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Why buying boots in Austin, Texas is so much fun

This story first appeared in Escape

It started with a love at first sight moment on Instagram. After stumbling across Heritage Boot’s account and seeing its vintage-inspired designs I told myself I would one day go to Austin, Texas, and walk out of that store with a pair of its boots on my feet.

Two years later I finally make it to Texas, but when I arrive in Austin I want to savour rather than rush the experience. After all, this is a city where everyone, from my Uber drivers to dinner companions, are passionate about the best place to buy boots, and I want to try some of their favourites too.

First stop, Allens Boots. As I walk through the door under the big red boot sign on South Congress Ave I’m hit with the smell of leather and the sight of thousands of boots stacked long and high. My head spins a little as I take in classic styles and special designs including one pair covered in pink breast cancer awareness ribbons.

Read: The best glamping in America including a top Texas spot

A family-run business since 1977, Allens Boots is the only place you can buy all of the Lucchese product lines in Austin, and a whole section of the store is dedicated to the boot brand that’s been a part of Texas since 1883.

Customers can request a special skin or have their ranch brand added for a personalised touch. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who smiles down from the store’s Wall of Fame, even ordered a pair of cobra skin boots with the cobra’s head rising from the toe.

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Heritage Boot shopping trip in Austin, Texas

Spoiler alert, by the end of this story in Escape I walk out of Heritage Boot with my new boots, scuffed them up on the footpath outside the store and then walked across the river back to my hotel. And I still love them so much.

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