Perrin Creek Custom Boots

Meet the custom bootmaker in coastal Virginia. 

Step into Perrin Creek Custom Boot shop, and you’ll be greeted by the boot master, Steve Christo, who’s not your average cowboy. Ten years ago, Christo was working as a technologist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, a nuclear physics lab in Newport News. He turned to bootmaking after struggling to find a comfortable pair of shoes that would get him through the workday. “I always had to buy footwear two sizes too big to be comfortable,” Christo says.

A few years later, he retired from Jefferson Lab and traveled to Texas to take a class on bootmaking from a second-generation craftsman. “I was hooked and never looked back,” he says of his experience in the Lone Star State. 

Today, business at Perrin Creek Custom Boots is booming. Christo has stitched boots for all shapes and sizes—and counts Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin as a customer. 

For Christo, a custom boot is unlike anything boot you will find on a store shelf. Not only are the materials of higher quality but everything—down to the elaborate stitching—is done by hand. 

“We’re using the same machines that bootmakers used 100 years ago,” Christo says. “It gives the pattern a unique character, and you can really see the hand of the artist at work.” 

Steve takes his customer’s personalities into account when designing boots, which is why he says it’s so important for boot buyers to visit his Gloucester store. “I like to know how the boot design will fit into their lifestyle,” he said. “Is it a dress boot? A riding boot? Worn for construction?” Christo and his team take over 20 measurements for each foot and guide customers through the design process, picking leathers, choosing colors, and discussing design elements. 

Perrin Creek boots are made to last, and as Christo says, “Once you go custom, you’ll never go back.” PerrinCreekCustomBoots.com

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