Big Tex's new boots designed by El Paso company

POSTED: 06:22 PM MDT Sep 27, 2013    UPDATED: 01:11 PM MST Jan 16, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

With the State Fair held in Dallas every year, it's very much an East-Texas thing.

But this year, those in West Texas might get a big kick out of the new Big Tex, who after burning down last year is now wearing boots designed by an El Paso factory.

ABC-7 got a tour of the Lucchese Boot Factory in East El Paso, which may be one of the City's best kept secrets.

The Sun City boot-maker is renowned as one of the best in the country, supplying boots to people around the world. And and now they can add Big Tex to that list.

"Big Tex called and said he was looking for a pair of boots and Lucchese was ready to help him out," said William Zeitz, marketing and creative director for El Paso's own Lucchese Boot Factory.

After Big Tex was destroyed by an electrical fire at last year's state fair, Zeitz wanted Lucchese to be a part of the redesign.

"The state of Texas is all about the biggest and best of Texas and Big Tex is the biggest," Zeitz said. "We think that Lucchese is the best, so it was a natural fit for us."

Some publications, like the Dallas Morning News, has already called the El Paso boots, which feature the Texas state flower and bird, the Texas and U.S. flags and the Texas capitol, the "highlight" of the new Big Tex.

"We went back into our archives and in 1949 we designed a state of Texas boot and we actually designed boots for all 48 states at the time," Zeitz said. "oS we looked at that design and showed that to the people at the State Fair of Texas. They loved it and it went from there."

Workers at the 100-thousand square foot Lucchese Boot Factory in East El Paso make more than 600 pairs of custom boots a day. But if you want a pair like Big Tex is wearing, that'll cost $10,000.

"We've made boots for Johnny Cash, Gregory Peck, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gary Cooper," Zeitz said. "It's a long list. And now Big Tex."

Big Tex's size 96 Lucchese boots, which are 12-foot tall and weigh 900 pounds, were assembled in Dallas.

"They were built by hand by artisans just as our boots are built by hand in El Paso by artisans, so it was a similar process," Zeitz said. "They're doing things that just aren't done anywhere else and you can just sense the tremendous pride they have in their work."

El Paso pride that now stands tall at the State Fair of Texas.

"I think people are really fascinated by Big Tex and he's been a Texas legend for a long time," Zeitz said. "We're really proud to be a part of it."

Lucchese has more than 400 employees at its El Paso factory. A regular pair of hand-made Lucchese boots at the local factory store can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Zeitz said Lucchese has a three-year agreement with the State Fair of Texas and in addition to paying for Big Tex's new boots and making a monetary contribution, the El Paso company is also donating 150 pairs of boots to Texas children participating in the state fair's livestock show.