Western & English Today


W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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14 Western & English Today INDUSTRY NEWS F LASHBACK TO 1965 IN EL PASO: JOHN WAYNE dominated the movie theatre screens and college basketball was about to get a meaningful makeover. That's when Filbert Guijarro f rst registered a cowboy boot brand and hit the road to sell his boots, handcrafted with enough pride to last for 50 years. The brand was Hondo Boots, a name that generations of ranchwear consumers would come to know. During the past f ve decades, some consumers have indeed made Hondo their boot brand of choice and will settle for nothing else. Why? Well, in the early years, Hondo Boots did evolve little by little, through an occasional adjustment to the boot last when it made sense, and by listening to the needs that retailers were talking about. "Some of our earliest customers gave me advice about how to improve our product, and I took that to heart," says Guijarro. And yet Hondo's boots have remained essentially intact and unchanged when it comes to construction and quality. Just as it was for the majority of American bootmakers in the '60s, virtually no synthetic materials or machine manufacturing went into the Hondo Boots of that era. Not surprising: Bootmaking and shoemaking were still bound to the traditional techniques passed down over centuries. Fast-forward 50 years and, surprisingly, Hondo Boots are still made the same, while some others have cut all kinds of corners. Hondo Boots remains a family business, led by the original founder and a crew that cannot be bothered to take shortcuts or give consumers any less for their money now than how it had been in the past. These boots are still lasted by hand, still made to include leather insoles, stacked leather heels, cowhide lining and high grade vamp leathers, and channeled welt construction. Not sure what all this means? It boils down to a comfortable, highly durable and massively repairable piece of footwear (just ask your local shoe repair guy). In Guijarro's words, "We still feel no pressure to change what we do; it is all we know how to do and we are banking on our high standards to keep us relevant for another 50 years." From Texas to Oklahoma, spanning Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and reaching out as far as Calgary and the Pacif c Northwest, Filbert Guijarro covered the territory. Stocked with a trunkful of Hondo's f rst boot styles, he boldly called on Western wear shops in every town. Thanks to this legacy, the brand grew, salesmen joined the ef ort, and testimony has come over the years in the form of letters and now emails into the Hondo of ces in El Paso. The messages usually start like this, "I have had a pair of Hondos for the past 15 years and they are still my favorite pair … " So from all of us at Western & English Today: Happy birthday, Hondo! Hondo Boots was established in 1965, founded and led by Filbert Guijarro, and always based in El Paso, the legendary boot capital of the world. Hondo Boots stocks the mainstream cowboy boot shops in shipments as small as tens of pairs or as large as hundreds of pairs. Hondo Boots are handcrafted with pride and are true to an all-leather, Goodyear welt construction. Hondo's are available in a rainbow of color options and various cowhide and exotic leathers. (915) 778-9481; hondoboots.com WESA MB 115 Happy Birthday, Hondo! El Paso-based company celebrates a half-century of quality bootmaking A 1960s advertisement demonstrating Hondo's authentic cowboy roots. Hondo Boots recognized its bicentennial in 1990 with this classic catalog cover.

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