You know you need new boots. That much is clear. The rest is up for grabs. You're not quite sure how to find a good Austin boot store.
Well, not all boot stores in this area are created equal and neither are the products they carry.
Some offer a shopping experience you will never forget and boots that last for years. Others, offer boots that will wear out quickly and an experience that's gone later that day.
To make sure you're getting the very most from your boot-shopping-dollar, here is what you should look for in an Austin boot store. Settle for nothing less.
Their Level of Service
When you go shopping for something like boots, you probably don't want to just go to the store and buy something. You want to be sold something by an expert
But that's not to say you want pushy in-your-face tactics. You want somebody who can legitimately help you find something that you're going to love. They're not just going to tell you that you look amazing in everything.
This is the level of service that nearly everybody promises, but so very few companies can deliver on. But it's this level of service that keeps us coming back and turns customers into fans.
And it's this level of service that will make you recommend this place to other people. You know they say, a happy customer will tell 2-3 people about their experience. But an unhappy customer will tell 8-10.
Their Online Reputation
This is a pretty popular step you were probably going to do anyway. 81% of all shoppers will Google a business before they actually show up in person.
What do the online reviews say? Read the good ones and bad ones. Get a good sampling of both.
Every business and employee has their good days and bad days, but if you're seeing a steady stream of reviews complaining about rude or inattentive service, that's not a good sign.
Similar to what we said above, a dissatisfied customer is 52% more likely to write a bad review online.
If they do have bad reviews online, what do they do? Do they respond to them? If they respond, that means they stand behind their product and service and want to make it right. If they don't, odds are they care a whole lot less.
Are They a Chain or a Specialty Shop?
We know we're gonna sound biased, but we don't think you should be able to buy boots and crocs in the same store.
Going to a real authentic Austin boot store is just going to give you a better experience than going to one of the big chains, or a department store that sells a little bit of everything.
In a specialist boot store, we talk about boots all day every day, and we can answer any and every question. At a big store, they might be able to tell you if they have a different size in the back. That's about it.
If cost is a factor for you, consider the long-term value of handmade boots from a real Austin boot store.
They are going to be much higher quality, and last you a lot longer than a mass produced pair of boots. And that's going to save you a lot of money in the long run.
You can always feel good about shopping locally too. The number of people doing that for their food is on the rise and more people need to do it for their footwear and clothing.
Did you know that a study found that local stores will return a total of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy? That's compared to the meager 14 percent that big name stores or chains will add to your local economy.
Do They Do Handmade Boots?
I can remember seeing Jonny Depp on Inside the Actors Studio years ago. At the end of the interview during Q and A, someone from the audience asked a question and added, "Also, I've got to know where you got those boots."
Depp just laughed and looked down at his boots. "Ah, my oldest friends," he said in a very Jonny Depp way.
This is the type of relationship you can have with one really amazing pair of handmade boots. It's not something you can get in a mass-produced pair of boots from a chain.
Imagine the disappointment if Depp had responded, "Payless Shoes. Got them BOGO." It would never happen.
Personality and emotional attachment notwithstanding, handmade boots are just far superior.
They are made with real leather. Actual leather instead of a synthetic material that is engineered to fool you into thinking it's high-quality.
And, they are made from more leather than a pair of mass-produced boots. Factory made boots are designed to get on the shelf and on your feet with the minimum amount of material to be profitable.
If you're back in a couple years, or the next fall for a new pair of boots, that's good for them.
But a handmade pair gives you an artisan putting their reputation into every stitch. They want you to love these boots for years and years. They're focussed on quality and comfort, not profit margins.
Do They Have a Story?
Every good Austin boot store should have a story as to why they opened.
"There was a vacant lot here. A corporation bought it and opened a location here. It was under construction for a while and now it's open," is not a good story.
You can read our story here. The short version is we're passionate about quality footwear, and have been striving to bring it to the good people of Austin since 2009.
We Know a Great Austin Boot Store!
We offer the highest quality of boots in both men's and women's sizes. All of our boots are proudly produced and sourced in U.S. facilities, making them 100% made in the USA.
You can see what we have to offer by clicking here.