Most people love to wear cowboy boots as a fashion statement, but a select few would probably like to know how to make cowboy boots themselves. Long before people started wearing them as regular shoes, cowboy boots were created with real cowboys on horses in mind. The slim heads of these shoes fit perfectly into the stirrups while preventing the foot from sliding all the way through its heels. You can easily learn how to make your own cowboy boots by following the steps below.
To make cowboy boots, you will need:
- Metal shanks
- A last
- Creating a good pair of cowboy boots begins with cutting, which divides the leather into three parts: the vamp, counter and uppers. The vamp makes the top of the cowboy boot. The counter covers the heel area, and the uppers go underneath the shins. Boot makers manually cut the leather by hand while large manufacturers have machinery to do the work. Glue these materials together and reinforce using a lining.
- Before any other of the boot parts are put together, plan and execute the decoration first. Handmade cowboy boots are usually stenciled by hand regardless of the design, while large manufacturers use heavy-duty sewing machines to stitch into the leather.
- Divide the leather into two parts: front and back. This makes it easier to sew the pieces together while molding them into the desired shape. Once the vamp is attached to the front part of the upper, the welt is left hanging for use during the final stages of creation. Then, put together the leather pieces that make the front and back part of the shoe.
- At this stage, introduce the last, a foot model usually made of wood. The insoles are tacked onto the last, followed by the sewn vamp and counter. Stitching the welt into the rest of the vamp and insole finishes the leather part of the boots.
- Since the welt is already holding the leather into shape, remove the tacks that attach the material to the last. Hang the shoe against a metal shank where the soles are to be shaped and fitted according to the insoles. Boot makers glue the soles into place and stitch them to ensure strength. The heels are then nailed into the soles. Final touches are made through cutting off seams and sanding heels into shape. The cowboy boots are dyed as desired and then polished afterwards.