Chisos is a boot company on a mission to spread the gospel of Texas by creating damn comfortable cowboy boots and advocating for Texas land conservation.
Named after the enchanting mountains in Big Bend National Park, Chisos aspires to embody the principles of the Texas spirit: friendship to others, the pride of craftsmanship, and stewardship of the land. A portion of all revenue supports Texas land conservation. Chisos eschews the use of juvenile leathers. And each boot is an homage to the natural beauty of Texas.
The simple act of building cowboy boots that last decades is a powerful tool to enable sustainable living.
Project Description & History
To celebrate their one year anniversary, owner Will Roman designed something truly special and uniquely Texan: the first batch-produced cowboy boot handcrafted from individually-selected, wild-caught Texas alligators.
“This has been a huge adventure,” says Roman. “We tracked down hunters, wholesalers, and tanneries, and worked within the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) regulations to ensure this project contributed to the conservation of habitat.”
The Chisos leadership team trekked to East Texas to witness the gator harvesting procedure directly. Commercial alligator harvesting is an essential part of the restoration and protection of alligator habitat and nesting sites in Texas. Local processors and guides emphasize respect for the alligator. The minimization of harm throughout each step and the region is keenly aware of the history of over-harvesting. Tagging programs administered by the TPWD in conjunction with the US Fish & Wildlife Department helped elevate the alligator population off the endangered species list—and continue to strengthen their numbers today.
Cowboy boots made from wild-caught alligators support oft-overlooked Texas small businesses and landowners, contribute to the economic cycle that protects habitat, and celebrate a unique cultural tradition.
In Texas, the American alligator ranges from the Sabine River of East Texas to the Gulf of Mexico across the coastal marshes to the Rio Grande and west to around Interstate 35. This range includes about 120 counties with the highest concentrations occurring along the Gulf Coastal Plains. The American alligator is the only crocodilian native to Texas.
“The spirit of partnership between locals and state authorities is refreshing,” says Chisos General Manager Katie Doering. “The results speak for themselves. Chisos is excited to play a small part in ensuring that these incredible animals continue to thrive.”
people impacted by the Wild-Caught Boots, including hide suppliers, hunting outfits, boot makers, and customers.
Invested in this project.
Roughly half a million American Alligators call Texas home. The Chisos wild-caught gator project helps encourage the rehabilitation and protection of Texas alligator habitat through the CITES program and local economic initiates. This program directly contributes funds to Texas land conservation organizations.