Reiner November 2013 : Page 188

FROM OUR CORPORATE PARTNERS ANDERSON BEAN BOOTS It’s the little things that matter most, and it is very apparent that the folks at Anderson Bean Boots realize that with everything they do. by Steve Kahla he National Reining Horse Association is blessed to have many wonderful corporate partners. Recently, Sr. Director of Sponsorships, Todd Barden, traveled to Mercedes, Texas, to visit with the folks at Rios of Mercedes and An-derson Bean Boot Company. This is the first of a two-part series about Todd’s Rio Grande Valley adventure. TODD DESCRIBED HIS TRIP FOR THE REINER T “The thing that stood out the most throughout the entire process was the reoccurring word, American,” says Todd Barden, NRHA Sr. Director of Sponsorships. Mercedes, Texas, is home to many wonderful things. When you arrive you are instantly re-minded of a deep history in agriculture, horses, cattle, farming and the way of life that makes all these things possible. This is also where you will find a group of people, many related, that are carrying on a tradition of bootmaking that has been around for over 160 years. My tour started out in the Anderson Bean Boot Company building. The smell of leather in-stantly tantalizes your senses as you enter through the doors. The sounds of sewing ma-chines and hammers fill the air. Here is where the fun begins. I took the time to see each step of the boot making process with the guidance of Ryan Vaughan, General Manager of Anderson NRHA Sr. Director of Sponsorships, Todd Barden, (L) learned about the craft of bootmaking from Anderson Bean General Manager, Ryan Vaughan (R), on a recent visit to Anderson Bean Boot Company in Mercedes, Texas.

Anderson Bean Boots

Steve Kahla

It's the little things that matter most, and it is very apparent that the folks at Anderson Bean Boots realize that with everything they do.

The National Reining Horse Association is blessed to have many wonderful corporate partners. Recently, Sr. Director of Sponsorships, Todd Barden, traveled to Mercedes, Texas, to visit with the folks at Rios of Mercedes and Anderson Bean Boot Company. This is the first of a two-part series about Todd's Rio Grande Valley adventure.

TODD DESCRIBED HIS TRIP FOR THE REINER

Mercedes, Texas, is home to many wonderful things. When you arrive you are instantly reminded of a deep history in agriculture, horses, cattle, farming and the way of life that makes all these things possible. This is also where you will find a group of people, many related, that are carrying on a tradition of bootmaking that has been around for over 160 years.

My tour started out in the Anderson Bean Boot Company building. The smell of leather instantly tantalizes your senses as you enter through the doors. The sounds of sewing machines and hammers fill the air. Here is where the fun begins. I took the time to see each step of the boot making process with the guidance of Ryan Vaughan, General Manager of Anderson Bean Boot Company. From the hide room to the finishing process I was able to see what makes an Anderson Bean boot different than "just another boot." The first step of the process is just as important as the last. After the hide is selected it is actually cut a certain way to allow for the fibers to stretch naturally. Once the pieces of the boot are cut they are sewn together with a liner that is not attached to the vamp, which ensures that during the lasting process the hides can stretch at different tensions to ensure a more precise fit. With the exception of the steel shank, rubber heel cap, thread used to stitch and the possible sole type, the entire boot is made from leather. Even the steel shank is incased in leather. A boot that is made this way will actually mold to the shape of your foot as you wear it. The channeled welt leather insole ensures that your foot sits down in the sole rather than on top of it. This is what makes a correctly fit Anderson Bean boot unique and with exceptional comfort. This also allows for the boot to have a lower profile.

As I progressed through "The Line" as it is referred to, I noticed the attention to detail that each employee put into their job. Each part of the boot is important as is the person responsible for it. When I came to pegging I was amazed at the skill and accuracy of the craftsmen performing this part of the traditional art of bootmaking. Anderson Bean still uses lemon wood pegs to secure the American spring steel shank that supports the arch of your foot in place. Thirty-two holes are punched in each sole and then pegs are driven into them, by hand. You may not see all of the pegs, but they are there. At the end of my tour I was even given the opportunity to try this myself. Rest assured, I will be with the NRHA for a long time as my bootmaking career is not flourishing that quickly.

Anderson Bean has always been seen as a trend-setting line within the western world. Bright colors, new toe styles, different hides and over 20 different types of sole combinations make them stand out. At Anderson Bean, they are not afraid to try new things, but still remain dedicated to the tradition and people that brought them there to start with.

The thing that stood out the most throughout the entire process was the reoccurring word, American. Anderson Bean uses hides from American tanneries, American steel shanks, American-made heel caps and even puts their American Made boots in American Made boxes. When you think about it, there is more to a true American Cowboy Boot than just a heel and a toe. Think about all of the other Americans that are able to work and provide for their families because they make a part of a pair of your boots. It's the little things that matter most, and it is very apparent that the folks at AB realize that with everything they do.

Read the full article at http://digitaleditions.sheridan.com/article/Anderson+Bean+Boots/1549437/181548/article.html.

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