The Tony Lama Company has a long and rich history of dedicated service and highly skilled shoe crafting dating back to the early 1900’s. After apprenticeship to a cobbler and duty as a shoe repairman in the Sixth United States Infantry, Tony Lama Sr. eventually opened up his own shop. Located on East Overland Street in El Paso, Texas, the original shop repaired shoes and produced twenty pairs of boots its first year. Continuing to do business with the military, Tony Lama made an impressive name for himself and his boots, his popularity growing exponentially. His boot making expertise and unmatched pride in originality catapulted his small shop into a corporation by 1946.
Tony Lama had six children with his wife Ester Hernandez, each of which he taught the same style of boot crafting, perpetuating the hand-made quality of the family run business. His children became so involved in the company and so skilled as shoemakers that his son Bert hand crafted and presented a pair of boots to Harry S. Truman, president at the time.
The company began marketing internationally by 1950, widely known for its innovative approach on boots. Creating lowered heels suitable for multiple purposes and redesigning the stitching and adding exotic leathers including shark, elephant and eel, Tony Lama saw huge booms in income. By 1961, the two man repair shop had grown to a factory producing 750 pairs a day. By 1990, the company was sold to Justin Industries and still carries on the prideful legacy of Tony Lama, Sr. who died in 1974. His son Tony Lama, Jr. followed his father in ownership of the company, also becoming chairman of the board. To this day many cowboys and city-folk alike swear by these boots, along with the other fashionable western wear products made by The Tony Lama Company including belts, buckles, and wallets.