Wilson Boots was established in 1945 by Carl Wilson - a saddlemaker in Miles City, MT. Fellas that he built and repaired saddles for kept saying someone needed to build a good sturdy boot for the working cowboy that they could afford.
Carl thought - well if I can build a saddle to fit - why not a boot. It took a while to get everything right and to his specifications, but the Wilson Boot was born.
Most people are not aware, but the spur shelf was first introduced by Wilson Boots. Since then many other companies have added them as well.
In 1968 Carl decided it was time to retire. Sterling Bowman who was an employee of Carl's; bought the business along with his wife Dixie, and their young son Wayne. For 45 years it had been a thriving family business. At one point the factory was going strong, and Wilson even had stock boots sitting on shelves with several retailers in Montana and Wyoming. But the economy hit the business hard as it did with so many. The factory got shut down, and the business went back to building boots per individual order.
Sterling passed away several years ago, Dixie retired and Wayne continued on the family business, but over the years lost his passion for building boots. So he quietly put the word out he was looking to sell, but he wanted to make sure that whoever bought the business, would keep the quality and the reputation of the boot alive.
When Virgil & Paula Babione got wind of the possible sale; they contacted Wayne. Virgil had been a customer for 32 years as a working cowboy, and is a living testiment to the quality of the boot. It is our promise to all the old customers as well as the new; that we may develop the line - but we will not cheapen the product in any way.
On the 3rd of April, 2013 we closed on the sale of the business. Wayne is still around, teaching us the ropes, and being the prangster that is just Wayne. If you are ever in our neck of the woods, stop in and say Hi. We would love to meet you!
Virgil & Paula Babione
Babione's Wilson Boots Emporium
Our boots are constructed with quality leather.
Pull holes are standard with all our boots, however, you can opt for cloth or leather pulls, or mule ears.
Our boots have a leather insole, leather midsole, & a leather outer sole, along with a 3/4" steel shank, which provides the ultimate in comfort whether riding or walking.
Our arches are all hand pegged, and provide the support you need for the long hours of wearing.
Unlike many of our competitors, we still use a stacked leather heel base. We have seen a lot of other boots come through our door for repair & the heels are a hollow plastic or compressed paper and when they come off - there is nothing that can be done, because there is no base to work with.
The spur shelf is the only plastic in our boot. It is available in a small, medium & large. And we can make the boot without the spur shelf, for those of you who just like wearing boots.
Toe styles include the pointed toe, or narrow round. This is as narrow as we go, to make it any narrower we would have to put a plastic toe box in the toe, and we just don't want to go there.
The full round is the classic toe. This is available in a medium and the extra wide or horse toe.
The K-toe is a 3/4" square toe, while the regular square toe is 1 1/4".
Our riding heel is 2 1/4".
The combination heel is 2".
The walking heel is 1 3/4".
And our low block or low walking heel is 1 1/2".
Do you see where the stitching above the riding heel goes to the the center seam of the boot? This is a full welt. The other option you have is a half welt. That only goes to just behind the ball of the foot. Some people prefer the full welt because they believe it provides more support, while others think the half welt makes the under cut more dramatic and old time western looking.
We cannot stress enough the importance of a proper foot tracing. It is best to have someone else do the tracing for you if at all possible. And please follow the instructions.
The calf mesurement is important especially if you have large calves. We want to ensure you will be able to get the boots on. The additional measurements show where we need to build up the last for a proper fit. For instance if you have a high instep we have to build up the throat so you can get your foot in without pain. We customize standard lasts to fit each individual customers needs.
Our lasts are in men's sizes, so we make the adjustments necessary for women. They could possibly be as much as 2 sizes smaller depending on the foot. After we measure the tracing - we put the last on the tracing to ensure it is the correct size. And build up the last with leather for other adjustments that need to be made.
We want to ensure that you have Happy Feet!
So, please call if you have any questions or concerns. (406) 222-3842. We are open 8 AM till 5 PM Mountain Standard Time - Monday through Friday. After hours leave a message & we will get back to you ASAP.
Shown here is our standard solid work boot.
Far left is Walnut, middle is Natural Retan and on the right is Black. The stitchwork on the walnut and natural retan is the 14" design or Stockman. The black is the stock 16" stitch pattern. Red latigo is also available, but is not shown here. However, we do show the Red Latigo in a 16" Packer, further down in catalog.You have your choice of toe and heel with this boot.
This is our standard two-tone boot. Red over Black Wax. There is a wide variety of colors available, however, dye lots are continuously changing. When ordering we can go over what options are available at that time. This has the stock 16" stitch pattern in white.
This standard two-tone boot is Loden green over Natural Retan - multi colored thread is used in the 16" stock stitch pattern.
This boot is the Plainsman out of our Old West Collection. It features the stovepipe top with it's own unique style of stitching.
This boot is Red over Black Wax with white thread in the stitching.
Proper calf measurement is essential for this style of boot.
This boot is the Yellowstone out of our Old West Collection. It features the U-Scallop and mule ears. Mule ears can be added to any boot, and they can run the full length of the boot.
This boot was requested to have no stitchwork at all. It does not even have the toe bug - stitching on top of the foot.
Here is another version of the Yellowstone out of our Old West Collection. This version has a V Scallop, longer mule ears & shows the stitchwork. This boot was also requested without the toe bug. It is done in Walnut over Walnut.
This is the Wayne's style boot which is also out of our Old West Collection. It features the U-Scallop and a collar. This boot is inlaid with hearts for a more feminine touch. You can have it plain, daimond cutouts... The stitch design is scroll like - this boot was done in multi colored stitching.
Another more feminine boot which features the V-Scallop, heart inlays and a daisy embroidered inlay.
We will be happy to help you design the boot of your dreams.
Exotics are available as well. Sometimes it takes a while for us to locate a particular hide. This customer provided us with his own ostrich hides. We can do various snake, lizard, elephant, shark...
Just another picture of a classic work boot. This one is Walnut over brown bull hide. The stockman stitch pattern is done with red, orange, gold and red thread. As mentioned before you have a choice with thread colors.
This boot features the collar with oval & diamond design cutout. The customers brand was inlaid as well. This customer requested the stockman pattern which was done in brown thread, which looked really outstanding with the turquoise and natural retan leather.
Yes, we do make a Roper boot. This one was done with Chocolate Calf over Dark Brown Bull hide. Height is 12", with your choice of leather & stitch color. Choice of toe and heel as well.
Here is one of our packers. 12" Red over Black Wax. This is available in a wide range of colors, toes and heels. The wait time on these are longer than our regular pull on boots. it takes longer for the lasting - so expect a 12 to 16 week wait.
Packers are available from 12" on up. This particular boot is 16". Both of these packers are shown with a full welt. This packer was done in Red Latigo - which is one of the heavier leathers for a work boot.