Custom-made footwear ~ Trimmings to order

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Basic product catalogue >> Country pursuits boot >> How it's made

The "Country Pursuits Boot" is made of dressed calf leather no more than 1.5 mm thick.

The making of the boot begins with cutting out the pieces from the calf hide; the hide must not measure more than 20 square feet (1 foot = 28 cm.)  The pieces for both the front and back upper are cut.

The next step consists of the technique of "preforming", which means using the pattern to give the cut pieces the shape of the preforming boards.  This is done using preforming tongs, a goat's foot and 2 cm fine nails, dipping the leather in a bucket of hot water, at 50ºC.  When the leather becomes soft and formable it will be nailed to the boards and will be left to dry long enough for the piece to take on the preformed shape.

Once the leather has dried the pieces will be cut to the final measurements, corresponding to the size the boots are going to be.  When this has been done with the front and back pieces the next step will be to trim the shoeupper.  This consists of putting in the linings and sewing on the piping, which will always be of goat skin, and stitching on the leather strips and the lining of the heel reinforcement.  This process is laborious, and constitutes a trade in itself – that practised in the "Shoeupper Workshop".

From this point onwards begins the job of the shoemaker proper: once the shoeupper has been prepared, the boots will have to be set on the lasts, which are just wooden forms in the shape of a wooden foot.  On these the inner soles and heel reinforcements will have previously been set.  The latter will be of outsole leather, which is a special leather 5 mm thick.

It's now time for the "Welting" technique, which consists of stitching together the shoeupper, the inner sole and the welt with hemp cord previously smeared with pitch and virgin wax, using a curved awl and two needles, also curved.  It's a rather difficult procedure to perform; so much so that it takes a real expert to do it.  At FOOTWEAR CRAFTSMANSHIP we've been doing it like this since 1830, handing down from father to son the tradition of the best and most secure stitching that exists in craftsman shoemaking.

Next the "Awling" technique will be employed.  This consists of putting the leather outsole – 5 mm thick – onto the ready welted boots.  A slit 1 cm. wide and 2 mm. deep is opened around the outsole.  In this slit stitching will be done with pitch-impregnated hemp cord to ensure that the needle holes are watertight.  This process is performed with an awl and two straight needles.  Once the stitching has been done the slit will be sealed up.

Later on the heels will be built up heel plate by heel plate, using the same outsole leather, to a height of 3 cm.  The last process will be burnishing, to bring out the natural sheen and beauty of the leather, after which the boots will be ready to be handed over to the customer.

We've been making FOOTWEAR CRAFTSMANSHIP'S "Country Pursuits Boots" with scrupulous observance of the techniques inherited from our ancestors, although we also follow the fashions and tastes of the moment.  As one can see from this, our workshop, as it has always done, embraces the changes which time brings with it.


 San Antón, 11 - 47100 Tordesillas (Valladolid), Spain ~ Tlfs.: (+34) 983 77 08 65 - (+34) 658 85 61 24 ~