Tony Lama

Tony Lama

About Tony Lama Boots

Born to Italian immigrant parents in 1887, Tony Lama learned his first lessons in the boot industry at the early age of 11. An uncle apprenticed the boy to a shoemaker in Syracuse, New York where he learned the leather and boot trade.

After the turn of the century, Tony Lama joined the U.S. Cavalry as a cobbler for the soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. Once he completed his tour of service, he decided to stay in the nearby border town of El Paso. Realizing the importance of a good boot fit from his stint in the Cavalry, Tony Lama set out to make the best fitting, most comfortable boot possible.

Initially, repairs were the biggest segment of his business but word quickly spread through out the Southwest about Tony Lama's Western boots. Soon, cowboys and ranchers were joining the cavalrymen at his doorstep, carrying hides and requesting custom-made boots. That first year, Tony Lama and one helper made 20 pairs of boots.

When the army phased out the horse soldiers, Tony Lama concentrated solely on making quality Western boots. In the 1930s, Western wear stores began asking for his boots. To meet the growing demands, Tony Lama developed methods to produce greater quantities without sacrificing the key steps in hand crafting. In 1961, nearly 50 years after the first store opened, the company moved into larger quarters and began making 750 pairs of boots a day.

Tony Lama passed away in 1974, but his sons and daughters continued his tradition of quality and hand craftsmanship, making this a true American success story. In 1990, Tony Lama became part of the Justin Boot family. Once competitors, these companies have set the standard for quality and craftsmanship worldwide.

The legacy created by the humble cobbler, a hard working entrepreneur with a fierce pride in his craft, lives on. The same commitment to quality is reflected in the corporation that bears Tony Lama's name today.

The World's Most Recognized Westernboot Brand Since 1911

Since Tony Lama was the 11 year old son of Italian immigrants, he began learning about the boot industry. He studied under his uncle as a boy in Syracuse, New York where he learned the boot trade. Those were the humble beginnings of a legendary bootmaking career.

Tony Lama was a cobbler for soldiers stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. After his term, he moved to the nearby town of El Paso and setup his first boot shop. He produced the best fitting, most comfortable boots around. This is when Tony Lama Boots was born. in the 1930's Tony Lama began distributing boots in Western Wear stores and by 1961, Tony Lama Boots was producing over 750 boots a day. When Tony Lama passed away in 1974, his family continued the tradition of quality and hand craftsmanship, making Tony Lama Boots a true American success story. In 1990, the company became part of the Justin Boot family and the tandem has set the standard for quality and craftsmanship worldwide.

If you have never tried on Tony Lama Boots, you are in for a treat. Each pair celebrates the humble and hardworking beginnings of the old west. With over 100 steps to producing every pair of boots, today's Tony Lama's incorporate the same craftsmanship combined with modern comfort and durability technologies. This construction and quality makes Tony Lama the most recognized western boots in the world. Not to mention the selection of men's boots and women's boots is outstanding. Whether it's the TLX series, their Handcrafted series or their classic Western boots, Tony Lama will not disappoint.

Getting The Right Fit

If you are a first time buyer there are three things you need to consider when purchasing western boots; instep, ball, and heel. The boot should fit securely to the foot, not too loose or too tight, but snug.

INSTEP – Unlike shoes with laces, a boot has only the instep to hold it securely to the foot. Therefore, proper fit in the instep is important. Check the fit by running your thumb and forefinger down the front of the instep. If you can pinch up leather at the highest point of the instep the boot has not been fitted correctly. The fit should be snug, not tight or loose. The snugness is governed by the instep fit and the width of the throat or shaft. If the instep is too loose, the boot will slip excessively in the heel. To fix this you need a more narrow width to shorten the circumference of the throat. This will reduce slippage without cutting down on the boot, or you may need to go to a smaller size.

BALL - When you walk or run you bend your foot at its widest part. This is called the ball. In a quality boot, you will find a solid shank between the insole and the outsole that extends from the heel to the point where the ball of the boot begins. It is important that the ball sits on the widest part of the boot. If the boot is too short, the ball of the foot will sit too far forward and force the toes into the toe box. Plenty of toe space is necessary because toes tend to settle forward after the boot is worn for a while.

HEEL - A new pair of boots will slip slightly in the heel because there is nothing to prevent the heel of the foot from riding up. When the boot is new, the sole is stiff. As you wear the boot the sole is "flexed". With time most of the slippage will disappear.


Ultimately, the decision of a proper fitting boot rests with the wearer.

Boot Construction

Boot Construction Features

Tony Lama® is unsurpassed in quality and workmanship. Every handcrafted pair must meet strict requirements before the Tony Lama® name goes on. This diagram identifies the different construction features that have earned Tony Lama® a reputation for excellence.


Cowboy Crepe

Our exclusive dual-density design means longer wear and more comfort in the saddle.

Cushion Comfort Package

We give our patented comfort system the added benefit of a removable insert.

Lama Comfort Technology

Our patented system combines flexibility, stability and cushioning for major comfort.

TLX® Western Work™

Extreme performance meets western styling to give the tradition of the working cowboy a modern update.

Handcrafted in the USA

A wide selection of styles handcrafted right here in the USA.

Tiny Lama Layer

Here's one less growing pain for parents: Our removable orthotic that extends the life of your kids' boots.

TLX® Next Generation Technology

Stirrup-friendly and super-comfortable, our NGT™ series keeps you riding high.

Vibram® Outsole

Vibram® is the world leader in high performance rubber soles, targeted to the outdoor, work, recreation, fashion, repair and orthopedic markets.


Rain, mud, and muck have literally got nothing on you with our waterproof technology.

Steel Toe

The steel standard in work safety.

Composition Toe

35% lighter than steel toe. Non Conducting. Meets or exceeds ASTM - F2413-11 standards for impact and compression.