I’m here on the far left edge of Texas state in El Paso and I’ve just walked through the door of Rocketbuster Boots. The unassuming appearance of the building’s exterior does not prepare me for the sensory overload that hits just inside the threshold. I’m bombarded with an explosion of color, the earthy, sensual smell of leather and…**sniff** is that popcorn?
A quick scan around the store and I can see some pillows, belts and even dog collars for sale here, but the stars of the show are, without a doubt, the rows and rows of beautiful, colorful hand-made boots. I’m greeted by a friendly blonde gal, Rocketbuster’s owner Nevena Christi, who is busy measuring some lucky guy for his new custom boots. As I stroll around, looking at styles of boots, I can’t help but pick up each one to feel the leather and run my hands over the detailing. I’ve seen plenty of boots in my time, but these are special. Styles range from classic “cowboy boot” designs, to intricate lacy cut-out styles. There’s a line inspired by tattoo art. If you’re into a particular theme — wine, chili peppers, music, fly fishing, Dia de la Muerte — there’s a boot here for you.
Rocketbuster boots are handmade on the premises using the finest leathers and exotic skins like crocodile and python. They’ve cobbled hand-sewn custom boots for celebrities like Tom Cruise, Sharon Stone, Rascal Flatts, Brooks & Dunn and Oprah. Ranging from $800 to $5,000, these one-of-a-kind boots are all stitched and assembled by hand. Each pair of boots takes so much time to make that Rocketbuster only produces 500 per year.
As I continue walking the aisles, I spot a large popcorn maker. Ah, that explains the smell. And there’s one other thing you can’t miss as you walk through the store: the world’s largest pair of boots, as designated by a Guinness World Record certificate of authenticity, bestowed in 1999. According to info on Rocketbuster’s website, the boots are 5 feet tall and a size 328D.
While I didn’t order myself a new pair of boots, I didn’t leave empty handed either. I treated myself to a really nice belt, black with a python inlay, which I know I will enjoy for a long time to come.
There are so many things to do in the fun town of El Paso and I will spend some time on those in a later blog entry. You can read more about it here and order yourself some free brochures too. If you do make plans to come, I’d urge you to call Rocketbuster and set up an appointment for a tour with Nevena. It will be one of the highlights of your trip.