s what the hat says.  The major differences are the brim size and shape and the crown crease.  In Texas, for me, it’s the cowboy individualism and independence.

Traditional: 

•             Cattleman.  Most people would consider this the classic style cowboy hat.  George W. Bush wears this style.

•             Open Road.  Real cattlemen.  If you go down to the sale barn you will see the older gentlemen, buying cows, wearing LBJ (Open Road) style hats.

•             Open.  The first Stetson was “The Boss of the Plains”.  Very traditional.  The crown of an open cowboy hat can be 5″- 6″ tall and the brim 4.5″ – 5″ wide

•             Gus.  Also traditional is a Stetson with a “Carlsbad” crease.  Known today as the Gus Crease.

•             Cattleman.  Fort Worth .  The old “Fort Worth” crease seen on a cowboy hat normally has a 3.5″ brim and a “cow kick” in the front and a “cow kick” in the back.

Rodeo

•             Bull rider, RCA or Canadian Crease

•             Tycoon… Another pinch front style.

•             Cutter.  Modified Cattleman with more room.  Cutter Horse riders.  1970’s

Others

•             Team Roper

•             Montana

•             Salem

•             Ridge Top

Roper Cowboy Boots

Roper style cowboy boots are distinguished by the low shaft (boot top) and a low walking heel. Regular cowboy boots have a high heel designed to keep the boot in the stirrup.

John Justin is credited with introducing the “Roper” in 1954, however, I never saw a pair of Ropers until the 1990’s and didn’t own a pair until a few years ago. They were a gift.

Ropers make a lot of sense from a comfort and style point of view, if you don’t use them for riding.
Cowboys are particular about their boots, so it is unwise to surprise a cowboy with a pair of “Ropers”. Check first or make sure they can be returned.

Texas Bootmakers List

4 Square Leather
Terry Glueck
1079 Dry Creek Road
Waco, TX 76705
(254) 829-2816
http://4squareleather.com/
info@4squareleather.com

Allen Boot Company
Kenneth Allen
202 CR 286
Bronte, TX 76933
(325) 786-4346?

Ammons Boots
Rodney Ammons
1477 Lomaland St, C-9
El Paso, TX 79935
(915) 595-2100
bootmaker@aol.com

Ammons Boots
Rodney Ammons
SAKS Fifth Ave
13550 Dallas Parkway
Dallas, TX 75240
(972) 716-5234
http://www.ammonsboots.com
bootmaker@aol.com

Angelo Boot Shop
37 West Twohig St
San Angelo, TX 76903-6434
(325) 486-9544

Armando’s Boot Company
Armando Duarte
169 N. 7th
Raymondville, TX 78580
(956) 689-3521

B&D Custom Boots & Leather
HCR 4, Box 1200
Burnet, TX 78611
(512) 756-1772

Beaver Creek Boot & Saddle Shop
Blake Sladek
416 N Spruce Street
Stratford, TX 79084
806-366-3040
boots@xit.net

Beck Cowboy Boots
Harry Beck
723 S Georgia St
Amarillo, TX 79106-8913
(806) 373-1600
http://www.beckboots.com
quebeck@webtv.net

Bell Custom Boots
Alan Bell
2118 N. Treadaway Blvd.
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 677-0632

Boden Custom Boots
Len Boden
1912 E. Broadway
Sweetwater, TX 79556
(325) 669-9533
lenboden@lenboden.com

Boot & Saddle Shop
Mike Allred
102 3rd Street
Whitesboro, TX 76273
(903) 564-5300

Boot Heel & Saddle Up
Bob Garner
1215 N. Velasco
Angleton, TX 77515
(979) 849-5514
just1texan@yahoo.com

Boots from the Ranch Factory
2137 Mills Ave
El Paso, TX 79901
915-545-1234
http://www.backattheranch.com/
ranchhand@backattheranch.com
Open 5 days a week. The bootmakers will measure your feet and help you design your own custom boot.

Bramhall’s Boot Company
Jeff Bramhall
1610 Alspaugh Lane
Grand Prairie, TX 75052
(214) 435-7390

Brian Thomas Boots
Brian Thomas
363 East S 11th
Abilene, TX 79602
(325) 672-2344
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34485294@N03/

Buck’s Boots
Buck Glenn
PO Box 701
Marble Falls, TX 78654
(830) 693-8486

Burk Boot Shop
Armando Dominguez
206 E Third
Burkburnett, TX 76354
(940) 228-6366
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Burk-Boot-Shop/116682866673
dominguez6@sbcglobal.net

C.T. Boot Shop
Carl Chappell
105 S Main
Saint Jo, TX 76265
(940) 995-2901
Mr. Chappell teaches bootmaking. See also Trail Town Custom Leather.

Capitol Saddlery
Mike Slover
8910 Research Blvd
Ste F2
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 478-9309
http://www.capitolsaddlery.com
mike@capitolsaddlery.com

Carlos Boot Shop
10844 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77042-3202
(713) 977-6347

Carmack’s Custom Boots
Greg Carmack
6020 North Hwy 6
Waco, TX 76712
(254) 848-2078
bootmaker@prodigy.net
Now sells a line of hand made, stock sized boots to compliment his line of custom boots.

Carman Allen Custom Boots
Carman Allen
8616 Quebec Dr
Ft. Worth, TX 76108
(817) 367-7976
http://www.carmanallen.com
carmallen@sbcglobal.net

Carmargo’s of Mercedes
Henry Carmargo
710 Hwy 83
Mercedes, TX 78570
(956) 565-6457

Cavazos Boot Factory
302 2nd St
Mercedes, TX 78570
(956) 565-0753

Champion Attitude Boots / Caboots
Joey Sanchez
2100 Wyoming
El Paso, TX 79903
(915) 544-1855
www.caboots.com
attitudeboots@hotmail.com

Chism Boots
403 E Tarrant
Llano, TX 78643-1723
(325) 247-4258

Cobbler Stone Boots
Mike Haggard
4311 Little Rd
Arlington, TX 76016
(817) 516-7551

Cottle’s Boots
Dennis Cottle
2803 Wolfin
Amarillo, TX 79109
(806) 352-8821
shoedoc@amaonline.com
Not taking new customers.

Cunningham’s Lone Star Boots
Gary Cunningham
4606 Mimosa Ln
Wichita Falls, TX 76310
940-781-4540

Custom Boots by Morado
James Morado
402 Frisco St
Houston, TX 77022-5435
(713) 694-7571
http://www.moradoboots.com
james@moradoboots.com

Dalhart Custom Boot
Jesse Dawkins
318 Denrock Ave
Dalhart, TX 79022-2626
(806) 249-8138
jadawkin@xit.net

Daly Boots
Glenderson Daly
7358 Reindeer Trail
San Antonio, TX 78238
(210) 682-6668
http://www.dalyboots.com
NOTE: Fitting by appointment only.

Davis Custom Boots
1209 E 11th St
Quanah, TX 79252
(940) 839-6537

Dew’s Custom Handmade Boots
D.E. Westover
1819 Pease
Vernon, TX 76384
(940) 552-9288
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vernon-TX/Dews-Custom-Handmade-Boots/100586489988342
dewsboots06@yahoo.com

Don Atkinson Custom Boots
Don Atkinson
229 C Old Ingram Loop
Ingram, TX 78028
(830) 367-5400
http://donatkinson.com
saddlemaker@omniglobal.net

Double P Custom Boots & Leather
Trevor Powe
1272 CR 195
Dublin, TX 76446
(254) 965-5530

Duck Menzies Bootmaker
Duck Menzies
1636 W FM 93
Temple, TX 76502
(254) 933-2485
dkmenzies@earthlink.net

El Toro Boot Shop
7604 Acapulco Ave
El Paso, TX 79915
(915) 591-3508

El Vaquero Boot Mfg.
Ignacio “Nacho” Martinez
722 E. Norman
Raymondville, TX 78580
(956) 689-3469

Erwin Saddlery
Roy Erwin
11154 FM 1190
Sanger, TX 76266
(940) 458-4171
saddlemakers@msn.com

Glenderson Daly (SAS Shoemakers)
San Antonio, TX
(210) 682-6668
http://www.dalyboots.com

Guevara’s Boots & Shoe Repair
Sixto Guevara
555 Uvalde Rd
Houston, TX 77015
(713) 451-4919
Guevarasboots2009@yahoo.com

H3 Boot Company
Harry Henze
4250 Five Points Rd #11
Corpus Christi, TX 78410
387-242-2100
http://www.h3boots.com
hhenze@h3boots.com

Henry Jennings Enterprise
Henry Jennings
311Grove Ave
Stinnett, TX 79083
(806) 878-3210

Higdon Boots
John Higdon
5605 W 41st
Amarillo, TX 79109-5213
(806) 584-5099

Holick’s
John Holick
College Station, TX 77840
(409) 846-6721
http://www.holicks.com
info@holicks.com

Houston Custom Boots
José Lozano
1135 Du Barry Lane
Houston, TX 77018
(832) 880-2529
http://www.houstoncustomboots.com
houstoncustomboots@yahoo.com

J. M. Karnes, Bootmaker
Mike Karnes
2109 W. Sherman Hwy.
Aubrey, TX 76227
(940) 390-4211
mikek@zkmail.com

J.B. Hill Boot Company
Dr. Jim Hill
335 N Clark Dr
El Paso, TX 79905
(915) 599-1551
http://www.jbhilltexas.com
customerservice@jbhilltexas.com

J.L. Mercer Boots
Lindsay Cranek
224 South Chadbourne
San Angelo, TX 76903
(325) 658-7634
http://www.mercerboots.com
info@jlmercerboots.com

Jackson’s Boots
Fred McBride
10733 Leopard
Corpus Christi, TX 78410
(361) 241-2628

Jacky Heflin Custom Boots
Jacky Heflin
3625 Thompson Rd.
Keller, TX 76248
(817) 992-3969

James Leddy Boot Company
Glen & Deb Meeks
1602 N Treadaway
Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 677-7811

James Owens Boots
James Owens
PO Box 776
Clarendon, TX 79226-0776
(806) 874-9812

Jason Carpenter Custom Boots
Jason Carpenter
200 E Dickinson
Ft. Stockton, TX 79735
(915) 336-9141

Jass Boot Shop (John)
John Jass
501 B South Key Ave
Lampasas, TX 76550
(512) 556-2729
rschu2@earthlink.net

Jass Boot Shop (Pablo)
Pablo Jass
803 E Ave G
Lampasas, TX 76550
(512) 525-4165

Jesse’s Custom Boots
Jesse Guevara
607-A College
South Houston, TX 77587
(713) 944-9019

Jim Anz Custom Boots
Jim Anz
HC 51 Box 56B
Olney, TX 76374
(940) 873-4541
jima@airtractor.com

Jimmy’s Boot Shop
Jimmy Pope
211 E Tyler St
Athens, TX 75751
(903) 675-5038

Kimmel Boots
Eddie Kimmel
2080 CR 304
Comanche, TX 76442
(325) 356-3197
http://www.kimmelbootcompany.com/
kimmels@cctc.net

KM Custom Handmade Boots
Kyle Mobley
Hwy 25 W
Archer City, TX 76351
(940) 636-4965
http://www.facebook.com/pages/KM-Custom-Handmade-Boots/238417240110
mobley@brazosnet.com

L.M. Easterling Custom Boot Company
Lloyd Easterling
107 N. Adams Street
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
(888) 811-8980
http://www.easterlingboot.com
customboots@easterlingboot.com

Leonard Green Custom Boots
Leonard Green
224 N Main
Weatherford, TX 76086
(817) 594-5445
lrgreen@airmall.net

Little’s Boots
Dave Little
110 Division Ave
San Antonio, TX 78214
(210) 923-2221
http://www.DaveLittleBoots.com
smlboots@satx.rr.com

M.L. Leddy Boot & Saddlery
2200 Beauregard
San Angelo, TX 76901
(325) 942-7655
http://www.leddys.com/contact_san_angelo.asp
ClaraJane1@aol.com

M.L. Leddy’s
2455 N. Main St.
Ft. Worth, TX 76106
(817) 624-3149
http://www.leddys.com
info@leddys.com

Maida’s Black Jack Boot Company
Sal Maida
3740 Westheimer St
Houston, TX 77027-5222
(713) 961-4538
http://www.maidas.com
smaida@sbcglobal.net

Mandujano Western Boots
Andres Mandujano
809 N. Texas Blvd.
Weslaco, TX 78596
(956) 973-0155

Mercedes Boot Company, Inc
Debby Farr
2440 White Settlement Rd
Ft. Worth, TX 76107
(817) 332-2668
http://www.mercedesboots.com
mercedes@mercedesboots.com

Meyer Custom Boots
Mark Meyer
1230 W 21st St
Houston, TX 77008-3324
(713) 864-3808
http://meyercustomproducts.com
teammeyer@aol.com

Mike Vaughn Handmade Boots
Mike Vaughn
2390 Orchard Road
Bowie, TX 76230
(940) 872-6935
mvaughnboots@aol.com

Mingo Boot Company
George Jauregui
6966 Alameda
El Paso, TX 79915
(915) 779-7681
mingoboots@sbcglobal.net

Montana Boots
114 S. Main St
Henrietta, TX 76365
(940) 538-5691
http://www.montanabootwarehouse.com

Olsen-Stelzer Boot Co.
114 South Main Street
Henrietta, TX 76365-3417
(940) 538-5691
http://www.olsenstelzer.com
rdsure@wf.net

Pasadena Custom Boots
Jesus Cisneros
2715 Shaver
Pasadena, TX 77506
(713) 943-1800
http://www.pasadenacustomboots.com
customboots@live.com

Ponder Boot Company
Georgia Linam
2358 North Main
Ft. Worth, TX 76106
(817) 626-3523
http://www.ponderboot.com

Ponder Boot Company
Georgia Linam
Ponder Bank Building
P.O. Box 277
Ponder, TX 76259
(940) 479-2611
http://www.ponderboot.com

Raul Torres
Lyford, TX
(956) 689-1478 (after 5 PM)

Redman’s Custom Boots
James Redman
2009 Sherwood Loop
Mertzon, TX 76941
(325) 370-3762
http://www.redmanscustomboots.com
james@redmanscustomboots.com

Ricca Boot Shop
Ryan Selman
103 W. Main St.
Tomball, TX 77375
(281) 225-6067
ryanriccaboots@yahoo.com

Richard Cook Custom Boots
Richard Cook
9150 FM 1101
Seguin, TX 78155
(830) 372-4470
http://www.RichardCookCustomBoots.com
richardcookcustomboots@yahoo.com

Rios of Mercedes
1750 E Expressway 83
Mercedes, TX 78570
(956) 565-2634
http://www.riosofmercedesboots.com
They do custom boots for those willing to make the trip to get measured.

RJ’s Boot Company
Rocky Carroll
3321 Ella Blvd.
Houston, TX 77018
(888) RJ-BOOTS
http://rjboots.com
rocky@dpi.net

ROC ‘N’ WT Boot Company
Bill Taylor
306 East Main St
Hamilton, TX 76531
(254) 386-8881

Rocketbuster
Nevena Christi
115 S Anthony
El Paso, TX 79901
(915) 541-1300
http://www.rocketbuster.com
rocketbuster@rocketbuster.com

Runnin’ Hare Boot Shop
Doug Collins
12505 Old Mill Creek Rd
Brenham, TX 77833-2076
(979) 289-9301
runninhare@msn.com

Silverado Custom Boot Co.
Dean Dawson
106 N. Lambert
Granbury, TX 76048
(817) 219-7209

Spikes Custom Boots
Mike Spikes
1202 E Spring
Henrietta, TX 76365
(940) 538-4864
texbootmaker@hotmail.com

Stallion Boot Company
Pedro Muñoz
100 North Cotton St
El Paso, TX 79901
(915) 532-6268
http://www.stallionboots.com
info@stallionboots.com

Stephanie Ferguson Custom Boots
Stephanie Ferguson
By appointment only
2112 Poe Prairie Rd
Millsap, TX 76066
(817) 341-9700
http://www.StephanieFerguson.com
judith.ferguson@worldnet.att.net
Certified pedorthist.

T.O. Stanley Boots
T.O. Stanley
8317 Parade Lane
El Paso, TX 79925
(915) 588-5419
http://www.tostanleyboots.com
toboots1@aol.com
Custom boot design is still an important part of their business.

Taylor’s Custom Boots
Raymond Taylor
1406 Early Blvd
Early, TX 76802
(325) 646-7752

Tejas Custom Boots
Mike Kuykendahl
208 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 524-9860
http://www.tejascustomboots.com
info@tejascustomboots.com

Tex Robin Boots
Tex Robin
2081 Sayles Blvd
Abilene, TX 79605
(325) 691-5700
http://www.TexRobinBoots.com
trboots@sbcglobal.net
NOTE: Mr Robin also teaches bootmaking.

Texas Custom Boots
Noel Escobar Jr.
1601 South First Street
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 442-0926
http://www.texascustomboots.com
info@texascustomboots.com

Texas Traditions Boots by Lee Miller
Lee Miller
2222 College Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 443-4447
TexasTraditions@mac.com
(Formerly known as, Texas Traditions)

Tom Smith Custom Boots
Tom Smith
PO Box 482
Aspermont, TX 79502
(940) 989-3385

Trail Town Custom Boots
P.O. Box 322
Saint Jo, TX 76265
(940) 995-2600
http://www.trailtowncustomleather.com
NOTE: …patterns made by C.T. Chappell.

Tres Outlaws
Scott Emmerich
421 S Cotton St
El Paso, TX 79901
(915) 544-2727
http://www.falconhead.com
info@falconhead.com

Vargas Boot Shop
Luis Vargas
201 S Dick Dowling St
San Benito, TX 78586
(956) 399-2216

Walkup Leather Shop
305 Ave H NW
Childress, TX 79201-3034
(940) 937-2788

Weinkauf Boots & Leatherworks
John Weinkauf
By appointment only
P.O. Box 291846
Kerrville, TX 78029
(830) 257- 4242

Western Leather Craft Boot Shop
Charles Ross
1950 Civic Circle
Amarillo, TX 79109-1812
(806) 355-0174

Wheeler Boot Company
Dave Wheeler
4115 Willowbend
Houston, TX 77025
(713) 665-0224
http://www.WheelerBoots.com
dave@wheelerboots.com

Wild Bill’s Western Store
Bill Dewbre
603 Munger St
West End Marketplace Ste 111
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 954-1050
http://www.wildbillswestern.com/customboots.asp
wildbill@wildbillswestern.com

Young’s Custom Boots
Terry Young
808 Backus
Paducah, TX 79248
(806) 492-3103
kayoty@caprock-spur.com

Ostrich Leather Cowboy Boots History

Full Quill Ostrich Leather Cowboy Boots grew to become fashionable and in substantial demand in the 1980’s. The distinctive leather has been in high demand and under restricted supply by the Mahler brothers of Dallas, Texas. The Mahlers have been to Ostrich leather as the Debeers are to diamonds.

There have been quite a few Texans demanding a flashy pair of Ostrich Cowboy Boots since the 1980′s and 1990′s.

Ostrich leather is unique in its look and feel; Virtually no other leather is the same. Ostrich leather is distinct by means of raised dimples towards the middle of the hide. The part with these protrusions is known as the crown. The area is in fact the back side of the ostrich hide and where the birds neck joins its body. The holes and bumps are quill follicles in which a feather used to reside. Both sides of the leather around the diamond shaped crown is very smooth. In fact, only one third of the entire skin features quill holes and bumps. Because the crown is in most demand and it comprises such a tiny segment of the hide, “full quill” ostrich goods are significantly more expensive compared to cowhide leather.

This exclusive distinction, and the fact that Ostrich is one of the most durable leathers, causes ostrich leather to be viewed as a luxury product.

Ostrich ranching proliferated in Texas to cash in on the high prices and now there are now several Ostrich leather tanneries in the US.

How to Measure the Correct Size Felt or Straw Cowboy Hat

Hats come in sizes with 1/8-inch increments.  The common sizes are between 6 3/4 to 7 3/8.  The problem is if you go to a dozen hat websites for a definition of sizes you will get different results.  One site tells us a size 71⁄2 is 23 3⁄4 inches. Another thinks it’s 23 5⁄8 inches. Others say it is 23 1⁄2 inches.

The only safe way to get the right size is to measure your head.

  •  If you have a hat and you like the way it fits, put it on.
  • Measure your head with a cloth measuring tape from the sewing department at your local department store.  Measure in the same place your favorite hat fits on your head.  You are measuring where the hat band fits.
  • If you don’t have a hat that fits well, measure around your head, two finger widths above your eyebrow and one finger width above your ear.
  • One manufacturer uses this chart for hat size, but we recommend you order by head measurement.
    • 21 – 21 ¼ …..         6 ¾
    • 21 3/8 – 21 5/8 ….. 6 7/8
    • 21 ¾ – 22  ….          7
    • 22 1/8 – 22 3/8 ….  7 1/8
    • 22 ½ – 22 ¾ …..      7 ¼
    • 22 7/8 – 23 1/8 ….  7 3/8
    • 23 ¼ – 23 ½ ….       7 ½
    • 23 5/8 – 23 7/8 ….  7 5/8
    • 24 – 24 ¼ ….          7 ¾
    • 24 3/8 – 24 5/8 ….  7 7/8
    • 24 ¾ – 25 ….           8

In addition to hat size, heads come in different shapes.  To accommodate different shapes cowboy hats usually come in 3 different fits.

  • Regular oval
  • Long oval
  • Round oval

Stetson makes mostly regular oval and round oval
Resistol makes long oval and round oval
Larry Mahan hats are made wider at the temple.

Brims come in various sizes 3 ½ inch, 4 inch, 5 inch and larger.

Crowns can be shaped in cattleman, 3 finger pinch, brick, etc.

Hat fit is your preference.  A tight fitting hat stays on better but might take some getting accustomed to.