Cavenders Ranch Blog

We’re Called Boot City for Good Reason

Sep 14, 2023

Western Lifestyle

We’re Called Boot City for Good Reason

We're Called Boot City for Good Reason

Ever since our establishment in 1965, Cavender’s Boot City has become synonymous with Western wear. Across the country, customers know they can outfit their entire family from head-to-toe at Cavender’s—from cowboy hats, button downs, boots, and jeans, to jewelry, handbags, and accessories. However, Cavender’s didn’t start as the expansive Western retailer we are today. This family-owned business had its humble beginnings in the quaint town of Pittsburg, Texas, with just three styles of Tony Lama boots.

Cavender's Pittsburg Office

It All Started with Boots

James Cavender, a man with an entrepreneurial spirit, boundless energy, and sharp wit, opened his first Western store in 1965 after dabbling with several other business ventures. Thanks to his welcoming personality, fair prices, and great customer service, his boot business boomed. Not only were Pittsburg locals supporting his new store, but businessmen from Longview, Texas, were driving to the small town for a new pair of cowboy boots. The initial three styles of cowboy boots sold so well that he bought more. James started buying inventory from locations that were going under—one time loading up a cattle trailer with 15,000 pairs of boots from a liquidating company in Kansas. He split the inventory with another Western retailer, but still needed somewhere to store the 7,500 pairs he still had. This is when the first Cavender’s location in Tyler, Texas, was created.

Tack 'n Togs Cover 2006 - James In Boot Aisle

“It was a little bitty store. While he was selling those boots, it might have been one of the highest sales per square foot of any store in the nation,” said son Mike Cavender during an interview. James continued to grow the business—opening more and more stores throughout East Texas.

First Texarkana Location 1995 Waco Storefront

“I went with little towns right next to me,” James explained. “Daingerfield and Gilmer. Somebody finally talked me into going to bigger towns, like Longview, and then I just kept going.” Eventually, Cavender’s locations started opening in other areas of Texas, from Corpus Christi to Houston to Austin. Growth went even further in 2006 as we expanded into four new states. By 2017, Cavender’s locations were in 11 total states. Fast forward to today, Cavender’s has been named the nation’s top retailer for many prestigious companies such as Lucchese, Justin, Tony Lama, Laredo, Nocona, Rocky Mountain and Wrangler. Cavender’s is now a nationally recognized company in the Western industry, selling boots, apparel, and more in 90+ stores across 15 states.

2023 Bristol Storefront 2016 Pueblo Storefront

The Heart and Soul

With the growth of the Cavender’s brand, one thing remains the same—the care and attention we put into our boot assortment. Joe Cavender, known to call himself “a Boot Buyer” carries that title as proudly as his title of President, and has consistently delivered an unwavering level of quality and timeless styling into our boot department. Trends, fads, and influences are a part of any business, western included, especially so in the last few years. If you pick up a stylish white cowboy boot or a classic Western boot in a Cavender’s boot aisle, you can count on both to be a quality boot. We pride ourselves in being able to outfit everyone into the right pair of boots and providing a selection that will suit every walk of life.

Joe, Clay, and Mike Cavender

The cowboy boot has always been an entry point into this western lifestyle we live. From ranchers, cowboys to concert goers and those who enjoy western dress daily, the cowboy boot symbolizes the start of your investment in the western lifestyle. A quality pair of authentic western boots is a gift, a celebration, it makes an outfit, it rewards and it gets the job done. Cavender’s has built our business around Texans, and now the nations’, appreciation for a great pair of well-fitting cowboy boots. It’s how and what we live in.

Cavender's Boot Section In Store

While Cavender’s has expanded beyond boots, boots are still the heart and soul of the business, as seen by the many boot rows and rich smell of leather upon entering any location. Your journey into western starts at Cavender’s Boot City.