Tackiness Gets the Boot
When Vince Romano, owner of Truman Boot Co., started crafting his own boots, he never intended for it to turn it into a business — it was simply a solution to a problem he was experiencing himself.
“I travel a lot — I lived in New Zealand, Switzerland, Italy and all over the United States — and I was doing organic agriculture on large-scale sheep and bee farms and a little bit of cheese-making,” Romano explains.
He needed to have a pair of boots that he could work in, but wanted something that would easily transition into the towns and cities he was visiting without having that clunky, construction-worker look.
“You could find a really cheap pair that falls apart but looks nice, or you could find better-built stuff that was big and heavy,” Romano says. “To find something that was masculine and functional, yet refined enough to wear every day, there just wasn’t anything out there.”
Frustrated in his search to find a versatile boot that could meet these needs, Romano started ripping apart a pair of vintage boots he had.
“I’d never been in a boot factory, I wasn’t able to do any apprenticeships or training, so it was a huge learning curve starting from scratch,” he says.
Six months later, through trial and error, he had worked on nearly 50 pairs of boots.
After two years of this quest, people started asking where they could get a pair. It wasn’t until then that Romano started considering actually selling a couple of them.
It was a slow first month for the company, according to Romano, but as of that second month, he had to start hiring just to keep up.
“I haven’t had a second to sit down since,” he laughs.
Reflecting on the past three years of the company’s life, Romano says, “There hasn’t been one day where I’m bored of this — it’s constantly changing. I’m someone who definitely requires a fast pace, and the industry has certainly been that.”
“It’s very easy for a brand to say, ‘We’re from Boulder,’ when really they’re manufactured in China, but we’re doing every aspect of production here, and I think that’s super special about what we do.”
Truman Boot (named appropriately after his pup, Truman) is currently getting ready to start working on a new line of sneakers in the upcoming months. Romano estimates that the company produces nearly 5,000 pairs of boots each year.
Published in Boulder Lifestyle, June 2017