The 86th legislative session just ended in Austin. When many lawmakers and citizens got ready to debate new laws at the Capitol, many of them slid on a pair of boots – each with a story as unique and diverse as the Texans who wore them.
Dori Livingston says that she wears her boots with everything, but mostly just pants. She got them after spending time as a Highway Patrol officer.
“These are my trooper boots… I just kept them,” Livingston says. “I see people wearing them with shorts, or dresses, I just wear mine with pants.”
Mike McMurty from Troy, Texas, says he wears boots because they’re practical. The boots he wore to the Capitol are cut on the sole, so when he’s out riding a horse, the shoes catch on the stirrups and won’t slip out.
“I’ve been wearing boots since I could walk,” McMurty says. “I’ve got one pair of boots that’s almost 35 years old.”
Michael Pechal from Temple says that the bullhide boots he wears on a daily basis are meant for work. And the ones he wore to the Capitol have a camouflage print with an American flag on the side. He also says a good pair of boots is important, and if you take care of them well, you could be buried in them.
“The best story about boots I got is about three years ago I was hooking up a cattle trailer, dog came from underneath a pickup and bit me,” Pechal says. “If I hadn’t been wearing boots, I would have been hurt.”
Molly Percy from New Braunfels is a relatively new Texan. After spending some time here, she decided to buy a pair of boots in San Marcos since she figured out how important they were.
“I purchased them pretty soon after I got here because I realized how necessary they are… I felt like a real true Texan when I got my first pair of real cowboy boots,” she says.
State Rep. Philip Cortez wore simple black boots with the number of his district sewn into the side. The stitching identifies him as being from District 117.
“My dad wore boots all the time, still does, and I saw him wearing them so I started wearing them too,” Cortez says. “It’s part of Texas, it’s part of our culture.”
Rep. Sheryl Cole has specially-designed boots, from District 46, the district she represents. She loves her boots because of the surge of confidence she feels while wearing them.
“They make you feel young, like you can do almost anything, and if anything at least you have a seat at the table,” Cole says.
McMurty and Pechal wear boots for a reason that a lot of Texans do – they say it’s the best way to travel on foot in the Lone Star State. There is also another thing that the men can agree on: they’ve never met anyone with just one pair of boots.
“You know you can never have too many boots,” McMurty says. “That’s one thing, you can never have too many boots, guns or Bibles.”
Written by Marina Vences.