In search of custom shoemaker

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In search of custom shoemaker

#1 Post by admin » Tue May 07, 2002 5:20 am

All messages posted prior to 25 February 2002 have been moved to the first Crispin Colloquy CD Archive. Those interested in obtaining a copy of this CD need to contact

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#2 Post by shoestring » Sat Sep 14, 2002 4:01 am

ATTENTION:Mr.Gary Lehman of Genesse Museum is in need of a shoe maker for period shoes.The museum is located in Mumford,N.Y. and he's in Penfield,N.Y.,contact Gary at ('s in need of a local but willing to except the person that can serve him best.

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#3 Post by paul » Fri Dec 27, 2002 5:36 pm

I had a visitor today in my shop here in Arizona, from Northern Illinois. He's interested in a pair of custom boots. Are there any of you custom makers in that area? He looks like he'll require some orthopedic attention also.

Please reply to

Thank you, PK


Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#4 Post by andrea » Tue Apr 15, 2003 9:05 pm

Dear Cordwainers,

Lewis & Clark are expected to arrive here in Oregon in '05 and I aim to be properly dressed for the event.

To that end, I wish to have made for myself a pair of lady's sturdy walking shoes circa 1800 - 1805, American or English.

If this is an job that interests you (or somebody you know), please *email me* (do not post here) with the following:

1. drawing or photograph of the shoe or shoes you propose to make.
2. your research justifying the design.
3. cost
4. time to deliver
5. what measurements you would require
6. a reference from a satisfied customer who is not related to you.

(As an aside, I'd like to submit the following in the "Ironies of Life" column - When I had work done on my circa 1800 house in Maine some years ago, three concealed shoes revealed themselves. I was so spooked by them I wrapped them up in a paper bag and tucked them in the back of a drawer in the pantry. When I sold the house, I left a long explanatory note with the bag, explaining why the shoes should NEVER leave the house! I *think* I also photographed the shoes before I left - but do you think I can find these photographs? Of course not!)

Janelle Gavin

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#5 Post by Janelle Gavin » Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:58 pm

I have a daughter currently serving in the Army in Iraq. She is a small woman and wears a 2 1/2 wide shoe. Unfortunately the Army got her one pair of shoes in Basic and did not have any more made for her. It is now 3 years later and she still has the same black shoes in the desert.

I was wondering if someone out there could contact me and let me know if they could make her a pair of desert camoflage army boots, size 2 1/2 wide so that I could send them to her for xmas. I would need to know the cost and shipping. It is not possible to get a cast of her foot for exact fitting but the 2 1/2 should do it.

Thank you for your time in this matter

Janelle Gavin

Tex Robin

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#6 Post by Tex Robin » Fri Sep 12, 2003 1:40 pm


This is unbelievable that our military would send a soldier, man or woman into combat with only one pair of black shoes. Maybe someone reading this can explain. If this is true then someone in our military needs to give some answers. I think the proper channels will get her some camo boots. To be continued. Can you e-mail me privately.....TR

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#7 Post by gcunning » Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:31 pm

Fort Hood TX ARMY Base (I believe is the correct base) has a Cavalry Unit. They make their own custom boots for everyone in the Cavalry unit. Maybe they could help.

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#8 Post by Jarnagin » Thu Sep 18, 2003 8:06 am

I do not if this is the right spot for this but I am just trying to help someone with a special request.

Here is the letter I recieved, and we do not make shoes from this period. If you can be of any help please contact me at


I am looking for a pair of USMC Cordovan service
shoes. Unfortunately I cannot find anyone that makes
them. These shoes were also common civilian shoes and
was hoping you may know of someone that makes early
1900s civilian and military footware. Or a good
custom shoe maker.

Thank you,

Troy Luginbill"


David Jarnagin

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#9 Post by das » Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:08 am

About fifteen years ago I had a pair of Wellington boots made in England by what was the company that made the original Wellington boots. I can not remember the company name and a friend is interested in having a pair made.

Any information on the boot makers in question and how they can be contacted would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.


Louis J. Kistner III

Andy Shearer

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#10 Post by Andy Shearer » Tue May 11, 2004 10:42 am

I'm looking to find a UK or Irish supplier or manufacturer of traditional shepherds or country boots to wear with my kilt. Any information you could send me would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#11 Post by dai » Tue May 11, 2004 3:00 pm


Try AT Hogg in Strathmiglo, Scotland and Chass Lennon Bootmakers in Stony Middleton, Derbyshire, England. I dont know what either are making since I dont have catalogues.

I would be glad to know what you find as I am an ex shepherd/gamekeeper Scots/Irish/Welsh now living in New Zealand and beginning to make shepherds boots by hand as a pastime with guidance from members of this group, the HCC and others.

A greatly admired maker was the late Dick Goudie of Maybole, some of whose life and work is mentioned at

You can also search this HCC site for other mention of shepherds boots using the keyword search feature of the menu bar.


Dai Kilgour


Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#12 Post by tomo » Tue May 11, 2004 11:11 pm

Hey David,
I'm glad you replied to Andy's post, I was going to suggest to him, that you could be the person to contact.
How are the lasts coming on?

More power to y'awl.

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#13 Post by james_deane » Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:57 am

I am searching for Quaker and Anthroposophical shoemakers to learn from.
Anyone got any Ideas?
oh and I live in England!
I would travel If I can find a suitable opportunity.
Also anyone know of where to come by 2nd hand tools and machines and lasts in England?
you can email me on
I'm glad I have found this discussion forum
it seems to be just what I am looking for
Looking forward to hearing your replies

The Farm at Morrison Corner

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#14 Post by The Farm at Morrison Corner » Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:47 am

I am looking for the Perfect Pair of Boots, something which should have been relatively simple has become A Great Quest, which has led me here. Who knew there was a such thing as a custom shoemaker?

Five years ago I wrote an article on the Vermont statehouse which said in part:

Ammi B. Young designed the first Vermont statehouse which went up in smoke in 1857. The restored statehouse is built along his design, just on a larger scale, and with ornamentation in the Renaissance Revival style popular at the time. The Friends of the Statehouse have done a wonderful job of restoring much of the State House to its original grandeur. Above you is a lavish chandelier. In much of the building, carpets, replicated from documented patterns, have been laid down. Even the woman's bathroom (although I suspect the electronic flush mechanisms are not period) is something to see.

But the essence of the Vermont State Capitol Building lies not in fixtures, no matter how lavish. Nor carpets, no matter how accurate. It is not in the plaster, nor the perfect period antiques tucked into the corners. Nor in paintings of heros and statesmen.

It is in sound. Hard soled shoes do not click when they strike the marble of the lobby, they ring. Dress shoes or logging boots, hard soles striking the marble floors create an unmistakable music. The sound rises above the shuffle of sneakers, officials, traffic, and the muttering of a hundred tourists. When I walk into the lobby of the Vermont State House I am part of a tradition of local power over two centuries old, and in that hall, in my dress boots, my footsteps ring.

The Farm at Morrison Corner

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#15 Post by The Farm at Morrison Corner » Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:50 am

The perfect boot is black leather. It has a low, hard, heel. It rises up on the calf and is closed with a series of hooks through which the laces go. The hooks are black to match the leather. The laces are thin and round. The boots are comfortable enough to stand in all day, flexible enough to sprint in, supportive enough to cover rough ground, and sturdy enough to withstand a Vermont farm. The toe is a pointed round, feminine without being painful, and the ankle is shaped. And they are plain, not ornamented with different textures or tool marks.

The closest I've been able to find commercially is the packer boot.. but the metal is a contrasting color and looks wrong, and the heels aren't right. The closest image I've found lately are the boots used in the film The Village.

Can anyone help me locate the perfect ladies black boots? To every forum I've posted I've received mournful replies, ending with "but if you find them... I want a pair too..."

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Full Name: Dan Freeman

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#16 Post by danfreeman » Mon Jan 17, 2005 3:06 pm

To The Farm,
I've been making custom boots in Middlebury since 1972. Inquire at <>

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#17 Post by frank_jones » Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:06 am

to “The Farm at Morrison Corner” (a name would be nice - shoemakers don’t usually bite)

Welcome to the Crispin Colloquy. Although I am a fully paid up member of the HCC, I am still a foreigner because I am a Brit. However, I have many American shoemaker friends and they are real nice folk even though they have a peculiar accent (big smile). Apologies for the twisted sense of humour (humor?), I mean well.

I know exactly what you mean about the noise of the foot-fall. There is a direct parallel in the UK military. When the tourists in London go to Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard, they are expect to hear the Crunch! Crunch!! when the column halts. However, modern military footwear is different to that worn 30 years ago, when the ceremonial first became a tourist attraction. The boots then were all leather soled, fitted with full metal tips around the heel and hob nails over the forepart of the sole, which provided the traditional noise.

Apparently stocks of the old boots, although carefully hoarded for this special duty, ran out a several years ago. As a result one of the Northamptonshire footwear companies here in England now have a special order each year for a batch of ceremonial boots, fitted with the necessary ironmongery to do the necessary.

A final point, Dan Freeman has not just been making excellent boots in Middlebury for over 30 years, he is also the President of the Honourable Cordwainers’ Company and at highly esteemed one at that.

May you look forward to “the strike of hard soled shoes the marble of the lobby in Montpelier”.

Frank Jones

The Farm at Morrison Corner

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#18 Post by The Farm at Morrison Corner » Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:33 pm

Amazing... there is actually a group of people who understand that shoes need to not only look right... they need to sound right as well.

Is it me, or is the 'net about as close to perfect knowledge as mankind is likely to ever achieve?


Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#19 Post by piersf » Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:04 pm


Ashley Fawkes is an artisan shoemaker who hand-makes striking shoes for women and men. As one of the few modern shoe designers to have ever been trained at the ancient Cordwainers' College in London, his shoes are designed and hand-made in his small workshop in the North of England using traditional methods and materials sourced for quality across the continents. Ashley delivers his own contemporary styles with a very strong sense of history.

Ashley Fawkes

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#20 Post by Ashley Fawkes » Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:24 am

Sorry, just found this post above, concerning me (on an clear ego-hunt).

As far as the farm lady's black boots go...

The answer to your problem lies in boots that are hand welted. But not just welted.
The insole must be a tough leather shoulder croupon or similar of at least 8 iron, preferably 10 iron (approx 4-5mm) thickness.
This insole must be welted used a welt channel, not the rib (canvas strip) variety used in lighter shoes and most factory varieties (called a goodyear welt).
Many handmakers will use rib for a lighter more flexible and comfortable insole, but this is not what you want.
The tough insole should be twined with a good 9-10 iron sole, sewn and finished well.

The heel depends on the height you want. Either a stacked leather, or a wooden cuban heel for higher boots. Key in cuban's is to make sure there is a metal post in the heel to add a little force to the downward movement. Either way a good steel top piece to finish.
You'll hear a good solid clack from the heel and the sole will produce a good hollow snap.
On the downside, the boots will take time to break in because of the stiffness, and the sole will look fairly thick - traditional style.

kim a. patterson

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#21 Post by kim a. patterson » Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:28 am

I am looking for a custom shoemaker in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, if you know of one please contact me at

thank you.

AL Franklin

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#22 Post by AL Franklin » Mon Jun 13, 2005 6:26 am

I currently am residing in Germany and would like to meet and learn from German Shoemakers. I am in the Frankfurt/Hanau area.

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#23 Post by cordphilip » Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:00 pm

Hello everyone. This my first posting on your esteemed website, nice to see "young Ashley" on here earlier. Anyway, thanks to Frank Jones for pointing me in this direction.

Much as I would love to join you all for the bash in Wisconsin, it sounds as though it's going to be a fabulous opportunity to get together, I'm busy trying to keep the business at home alive and kicking. However, my colleague in London Peter Schweiger tells me that some of our shoemaking friends in the USA are interested in coming to the Conference near Manchester UK in February of next year which I am organising. I would be delighted to welcome you to join us along with (hopefully) shoemaking friends from Austria, Germany, Scotland, Ireland and of course England.

My particular interest at this time is securing the future skills of the trade. I am in the process of setting up a training programme which will hopefully become part of our University courses. I also hope to be able to invite people to train with me at my workshop near Manchester.

If you feel you can contribute from your experiences, I would love to hear from you.

Best wishes. Philip Taylor.

(Message edited by Cordphilip on September 04, 2005)

(Message edited by Cordphilip on September 04, 2005)

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Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#24 Post by frank_jones » Thu Oct 06, 2005 1:52 am

The Message below was received by me today. Can anybody Help? Kathy can be reached on

* * * * * *
I live in NJ. My dad is in his 80's and FEET ARE VERY SWOLLEN AND normal shoes don't fit him. Could you guide me where I could go to have shoes made. He is a great man and worked hard all his life. I have no problem paying the bill. Any information would be appreciated. My name is Kathy Toole, 114 village road, Morganville, NJ 07751 USA

I have been looking for ages and hope to have a pair made by Christmas. Sir, this is not a joke. I promise you.

I thank you for your time and understanding

Kathy Toole
* * * * * *

Frank Jones

(Message edited by frank_jones on October 06, 2005)

Lance Culpepper

Re: In search of custom shoemaker

#25 Post by Lance Culpepper » Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:52 am

I am looking for a custom bootmaker in Southeastern Virginia or Northeastern North Carolina to reproduce one pair of over the calf men's boots. I have many photos of the boots, including high res photos.

Thank you for time,

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