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Mystery man starts boot fad

MATEHUALA, Mexico -- The customer known only as "Cesar of Huizache" had an odd request: He showed shoemaker Dario Calderon a cellphone photo of a sequined cowboy boot with pointy toes so long they curled up toward the knees.

He wanted a pair, but with longer toes. In his shop in Matehuala, a northeastern city of farmers accustomed to a more stoic cowboy look, Calderon said he "made him a pair that were 35 inches long."

The mystery man from Huizache, a nearby village, wore his new boots to Mesquit Rodeo nightclub, where he danced bandido style with a handkerchief hiding his mouth and nose.

"He was dancing and having a good time and he didn't care what people were saying about him," said Fernando Lopez, the master of ceremonies at the disco.

Then he disappeared.

The next thing Calderon knew, it seemed like everyone wanted the bizarre, half-Aladdin, all-Vegas pointy boots, from little boys going to church to teens at discos.

Calderon fashioned the elongated toes from plastic foam and charged 400 pesos ($34) for the extensions.

Cesar was known to cross back and forth between Mexico and the United States. Once the fad hit the sedate city of 90,000 people about 18 months ago, it spread as far away as Mississippi and Texas, where some DJs at rodeo-themed nightclubs say it peaked a year ago and now has gone out of style.

-- AP

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