These days, you can pick up a pair of high quality cowboy boots for around £250-£350, and it would be money well spent, but what’s the maximum you’d spend? Personally, I would spend a maximum of £500 (if I was rich) but how close does that come to the record?
In April 2006, an article in Forbes Magazine stated that the most expensive cowboy boots ever sold were bought for $75,000 (£450,000), which, if you ask me, is a ridiculous amount to spend on footwear, I’d be afraid to wear them!
However, this was 2006… since then the record has been broken by one of the world’s masters of leather carving and designing and a world class silver smith. With 800 hours put into the design, these record breaking boots sold for a magnificent $106,000 (£630,000)! The boots were made to be worn, however they would be more than worthy of being on display at the finest of art museums.
There’s no store on the high street that would have anything even close to this, so where would you even go to buy boots this expensive? In Stevensville, Montana, the artist behind the most expensive cowboy boots, Howard H. Knight, has a studio where he creates one masterpiece after another.
He made these boots in 2010, which were named “Phantom Boots”, with over $100,000 worth of footwear; the name for the boots took a while to decide. They were named Phantom Boots because of the floral carvings, which appear to be floating all over & around the boots. Each leather flower is layered with six coats, each with a different shade of gray to give extra depth and definition. The back of the flowers are built up to rise off the boot and each flower is studded with an 18kt white gold flower in the center. The background leather is made from saltwater crocodile, which was obtained from Hermes factory in Paris and the interior of these boots are lined with black kangaroo. Now you start to get an idea of why these boots have such a huge price tag!
This unusual style of cowboy boots is not that unusual to Howard Knight, creating extremely high quality boots is what he strives for. Knight is a natural and passionate artist from a very young age, he loves to design ‘over the top’ cowboy boots and says the designs just “seem to come out of my hands”. I’m sure I am not the only one wishing I had a talent like this!
Over the years, Knight’s work has been featured in many fashion & design magazines, and in two books: Cowboy Boots, The Art & Sole by Jennifer June and Cowboy Boots by Tyler Beard.