Mauricio Cervantes, Lucchese fanatic

A Lucchese fanatic, Mauricio Cervantes has been a loyal customer for many years. Mauricio was born, raised, and currently living in sunny southern California where he is an Operations Manager for a pharmaceutical company. Mauricio is in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and is going on 22 years with the 56th Aerial Port Squadron in the Air Transportation career field. We caught up with Mauricio to hear how Lucchese boots became his go-to footwear.

What are your hobbies?
My hobbies include hanging out with my 13-year-old daughter, family, and friends. I am an avid runner and enjoy bicycling. My favorite sport is baseball, and I’m surely missing this season right now! I am also a car guy – my daughter teases me because she knows my hobbies largely include cars and cowboy boots! She has always had a pair of cowboys in her wardrobe, too!

How did you find your passion for cowboy boots?
There are several reasons. Growing up in the era, that played a large role. The Urban Cowboy craze was in full swing, along with JR/Dallas and Dukes of Hazzard. Not to mention, watching old movies with Pedro Infante and thinking how uniquely cool all those characters were.

This photo was taken on October 22, 1949. Actor and singer Pedro Infante visited Lucchese Boot Company in San Antonio, Texas. He purchased a pair of cowboy boots at a price of $100 along with a buckle, two pairs of gloves, and two wallets. Infante died on April 15, 1957 in Merida, Yucatan, in a plane crash during a flight in route to Mexico City.

I remember when I was 8 years old, I asked my mom for a pair of snake print boots from J.C. Penney. She refused saying I would never wear them! Five years later, my uncle gave me my first pair of actual snakeskin boots. It was all over after that! Shortly after, my parents gave in and bought me my first new pair from Tijuana. From then on, I’ve owned several pairs. Till this day, my mom jokes about if she would have bought me that first pair at J.C. Penney, I wouldn’t be into cowboy boots so much!

Lastly, I regard cowboy boots as art – the imagination, craftsmanship, and attention to detail that go into a pair is mind-blowing! A great pair of boots will set you aside from the next person. It’s that uniqueness in each pair that I appreciate.

How do cowboy boots play a big role in your life?
Cowboy boots are my daily choice of footwear. They’re what fits and goes well with me. They are what distinguishes me from the next person. Wearing them out in the city may be out of the ordinary, but I enjoy that. I wear boots in a sharp and confident manner, as it is paramount to do a nice pair of boots justice. I once had a director-level executive visit my center wearing a pair of his boots just because he knew I would be wearing mine. Suffice to say, my cognac Lucchese boots garnered a compliment or two from him.

Lucchese boots are just so comfortable. I work several hours on and off my feet with my Luccheses and go home and run 5+ miles no problem! That isn’t uncommon for me to do.

What’s the first thing you look for in a cowboy boot?
Color is my primary factor when looking at a pair. If I like the color, I’ll consider the toe, heel, and skin. I like to vary my collection as much as possible; however, I lean towards light-colored boots. I have a specific style when considering a pair of boots. I am partial to snip (Lucchese 5/5S toe) and a cowboy/walking heel.

The uniqueness factor also plays a big role for me. I like a pair that is a bit out of the ordinary. Once a boot has caught my eye, I look to the craftsmanship. With Lucchese, this isn’t a problem because after 20 years of wearing Lucchese boots, I know how they fit and are crafted.

Finally, I regard the comfort of the boot. I’ve been known to venture into other boot brands and immediately put those boots for sale as they did not fit correctly and getting through the day was a chore. I’d rather let those boots go instead of having them sit in my closet.

Tell us the story of when you bought your first pair of Lucchese boots.
I had recently returned from Air Force Basic Training and wanted to reward myself with the “Cadillac of Cowboy Boots” as some referred to Lucchese boots. It was the year 2000, and I went into The Corral Western Wear at the Mall of Orange and met Dave, a former Marine. I told him this was my first pair of Lucchese boots and didn’t quite know what to get. He measured me, showed me floor samples, and made recommendations. I started off simple, Seville goatskin in black with a 2 toe/4 heel. At that time, these boots ran in excess of $500, and my girlfriend thought I was crazy. I was making weekly payments while anxiously awaiting my pair of Lucchese boots to be made in El Paso. Weeks later, I got the call that my boots were ready for pick up, and we made our way over. Then, and even now, putting on that pair of boots, I appreciate how that “pop” felt when your foot seats into the bed of the boot. Shortly after that first pair, I returned to Dave and ordered another pair of goatskins. Little did I know that would be the beginning of my affair with Lucchese. Sadly, the shop closed after Dave retired.

What’s your favorite pair?
That’s a difficult question! A boot fan can’t have just one! I will always hold my first pair of black goatskins dear to me. But since you ask, my navy blue and green suede caimans, my slate grey and tan ostriches, my double-stitched welt tan hippos, and my red Christmas pair. Honorable mention goes to my tan and black hand-tooled pair. I could go on and on!

How often do you buy a new pair?
That depends. Recently, I have been buying more boots than I should or could wear out! To be fair, I’ve sold some boots, so I don’t feel so guilty. I have also been very busy with both of my jobs, and cowboy boots are the one thing I indulge in for myself. If I achieve a set goal or reach a milestone, I “reward” myself with a new pair when possible. Also, if there is a good sale or a rare pair that is a must have, I’ll make the purchase. Oh, and you can’t forget the cedar shoe trees to go with the new boots. Those are important!

How big is your collection?
I just got a pair of Lucchese boots delivered today, which makes pair No. 49. As far as my entire collection, it’s a number I have people keep guessing! Most people don’t come close to the right answer. But if you are reading this; as of today, I have 96 pairs in my closet.

What do you feel every day when you put on your Lucchese boots?
Like a million dollars! When I put on my Lucchese boots, I appreciate that “pop” I get when my foot seats into the boot. It’s like putting on a glove fitted to your foot. I also tell people my sense of style is slightly altered. I have no problem dressing up or down for work and finding the right pair of boots to go accordingly. I used to get teased (and still do) for wearing them especially because not many people wear boots in Southern California, but it doesn’t faze me. Lucchese boots have become a staple in my wardrobe; if others don’t like them, that’s their problem…not mine!

Would you like to say anything to those who don’t wear cowboy boots?
I’d say to give ‘em a try! Just because you don’t work on a ranch doesn’t mean you shouldn’t own a pair! There are individuals whose anatomy isn’t made for cowboy boots, and I get it. But for that, there are several different options like custom-made boots/sizing to explore. I gave a pair of Lucchese boots to a buddy of mine, and he told me whenever he wears them, he gets lots of attention and compliments. They are his only pair of Lucchese boots. Don’t knock it till you try it! Plus, you don’t have to bend down to tie any shoelaces!