Austin, by virtue of being the capital of Texas, is inextricably tied to Western culture, and as young professionals flock to the city they have embraced the many unique aspects of the Lone Star state.
One of the ways this has materialized is through a boom in Western wear that is present in Austin, but has also spread across the country as cultural figureheads like Beyoncé and Harry Styles experiment with Western looks.
With a seemingly endless amount of Western stores to choose from in Austin, it can feel overwhelming to figure out where to start your Western wear journey. That being said, here are eight of Austin’s most iconic Western wear locations.
1500 South Congress Ave.
Perhaps the trendiest brand on this list, Tecovas was founded in 2015 by Paul Hedrick, an entrepreneur and boot lover who sought to create a more inclusive western wear experience for all customers.
This included an emphasis on first-time boot buyers, and with a recent western wear resurgence boosting the industry, Tecovas claims it is the fastest-growing boot company in the world. All of Tecovas’ boots are handmade and manufactured in Leon, Mexico — an iconic boot-making city. The store is also a popular tourist spot as it is just one of many boot and Western wear shops located on South Congress.
Gomez Western Wear
6700 South Congress Ave.
Gomez Western Wear has been selling hand-made boots for over 20 years in Texas and in that time has been able to grow into 17 separate locations across the state.
Another brand steeped in boot-making tradition, Gomez Western wear has all of its boots made in Leon, Mexico. However, despite a dedication to boots, the brand also offers a variety of hats, belts, wallets, mochilas and purses.
Tiny’s Western Wear
8403 Research Blvd.
Opened in 1958, Tiny’s Western Wear has served as Austin’s Western wear hole in the wall specializing in Western attire other than boots — although they do sell them. If you are looking to buy a bolo tie, this might be the place you are looking for.
The original owner, ‘Tiny,’ sold the store to its current owners about 20 years ago, and since then it has become a staple in its current location where each of the exterior walls are adorned with red paint that truly gives the store an old Austin vibe.
Callahan’s General Store
501 South Highway 183.
Each of the businesses on this list brings something different to the table, however, in the case of Callahan’s it’s hard to argue that it isn’t the most unique addition. Truly making use of the “general store” distinction, Callahan’s offers anything from belt buckles to feed to live animals.
The Austin cornerstone was opened in 1978 by the late Earl and Lucy Callahan. Like any western wear store, you will find boots, belt buckles and hats at Callahan’s, but the store is perhaps best enjoyed as an immersive western retail experience as it offers a long list of products.
1522 South Congress Ave.
Another South Congress staple, Allens Boots truly makes an effort to create an experience for its customers. Because of this, among the piles of hats and countless rows of boots, customers can expect live music or other events to be going on while they shop.
The boot store opened its doors on South Congress in 1977, and has specialized in hats and hand made boots ever since. The store also has a second location in Round Rock if the hoopla of downtown Austin isn’t your speed.
La Herradura Western Wear
737 Montopolis Dr.
Another store that doesn’t just specialize in boots, La Herradura is a good place to check out if you are looking for practical western wear and work wear.
The store features Western staples like Ariat, Durango, Cinch and Hooey, while also offering more modern Western products like Western-influenced loafers.
1512 South Congress Ave.
If you aren’t looking to buy boots but still have a craving for western flair, Maufrais might be the perfect place. The only store on this list that doesn’t sell boots, Maufrais specializes in custom hat shaping while also being run as a coffee shop.
The store offers various products that capture the essence of the American west like incense, candles, rocks, glassware and a whole host of other vintage goods. This is also another store located on South Congress and could be a good addition to a western store binge should you be in the area.
Heritage Boot Co.
1714 South Congress Ave.
The last store on this list is also another located on South Congress as Heritage Boot Co. is an in-person-only custom boot company that prides itself on making the best quality boots available.
Acknowledged in the past by Forbes as “the best handmade cowboy boots you can buy right now,” Heritage Boot Co. works with each of its customers to ensure the best possible boot is made or available.
Beck Andrew Salgado covers trending topics in the Austin business ecosystem for the American-Statesman. To share additional tips or insights with Salgado, email Bsalgado@gannett.com.