So where can you out find the best handmade Western boots in Texas—and, therefore, tile world? In a Houston strip mall, across from a KFC franchise. There, behind two signs—one reading Oak Forest Shoe Shop. tile other RJ’s Boots—you’ll find the prized work of Rocky Carroll, a second generation bootmaker. What instantly sets Carroll’s boots apart from other handcrafted (and store-bought) models is their split personality. When a wearer is standing or sitting with both feet flat on tile floor, Carroll’s boots are a picture of restrained decorum, the uppers crafted with just a hit of subtle decorative stitching. But with a pant leg hiked up. one leg hooked over the other, or with feet swung up on a desk or coffee table, they become all flash—exposing laborately embroidered and inlaid tops. “I like to make a different stitch pattern for everybody,” Carroll says. “to build character into the boot.” Plenty of characters own his boots, too.