Thursday, March 17, 2016

In Houston, meet the boot maker to the stars: Rocky Carroll has a passion for cowboy boots

Rocky Carroll has flown in Air Force One and rubbed shoulders with presidents and Hollywood stars. Mostly he is interested in their feet, however. Carroll’s handmade cowboy boots are as good as they get, which explains why the 78-year-old’s business card reads “The President’s Boot Maker” and “Boot Maker to the Stars.” His list of presidential customers covers more than four decades with Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all customers. Russian presidents Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Gorbachev also wore his boots. Not to mention a few Chinese leaders. “I don’t even advertise,” Carroll said. He has made cowboy boots for the Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, Oprah Winfrey, Willie Nelson, George Strait, Clint Black, Rogers Clemens, Kenny Chesney and Dolly Parton, to name a few. Liz Taylor’s cowboy boots, with nine carats of diamonds, cost US$40,000. Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, has a pair — complete with the NASA logo and Maple Leaf. “He was still shaking being five days out of space,” Carroll recalled. One of his biggest projects involved making boots for members of the NFL Denver Broncos. “They wore size 15 to 19s,” he said...more

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