I heard the story in around 1972, but it was a lot older than that. I had a chance meeting with Roy and Dale in a San Diego restaurant several years back. They were in "civvies," not the Nudie-inspired western garb most associated with them. They were truly gracious and pleasant folks. Funny, though; Roy never mentioned the boots/shoes....etc.
I once had an uncle who was a freight agent for the Santa Fe in Beaumont, Texas. In 1953, he arranged for me to take the "San Francisco Chief" from Fresno, CA to Houston, a nearly three day trip. I still remember sitting in the dome car next to an enormous black gentleman who played flute and piccolo in the Boston Symphony.