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Stanley Cup Final

Stanley Cup Final postcard: Nashville

NHL.com Editor-in-Chief Bill Price experiences sticker shock at the cost of cowboy boots

by Bill Price @BillPriceNHL / NHL.com Editor-in-Chief

NASHVILLE -- There are two popular, yet very different wardrobes in Nashville these days.

One is the Nashville Predators look. From gold T-shirts to jerseys to caps, there are plenty of people wearing gold in this hockey-crazed town.

The other is the cowboy look, which consists of jeans, a T-shirt, a cowboy hat and, of course, a good pair of boots.

Thinking about getting a pair of boots for myself, I took a break from covering the Stanley Cup Final and strolled down an already raucous Broadway on Friday afternoon to see what I could find. About a block from Bridgestone Arena, in the middle of countless honkytonks, was a place that actually didn't have live music or serve beer called Big Time Boots.

The second I walked in the smell of leather greeted me. Yep, this was the place.

There were boots everywhere, stacked from floor to ceiling in all shapes, sizes and colors. A display by the door had boots featuring the logos of some Division I colleges (If you are looking for a pair of Boise State boots, this is the place).

Clearly out of my element, I found store employee James Guschke to walk me through the process of finding a good pair of boots.

"I look for a leather soul," Guschke said. "Some people don't want to spend too much for a leather soul, but I like a leather soul. I like a leather lining inside, too."

Guschke said a boot should fit like a good dress shoe.

"You want a boot that's going to last," he said. "You are spending a lot of money on it, so you want it to last."

All of that is important, but Guschke said if the boots don't look good, what's the point?

"Because you are the one who has to look down at them," Guschke said.

But what about the cost?

Guschke said the cheapest pair starts around $300. Many of the boots on display were in the $500 range. Behind the counter, Guschke had a custom-made pair that cost $7,500.

Figuring I couldn't get the $300 past the accounting offices at NHL.com or my house, I skipped the boots on this trip and hoofed it back to the arena in my black loafers.

Maybe next time.

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