Vintage Justin cowboy boots
If you follow me on Instagram you will have probably seen these already,
I shared a few photos when I originally bought them but I love them so much I’m going to share some more!
I fell in love with these boots when I was looking for a pair of western style boots.
I love western styling but wanted some that were a bit more subtle,
I also love the way they are so distressed. I wanted a low heel and no fancy stitching on the top of the toe (is that called the ‘welt’? I’m not sure) Anyway these turned up on Etsy and they looked amazing but they were in the US so as well as the shipping charges there would probably be customs and import duty to consider, plus there is always the risk that they won’t actually fit when they arrive.
They sat in my favourites list for ages and once Christmas came around and I was given some cash for presents I decided that since they hadn’t been snapped up that was a sign that they should be mine.
They arrived fairly quickly and they were as beautiful in reality as they looked on screen.
They were pretty distressed, which for me was part of the charm, but I was worried that they might be too fragile to wear.
As you can see from the photos the leather was pretty scuffed up and I discovered by accident that if I accidentally caught the leather with my fingernail the surface just came right off.
I have tried researching how old they are but cannot find very much information – they are labelled ‘N Porter Saddle & Harness Co. Phoenix,’ and ‘Justin Boots since 1879 Fort Worth Texas.’ Inside they are stamped H J Justin & Sons Inc Fort Worth.
I managed to find out that Justin Boots moved to Fort Worth in 1925, and N. Porter saddle & Harness Co. closed in the mid 60s so they must date somewhere between the two, well that’s got it down to a 40 year possibility!
I’ve contacted Justin to see if they can help and I’ll update this post if I find anything else out.
I would dearly love to find any more information on these so if anyone knows anyone who might know more please put us in touch.
UPDATE! Justin have been great and got straight back to me asking for photos of the boots so that they could try to help me date them.
Apparently they date from before their archive catalogues, but the archivist estimates them to be early to mid 40s and made by hand. She sent me some information about N Porter who apparently were world famous saddlemakers, but she could find no link between them and Justin boots.
I have since treated them with this stuff, Red Wing Shoes all natural leather conditioner.
I read so many articles on the internet about the best way to feed and protect leather and everyone seemed to suggest something different so in the end I opted for this, and after a couple of applications they really feel softer and more resilient.
I doubt I will take them out in really bad weather but they have been out in rain and my feet stayed dry so that’s a good sign.