Knowing how to find men's vintage cowboy boots involves the joy of shopping and the quest of the hunt. Vintage cowboy boots are highly collectable and hunting down the prized boots requires speed in getting to the inventory, as well as the ability to identify a quality boot in order to make a quick decision. Vintage boots can be found in any part of the country. Don't assume that you need to be in the southwest or an area where ranching is located.
You'll need a few items to go on a boot safari, including;
- Cowboy boot reference boots
- List of online research sites for vintage boots
- Directory of vintage stores
- Directory of flea markets
- Directory of vintage boot stores
- Digital camera and ability to print images
- Identify the target boots. Finding men's vintage cowboy boots is a process that involves identifying exactly what you hope to find and keeping treasures along the way. The first step is to figure out your favorite designs and makers. You may have an idea of the shape of the toe or a maker's era, but not the names of the craftspeople making the boots. At this point, simply make a list of what you know you like. If you have photos of boots you own or boots friends own, take some photos and start a research file.
- Start your research. Identify the formal names for boots and attach a style to an image. If you like Wellington boots, make a small diagram next to the name on your target list. Make the list neat so you can share it with other shoppers. Check books and internet sites for background material. Add the web addresses for choice sites to your notes. Do the same with books. There are a host of photo books out there that feature boots. You may not be able to buy them all, but an investment in one or two would be a good visual reference before you head out on your search.
- Start a visual reference file. Photocopy some images of your favorite styles and makers you can take with you when you head out on the hunt for vintage cowboy boots.
- Make up lists. Start a wish list to give to friends and family members. Add photos or drawings to remind them of what you're looking for. You may remember every stitch of a boot style, but don't expect your friends to do more than put the list in the car as reference in case they spot some boots at a tag sale.
- Hit the rough road. The rough road is the garage and tag sales. Make up a list of regular and seasonal sales in your area. Note the dates, location and times. Check for payments accepted. Head out to find the men's vintage cowboy boots on your list. Make sure to bring your notes and reference file. Don't bring the items to the sale sites, but keep the files handy in the car in case you need to compare an offering to confirm your hunches.
- Hit the easy markets. Once you've done the hard work, make up a list of local stores that carry vintage clothing. Head out to the stores once a week to search for boots. Network with owners to let them know you're looking for men's vintage boots. Don't be too specific or you may find the price skyrocketing once the store owner is hip to your habit.
- Post for treasures. Make a list of chat and boards that deal with vintage clothing. Let folks know you like old boots and post generally what you want. You may end up trading local clothing finds in exchange for vintage boots in another part of the country.
- Set up some search parameters for online auction sites. Request an email alert for anyone posting men's boots. Forget the "vintage" part, you'll find more treasures with simply "boots." Finding vintage men's cowboy boots means sorting through a number of boots before you find a real treasure.
June, Jennifer. "Cowboy Boots: The Art and Sole." Universe, 2007.