Another great annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo went into the record books. But wearing leather boots, pearl snap shirts, and maybe even Stetson hats often draws compliments year-round in the Hobby Area District.

When walking into the Cavender’s Boot City facing the Gulf Freeway at Redford Avenue, you’ll notice the store is bright with the browns and tans of the Old West. The air carries the distinct, rich smell of leather. You’ll find a wide choice of goods, making it hard to know which part of the store should be your starting place for acquiring western apparel.

Store manager Tommy Morgan says the folks in Houston know fine western wear when they see it. That is why the store, one of the dozens in the massive western wear retail chain, wanted to supply a vast range of cowboy gear to South Houston, Pasadena, Allendale, Meadowbrook, and the greater Hobby area.

“We’re across from the Edgebrook Shopping Center, with several delicious dining options around. You can fuel up for a day of shopping our selection of cowboy boots and western wear,” Morgan said with a smile. “We’ll help you find what you need.”

The store is only about a 10-minute drive from Hobby Airport. It’s often the first stop when visitors get off a plane for the first time in Houston, wanting to purchase the requisite boots and cowboy hats.

In 2019, the Cavender family was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. Cavender’s has been named the nation’s top retailer for prestigious brands like Lucchese, Justin, Tony Lama, Laredo, Nocona, Rocky Mountain, and Wrangler. Cavender’s has 79 stores located throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, and Alabama.

James and Pat Cavender founded the company in 1965 in Pittsburg, a small town in northeast Texas. The Cavenders were entrepreneurs who tried several ventures before starting a traveling clothing business to share their love of the Western lifestyle with others. James continuously sought the best design, style, and authentic western craftsmanship for his customers. With a sharp wit and boundless energy, he found the right combination for his skills, personality, and experience serving customers. He believed in selling only quality products and promised them at a fair price.

The Cavenders started with three styles of Tony Lama boots. They sold well, so James bought more. In 1977, he was able to open the first brick-and-mortar store in Tyler, Texas. It was just the beginning for the company that would go on to sell millions of pairs of boots and become the fastest-growing western wear chain in America.

The Cavenders seemed to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time, whether it was buying a cattle trailer full of boots from a manufacturer going out of business in the 1970s, riding the Urban Cowboy craze in the 1980s, or partnering with Texas musical icon George Strait.

Cavender’s remains a family business, run by James and Pat’s sons, Joe, Mike, and Clay, who oversee the growth, development, and day-to-day operations.

Displayed proudly at the Cavender’s in the Hobby Area District are pictures of James, Pat, Joe, Mike, Clay, their families, and grainy black and whites of their grandparents on old ranches in Albany, Texas, and Idabel, Oklahoma.

Drop by. Whether it’s time to get dressed up to go out or dressed down to go to work, Cavender’s has you covered.

Cavender’s Boot City
10102 Gulf Fwy, Houston, TX 77034
Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

— by Brian Rogers