Footwear startup Tecovas is making cowboy boots cool again

Footwear startup Tecovas is making cowboy boots cool again

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  • Tecovas, the “Warby Parker of cowboy boots” offers beautiful products at affordable price points.
  • The Dean zipper ankle boot combines classic Western flair with rock-and-roll panache. 
  • The company’s boots are handmade in León, the heart of Mexico’s renowned boot-making industry.

Paul Hedrick, the founder, and CEO of Tecovas, the first direct-to-consumer Western boot brand, has a simple goal. “We want to be the best Western footwear company of all time,” he told Insider in a recent interview

“I wanted to design boots that would appeal to the lifelong boot wearer as well as the boot newcomer,” he said. Hedrick believed he could achieve this by hitting “the sweet spot of making good looking, generally universally appealing, more comfortable, and importantly better-priced boots.”

Paul Hedrick, founder, and CEO of Tecovas

Paul Hedrick in the Austin Tecovas retail store.

Tecovas


It appears Tecovas has achieved this goal, selling its handcrafted boots far below the price point of the high-end offerings of brands like Lucchese and Tony Lama, without sacrificing quality. The boots are all made in León, the heart of Mexico’s renowned leather footwear industry, where artisans go through 200 steps to create Tecovas’ boots. 

They just launched their first collaboration, a collection of goods from Made In, a cookware brand from Austin. The collection includes a special colorway of Tecovas’ latest release, the Knox, a wedge roper that features a one-inch Vibram outsole, a treated bovine leather upper, and a dual footbed. 

I test out the brand’s The Dean, a zipper ankle cowboy-style boot, that combines Western flair with rock-and-roll panache. Besides its sleek looks, the boot’s versatility appealed to me. 

First impressions

Author wearing black Tecovas Dean boots



Kara Thurmond/Insider


Like all of Tecovas’s boots, the Deans are handmade in Mexico using traditional methods and materials. This includes hand-laid cording—the design motif found on many cowboy boots—and Goodyear welting, which allows for easy resoling.

The Dean boots are made from a buttery soft full-grain calfskin. They’re also lined in leather and feature a zipper guard on the inside to prevent the metal from chafing your ankles. The Deans have slim-cut shafts, which means you don’t need boot-cut jeans to fit your pant legs over them. They have stacked leather 1 1/4 -inch heels with a rubber cap for traction.

The Dean comes in two colors: Bourbon, a rich brown; or Midnight, a stunning black. They fit true to size and break in easily. By my second wear, they were comfortable enough for a four-mile stroll through the city.  

When unboxed, the Dean boots had that rich, distinctive leather smell. There was no weird chemical odor or the scent of glue that you sometimes find with cheaply made boots. The zippers are solid and zip up smoothly. The workmanship is impressive. 

The Dean Zipper boots are very versatile style-wise. They look as sharp with jeans, a tee, and a leather jacket, as they do with a suit. 

Cons to consider

Side view of black Tecovas Dean boot



Tecovas


There are no cons with these boots, at least none I can find after several weeks of hard use. 

The bottom line

Author wearing Tecovas Dean boots with orange pants



Kara Thurmond/Insider


Tecovas offers a wide range of sizes in both men’s and women’s styles, including EE wide width; a nice variety of leathers, from caiman to sand shark; and free shipping, returns, and exchanges. They can go toe-to-toe with the high-end boots from old-guard brands like Lucchese, Tony Lama, and Justin, and cost less. The Dean boots retail for $255 and are worth the price, considering the quality of the materials and workmanship.

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