Rios of Mercedes Vs. Lucchese Boots: In-depth Differences

Cowboy boots are a staple of Western wear, providing both functional protection and iconic style for everyone from real working cowboys to country music stars. Two of the most popular high-end cowboy boot brands on the market are Rios of Mercedes and Lucchese.

But with premium materials and construction, these two brands come at a steep price.

So which brand of cowboy boots is right for you? Rios of Mercedes and Lucchese boots have key differences that make each brand better suited for different needs and preferences.

This comprehensive guide will compare the materials, craftsmanship, fit, style options, and overall quality of Rios of Mercedes vs Lucchese boots to help you invest in the perfect pair.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureRios of MercedesLucchese
OriginsFounded in 1950s in Texas border town of Rios of MercedesFounded in 1883 in El Paso, Texas
Leather QualityPremium US leathers like calfskin, exoticsUltra-high quality leathers, imported & domestic
ConstructionHandcrafted, turned right side out methodGoodyear welt construction
Toe ShapeTraditional square toeSleek almond toe
HeightAvg 12-13” shaft heightMore choices for shorter & taller boots
WidthsRegular, narrow, wideRegular, narrow, wide
StyleUnderstated, classicInnovative, fashion-forward
Price$500 – $1000+$500 – $1000+
Best ForClassic Western wearVersatile Western & contemporary wear

Overview of Rios of Mercedes Boots

Rios of Mercedes boots originated in a small Texas-Mexico border town of the same name in the 1950s. The brand has always focused on meticulous handcrafted construction techniques to create durable leather boots.

Rios uses only premium leathers, from calfskin to exotic alligator and ostrich. The hallmarks of Rios of Mercedes boots are:

Rios of Mercedes Boots
  • Handmade craftsmanship with attention to detail
  • High-quality leathers that get better over time
  • Traditional square toe shapes
  • Outsole stitching for added durability
  • Regular, narrow, and wide width options
  • Classic Western style

Rios boots have a timeless look that pairs well with jeans, cowboy cut slacks, or dress pants.

They are designed to be comfortable right out of the box, with a roomy toe box and arch support. Rios offers boots in regular calf heights along with taller models.

Overview of Lucchese Boots

Lucchese has been handcrafting boots since 1883 in El Paso, Texas. The brand uses premium leathers and a meticulous construction process to create boots able to withstand decades of wear. Lucchese sources fine leathers from around the world and pioneered some signature boot styles.

What sets Lucchese boots apart includes:

Lucchese Boots
  • Handmade craftsmanship passed down through generations
  • Ultra-high quality leathers, including rare exotics
  • Fashion-forward boot designs alongside classics
  • Rounded toes and narrow shafts for a sleek look
  • Goodyear welt construction for durability
  • Regular, narrow, and wide width options
  • Innovative comfort features like a cork footbed

Lucchese boots have a more modern and stylish aesthetic than many cowboy boot brands.

They work well with both Western and contemporary wardrobes for a versatile look.

Key Differences Between Rios of Mercedes And Lucchese Boots

  • Leather & Materials

The leather used to construct the boots plays a major role in the quality, durability, comfort and style of Rios of Mercedes vs Lucchese cowboy boots.

Both brands use only premium, full-grain leathers. Rios boots are crafted from leathers like calfskin, alligator, lizard, and ostrich. Lucchese also utilizes these exotic leathers along with premium cowhide and calfskin. Choosing full quill ostrich leather boots from either brand will be luxurious but costs over $1000.

Lucchese pioneered using supple calfskin leather. This gives the boots a soft, comfortable feel right away instead of needing a long break-in period. Both brands can customize their exotic leather colors.

For traditional Western style, Rios uses leather sourced from the US. Lucchese imports fine Italian and French leathers for some of their fashion-forward women’s boots and men’s dress styles.

Rios leans more casual while Lucchese has a greater range of refined materials like pebble grain leather and suede. Overall, the leathers are comparable high-end quality between both brands.

  • Craftsmanship & Construction

From start to finish, Rios of Mercedes and Lucchese boots are meticulously handmade by skilled craftsmen. The production process for both boot brands includes:

  • Precisely cutting the leather pieces
  • Sewing the uppers together inside out
  • Lasting the leather to the boot form
  • Shaping and sculpting the heels and toes
  • Attaching the leather outsole
  • Adding ornamentation and embellishments

Rios of Mercedes uses a traditional construction method where the upper and lining are sewn together then turned right side out. Lucchese boots utilize a more advanced Goodyear welt construction. This entails stitches through the outsole to attach the welt and upper, then a welt strip is stitched to encase the raw edges.

Goodyear welt construction makes re-crafting Lucchese boots’ soles easier and gives them long-term durability. Both brands also offer completely hand-welted boots upon request for the ultimate custom pair.

Attention to detail is paramount for both Rios and Lucchese boot makers, ensuring well-balanced heels and smooth seams. Overall, Lucchese boots edge out Rios in construction techniques. But Rios craftsmanship is still far superior to mass-produced boots.

Also Read: Is HAIX Boots Better Than Danner Boots?

  • Fit & Sizing

Finding the right size is critical for all-day cowboy boot comfort. Both Rios and Lucchese offer boots in multiple widths to accommodate narrow, standard, and wide feet.

Rios of Mercedes boots have a boxier, squared-off toe shape with a wide profile through the forefoot. This gives toes plenty of room for comfort but may feel overly roomy for some wearers.

Lucchese boots have a narrower toe box with a curved almond shape. They hug the foot for a more tailored look. But some wearers find Lucchese boots require a longer break-in period to stretch and conform to your foot.

In terms of height, Rios tends to offer more regular 12-13” cowboy boot shaft heights. Lucchese has more choices for taller boots along with shorter styles. For a personalized fit, both Rios and Lucchese can customize boot shafts, toe shapes, and widths.

For the best fit, have your feet accurately sized whenever buying expensive cowboy boots. Try on multiple sizes since foot length and shape can vary.

  • Style & Design

Rios of Mercedes and Lucchese both offer classic and contemporary cowboy boot designs. But they differ considerably in styling details.

The hallmark of Rios boots is understated simplicity. They use minimal ornamentation for a clean, timeless look. Basic stitching and piping keeps the focus on the rich leather. Rios boots have a moderate walking heel, usually around 1.5-1.75 inches.

Lucchese boots integrate more modern and eye-catching elements through distinct leather textures, colors, and embellishments. They use a slimmer boot shaft, pointier toes, and taller heels for a sleeker profile. But Lucchese still offers plenty of traditional Western styles.

For men, Rios excels at no-fuss work boots while Lucchese offers versatile dress cowboy boots. For women, Rios has traditional Western boots while Lucchese leads with fashion styles.

So in summary, Rios equals classic Western while Lucchese balances new and old cowboy designs. Choose Rios for authenticity or Lucchese for flexibility.

  • Price
Rios of Mercedes Boots
Rios of Mercedes Boots

Handcrafting Rios and Lucchese boots from fine leathers comes at a cost.

Both brands retail from $500 up to over $1000 for more exotic skins. Made-to-order custom boots can cost $2000+.

But the quality materials and construction enable their boots to last decades when properly cared for.

Resoling and other repairs can extend their lifespan at additional cost.

Lucchese boots demand a slight price premium, especially for rare leathers like alligator or ostrich.

But sales and special order discounts can reduce Rios or Lucchese prices considerably.

Overall the price between Rios of Mercedes and Lucchese is comparable for similar leather grades and styles. The premium cost reflects their enduring quality.

Also Read: Comparison of Snip Toe And Square Toe Boots.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Anderson Bean and Rios of Mercedes the same company?

No, Anderson Bean and Rios of Mercedes are two separate premium cowboy boot brands. But it’s an understandable confusion since both companies originated in Texas border towns.
Anderson Bean was founded in Rockport, Texas in 1862. Rios of Mercedes boots started their operations in a town of the same name in the 1950s. Both brands specialize in handcrafted boots but have distinct styles and leathers.

Is Lucchese a luxury boot brand?

Yes, Lucchese is widely considered a luxury cowboy boot company. Lucchese boots meet the criteria of a luxury brand due to:
1. Premium quality leathers including exotic skins
2. Artisan handcrafted construction
3. Attention to detail and design
4. Limited distribution through authorized retailers
5. Heritage dating back to 1883
6. Reputation for excellence among boot aficionados
7. Higher pricing than average boots
Luxury materials, meticulous workmanship, and enduring quality all define Lucchese as a high-end luxury bootmaker.

What is so special about Lucchese boots?

Several key factors make Lucchese one of the premier luxury cowboy boot brands:
1. Carefully selected leathers, including calfskin, exotic skins, and glove-soft goat
2. Proprietary leathers like Hair-on-Hide and Lucchese Classics calfskin
3. Signature twisted lemonwood pegs for decoration
4. Innovations like a cork footbed for cushioning
5. Sleek modern silhouettes alongside classic boot shapes
6. Goodyear welt construction for durability
7. Custom-made boots with personalized fit and style options
8. Handcrafted in their Texas workshop spanning three generations
From materials to construction to comfort features, Lucchese boots stand out through quality and craftsmanship. Their continued commitment to innovation keeps the brand on the cutting edge.

What brand of boots do real cowboys wear?

Working cowboys have an array of quality boot brands to choose from. Some of the most popular options include:
1. Rios of Mercedes – Durable, well-crafted boots at a reasonable price point
2. Justin Original Workboots – Affordable boots with rode-tested toughness
3. Tony Lama – Respected for fit, comfort, and sturdiness
4. Ariat – Reliable boots with technology for support and traction
5. Lucchese Classics – Premium materials and craftsmanship
6. Anderson Bean – Timeless boots handmade in Texas
along with custom bootmakers like Rocky, Stallion, and Olathe.
Many real cowboys own a mix of boots for different tasks and conditions. But when you spend all day horseback, durability and comfort are the top priorities in determining the best cowboy boots.

Closing Remarks

When choosing between Rios and Lucchese cowboy boots, consider your priorities for fit, style, and budget.

Rios of Mercedes boots wins for timeless Western styles and molded comfort right out of the box. Their minimalist designs maintain authentic cowboy boot aesthetics.

Lucchese is the better choice for modern fashion-forward looks and sleeker silhouettes. They integrate comfort technologies for stylish versatility between Western and contemporary wardrobes.

Both Rios and Lucchese boots represent quality over quantity, with decades of wear possible when properly maintained. If cost is no concern, opt for custom-made boots tailored to your feet and personal style.

For riders and ranchers wanting durable leather boots, Rios is ideal. For a dress boot wardrobe addition, choose Lucchese. There’s no universally superior brand between Rios of Mercedes and Lucchese boots. Evaluating your needs and style preferences will lead you to the perfect pair.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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