SAN ANTONIO -

In a time when cowboy boots aren't handcrafted much any more, Dave Little is still kicking.

"There's not very many of us left," he said amid the sounds of sewing and hammering at the small custom boot company his grandfather started back in 1915.

Little's Boots is a four-generation family business, and word-of-mouth advertising still has customers moseying through their modest doors at 110 Division St.

"They're looking for somebody that can make them a pair of boots that is quality-made and can fit them," Little said.

His customers are primarily professionals  looking for something unique and comfortable.

"(We do) boots with logos, initials, brands, something that makes it different than the next guy," he said.

Different is exactly what customers see at the store including bright colors, intricate stitching and all sorts of designs imaginable.

Each pair begins with choosing the skin, including ostrich, elephant, crocodile and kangaroo.

A handful of longtime employees painstakingly stitch and cobble each made-to-measure boot.

The custom boots come at a price. A pair starts at about $1200.  A pair of crocodile boots, which Little called his "pride and joy" runs $7,000.

Years ago, Little decided not to follow the mass manufacturing route and to remain small, putting quality over quantity.

"That's the secret to being successful," he said. "Friends that I knew during the urban cowboy days that went manufacture, they're all bankrupt and gone."

Pushing 80 years old now, Little is eyeing retirement.  But his children are ready to carry on the family tradition and fill his boots.