Willie Lusk Boots - Storytelling Video

April 9, 2021  |  stellarmediaco

Willie Lusk boots are legendary. Just ask collectors around the world!

The Museum of Texas Tech University asked Stellar Media to produce a virtual experience for their Lubbock Boot Makers exhibit. After we heard the project requirements, we got to work on a custom website complete with unique video elements. Our team shot the main website header footage of the Willie Lusk boots in studio. Then, we filmed the other b-roll in the exhibit itself.

We think the finished product turned out great, and believe it is a fitting tribute to a local, Lubbock legend.

Willie Lusk Boots - Transcript


In a 1951 radio interview, Lubbock bootmaker, Willie Lusk was asked about being proclaimed the best boot maker in the world. He replied: “Well, that’s what people say, but I don’t know, I just do the best I can, that’s all.”

His “best” were sought-after, high-quality boots for both the workingman and celebrities such as former President Ronald Reagan. Additionally, movie star Shirley Temple, TV star Betty White, country music legend Merle Haggard. Finally, governors of several Western states.

Lusk’s precision and artistry has inspired many bootmakers – including contemporary artisan Brad Glenn.

Lusk's Life

Lusk was born in 1914 and began working at a boot shop in San Angelo at 12 years old. He learned to craft and repair boots from Frank Urban, a Czech immigrant, who worked in the shop with Lusk. Lusk worked for seven years making a dollar a day. Then, he moved to Brown’s Saddle Shop of Lubbock in 1934. After that, Lusk would become foreman of Brown’s shop. Given the era, this was an uncommon designation for an African-American man to supervise a largely white workforce.

Later, Bennie Binion, a Dallas gambler who was one of Lusk’s customers, asked why he did not have his own shop. Lusk told the gambler he did not have the needed $2,500, so Binion gave him the money. Lusk’s shop opened on Avenue A in Lubbock. Within six months he became backed up a half year on orders.

Lusk's Work

Lusk’s boots were famous for careful fittings, but notably, his variation of the Number 10 Flame Stitch – now known as the Lusk Pattern. Evelyn Green did the stitching. She started working with Lusk at Brown’s shop and came with him when he opened his own place.

Every Lusk customer had his or her foot immortalized on a hand-drawn chart with numbers representing the ridges, elevations and depressions of their foot. It looked like a topographic map.

You could not get Lusk boots without submitting your feet to Lusk’s process.

“If a boot don’t fit, it ain’t worth buying,” Lusk would say. He told a reporter in 1960: “The wearing is the difference. You can tell my boot by the way it wears.”


He’d travel to Las Vegas during the now-extinct Hell-dorado festival or the horse sale in Miles City, Montana to chart feet and take orders.

In conclusion, Willie Lusk died on July 3, 1976 of cancer.
Lusk lies buried in Peaceful Gardens Memorial Park in the shadow of Lubbock Cooper High School. Lubbock named a city park for him and in 1986, a pair of Lusk’s boots were in a traveling exhibit for the Texas Sesquicentennial. Today, around the world, a Lusk-made boot inspires revered admiration by collectors and wearers of cowboy boots.
vimeo linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram