How a family business became San Antonio’s century-old custom boot maker

Unless you’ve gone looking for it, chances are you’ve missed Little’s Boots, a literal small business – in name and size – located in the south side of town. That might come as a bit of a surprise considering the custom boot maker has been serving San Antonio and all of Texas since 1915.

A family business from the start, the boutique is currently in its fourth generation among traders with Sharon Little and her brother Duane at the helm.

Customers can purchase a pair of boots off the shelf with a Texas size price tag.

Courtesy of Little’s Boots

The Little’s Boots legacy began with Lucien Little, Sharon’s great-grandfather. Lucien was a traveling shoe salesman who covered all of southwest Texas, but gave up his life on the road to open a shoe repair shop in San Antonio. Although originally located on North Flores Street, Lucien later moved the store further south to Division Avenue. For years the store operated out of a garage while Lucien lived in the house. After the businessman’s death in the 1950s, Sharon Little says the house was turned into a duplex where the workers of Little’s Boots lived.

Today, the duplex-turned-home serves as the Little’s Boots sales floor with ready-made selections starting at $1,000.

These boots are truly a work of art.

These boots are truly a work of art.

Courtesy of Little’s Boots

The store operates out of a house converted into a saleroom on the south side of town.

The store operates out of a house converted into a saleroom on the south side of town.

Courtesy of Little’s Boots

The physical transformation of Little’s Boots – from a home to a business – makes perfect sense given that small business has always been a Little family affair. Lucien taught his son, Ben (who would later do the same with his sons John and Dave, the latter Sharon’s father), how to make boots, specifically designed for shop customers. Ranchers and cowboys needed quality footwear for their work, so the Little family made boots that would withstand the lives of the outdoor-loving Texans who wore them—and look great while doing it.

Although her early customers were much more rugged, Sharon Little says the boutique also caters to those looking for fashionable shoes that reflect their personality (made easy with materials like crocodile, alligator, ostrich and kangaroo). No matter the inspiration for a purchase, she says Little’s Boots will always put the comfort of its customers first. The process of finding – or creating – the perfect fit started with John and Dave Little. The brothers have made it a point to measure a customer’s foot in a number of unique ways to ensure a fit that not only fits, but lasts.

The Little's Boots family is committed to ensuring customers have the most comfortable fit.

The Little’s Boots family is committed to ensuring customers have the most comfortable fit.

Courtesy of Little’s Boots

These days, the boots are brought to life by several workers (there are six in total), each of whom has their own specialty in the boot-making process. The designs have been a work in progress over time, with a variety of styles such as pointed toes, angled heels, decorative inlays and stitching available.

Sharon Little says custom-made boots, depending on exact selections, can cost up to $4,200.

The store’s reputation has led it to be a favorite among boot-wearing San Antonio-area residents, especially during Rodeo and Fiesta season. For the past few years, Little’s Boots have been a staple for Fiesta royalty like the Texas Cavaliers.

How much more Texas can you get than that?  !

How much more Texas can you get than that? !

Courtesy of Little’s Boots

Sharon Little says the company is seeing customers from out of state and even from outside the United States. Recently, she met a French couple, loyal customers of Little’s Boots visiting for the first time since the emergence of COVID-19. Sharon Little says the company has seen a drop in customers outside of Texas due to the pandemic, which means fewer travelers. She says many tourists visiting the town of Alamo like to treat themselves to a pair of authentic cowboy boots.

Even with the drop in production that comes with less foot traffic through the doors of Little’s Boots, Sharon Little says the small company will continue to boot-scooter as it has for generations.


“We will always continue with the same thing that we do, trying to offer a high quality product and customer service as a family business,” she says.



Comments are closed.