The legendary Hyer Boot Company has been relaunched by Great-Great Grandson Zach Lawless. Shop a Limited Supply of New Hyer Boots – Now Available at Nigro’s Western Store!
The First Cowboy Boot
In 1875, an unnamed cowboy stopped by C.H. Hyer’s cobbler shop in Olathe, Kansas on his way to the Kansas City stockyards, then one of the nation’s major livestock hubs. Unhappy with the fit and the performance of the Civil War-style boots he wore, the cowboy asked Hyer to make a boot that would better serve him on the range – a boot with a narrow toe that would be easier to get in the stirrups, a raised heel to help keep his foot in the stirrup, and a scalloped top that would make the boots easier to pull on. Hyer custom-crafted the unique boots for the man and coined the name “cowboy boot” – thereby creating the first pair of cowboy boots ever made.
The Rise and Fall of the Family Boot Business
Fast forward 140+ years. Zach Lawless, a great-great-grandson of C.H. Hyer, discovered memorabilia from the Hyer Boot Company in his grandmother Nannette’s basement. His curiosity piqued, Zach dug through old articles and photos about Hyer Boot and quizzed his grandmother to learn more about the old boot company. Zach learned about the customer from the stockyards that visited the long-gone store requesting the first pair of custom “cowboy boots” – and how word spread quickly about the boots, from one cowboy to another, to the point where cowboys came in droves to the Hyer shop. Some came from the local stockyards, but others were coming from faraway states – all looking to own a pair of their own custom cowboy boots.
Zach learned how demand for the boots became so strong that Hyer had developed a mail-order business that allowed cowboys from across the nation to order boots from afar. Using a custom form, they would write down their measurements, select a style, and then mail the form back to Hyer, who then custom-crafted the specified boots and shipped them off to their new owners. Zach also learned the Hyer Boot Company company had thrived for nearly 100 more years before financial hardship forced the family to relinquish their business.
New Life for a Legendary Boot Company
As it turns out, Grandmother Nannette ignited more than just Zach’s historical curiosity about the family’s once-booming boot company. Zach was determined to breathe new life into the former Hyer Boot Company. Now, 50 years after the company closed its doors, the Hyer Boot Company is back – with an astonishing comeback story.
Zach decided if he was going to bring the company back to life, he was determined to do it right. And developing a boot with the same comfort level Hyer had been known for was essential. In his search for remnants of the original business, Lawless was tenacious – managing to collect over 3,000 original Hyer foot lasses. He compared those to modern foot lasses and, taking the best features of both, began designing and printing new 3-D lasses that combined both the traditional lass shapes with modern comfort enhancements.
One important detail that couldn’t be spared – the name “Hyer Boot Company.” The copyright for the company name had drifted out of family ownership at some point over the last several decades. But Zach couldn’t see any other way to bring the family business back to life without again securing the rights to the family-named business. Zach found the copyright owner and, after two years of wrangling, the family once again had ownership of the company name: The Hyer Boot Company.
The New Hyer Boot – Authentic, Reliable, and Comfortable
In relaunching the boot, Zach was meticulous in collecting every piece of information on manufacturing and fit he could secure from the business’s past. No detail would be too small in crafting the new generation of Hyer boots. For comfort, they would feature a channeled leather insole with a dual-density removable insert. Zach also spoke with dozens of working cowboys and ranchers to learn what they wanted and needed from their boots. Those many talks led him to have the spur rest reinforced – and to swap out traditional leather pull straps for stronger, more durable nylon pulls, pulls that become more comfortable with every wear.
Artisan Craftsmanship and Manufacturing
To learn the boot manufacturing business from the ground up, Zach spent 18 months in Leon, Mexico, learning the art of crafting an authentic cowboy boot from the best cowboy boot artisans in the world. And once he was ready to resurrect the business and start manufacturing, Zach returned to Mexico, where he interviewed and spent time with potential factory partners that could handcraft a new generation of Hyer boots entirely from top-end leathers.
In launching the initial styles for this new generation of Hyer cowboy boots, the company would offer leather choices that included premium cow and goat hides, as well as a few exotics, like ostrich. Each pair of the new Hyer boots are calfskin-lined and sport a treated leather outsole, which is proven to last 30% to 50% longer than other sole materials. And, as a tribute to the original Hyer Boot Company, the stitch patterns for each of the new boots come from original Hyer designs from the 1920s and earlier.
Own A Pair of Premium Cowboy Boots from the Brand that Created the Cowboy Boot
Hyer Boots are back, and the western world is taking notice. The twelve new boot designs were first displayed to the public at the American Rodeo by Teton Ridge and, each of the 2023 American Rodeo Champions were awarded a prestigious limited-edition pair of the new Hyer boots.