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Jake907   

Hi all, I'm looking for assistance from all of you who make shoes and boots. 

By trade I'm a welder and heavy equipment mechanic, so I go through boots like nobody's business. Every 6-12 months (if I'm lucky) I'm looking for new boots, I've tried almost everything from White's to Brahma's and all the brands in between.

But recently I got the idea to make my own boots. I think I can do it, but I don't know where to start. I already make leather goods on the side as a hobby, but you all make me look like a beginner.

Please tell me how you got started, what resources you used to learn, books, tools, videos, supplies, etc.

I'm not looking to start a business or anything like that, I just want to make them for myself and maybe my family. 

Can I make them by hand like the they did in the old days? 

Thanks in advance, this is the most helpful forum I've ever been on.

 

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I took a class from Jason Hovatter at Laughing Crowe, and was incredibly happy - his method of bootmaking is non-lasted and requires relatively few tools.  If you're in the Pacific Northwest, take one of his classes!  I've also heard good things about the Chicago School of Shoemaking, but I've never been there myself.

Alternately, he just did a Kickstarter on an instructional video + kits for bootmaking, and the video should be out in six months or so; if you follow this, it should give you updates on when it's ready:

 

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Jake907   
42 minutes ago, SheltathaLore said:

I took a class from Jason Hovatter at Laughing Crowe, and was incredibly happy - his method of bootmaking is non-lasted and requires relatively few tools.  If you're in the Pacific Northwest, take one of his classes!  I've also heard good things about the Chicago School of Shoemaking, but I've never been there myself.

Alternately, he just did a Kickstarter on an instructional video + kits for bootmaking, and the video should be out in six months or so; if you follow this, it should give you updates on when it's ready:

 

this looks great! thank you for sharing, I live in Alaska, but my in-laws are near Portland, so now I have a good reason to go and visit.

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tozafoot   

Hi Jake

I started making my own shoes and boots about 3 years ago... still learning! Here’s a list some of the books and other resoucrces that I’ve found useful in teaching myself various concepts and techniques; I’m still adding to it from time to time:

https://tozafoot.com/elsewhere/

Cheers

 

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Jake907   
8 hours ago, tozafoot said:

Hi Jake

I started making my own shoes and boots about 3 years ago... still learning! Here’s a list some of the books and other resoucrces that I’ve found useful in teaching myself various concepts and techniques; I’m still adding to it from time to time:

https://tozafoot.com/elsewhere/

Cheers

 

wow! you are a lot farther down this road than I am. Thank you for the comment and link, I will be reading your site for the next couple of days as I get time, and putting books in the amazon basket. Thank you, from the bottom of my feet! lol

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Hi Jake

There was a book published back in the seventies titled "The Make-It-Yourself Shoe Book" by Christine Lewis Clark, that has very good instructions on how to make shoes, boots, moccasins and sandals without a last. 

I recently discovered that copies are available from various secondhand book websites such as AbeBooks.com and Bookfinder.com. Some copies are reasonably priced, while some are way overpriced. But it is definitely a book worth having. I have owned my copy since I bought it new some forty years ago.

It is the only handmade shoe book that I have read, that has a section on making a foam-lined insole. That is worth the price of the book alone. It makes the shoes very comfortable to wear. I even use that insole technique when making a pair of mocs from a Tandy pattern.

Regards

 

Edited by leatherworks64
left out a word

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Jake907   
7 hours ago, leatherworks64 said:

Hi Jake

There was a book published back in the seventies titled "The Make-It-Yourself Shoe Book" by Christine Lewis Clark, that has very good instructions on how to make shoes, boots, moccasins and sandals without a last. 

I recently discovered that copies are available from various secondhand book websites such as AbeBooks.com and Bookfinder.com. Some copies are reasonably priced, while some are way overpriced. But it is definitely a book worth having. I have owned my copy since I bought it new some forty years ago.

It is the only handmade shoe book that I have read, that has a section on making a foam-lined insole. That is worth the price of the book alone. It makes the shoes very comfortable to wear. I even use that insole technique when making a pair of mocs from a Tandy pattern.

Regards

 

I will definitely check that out, thank you!

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