Handmade Footwear Knowledge

Just came across this link recently

The Crispin Colloquy

a web based forum of boot and shoemaking topics.

Looks pretty interesting, with lots of knowledge and info about hand made footwear techniques, tools, etc. I haven’t had the time to fully explore (i’ll probably look it through for a few hours tomorrow), but looks like a good source for info on the more artisan side of footwear design and production.

Just checking into a few topics randomly, I actually feel kinda embarassed on how little I know about actual old-school shoemaking.

A sample post about insole and inseaming-

I use an American Channel knife and a welt knife to cut the feather (or outside channel). You could, in a pinch, use a Sutton groover and a French edger or skirt knife.

I use a Sutton Groover or an old, modified Osbourne race to cut the inside channel. You could even use a swivel knife, once you’ve scribe the distance, in lieu of the race. But with a race you can control the depth of the cut. A race usually is set up to cut a groove…I modified mine to just cut a straight down “slit.”

How wide you make your feather and how far in you cut your inside channel determines how wide the holdfast ends up being.

I have to admit I dont have any clue what they are talking about, but am really interested to learn!


Really cool! Thanks for finding, and sharing. There is also a book available, which I believe is in print that is mainly about shoemaking and very informative as well. It’s called “Handmade Shoes For Men” by Lasz Vass & Magda Molnar.


awesome, I always think grass roots is the place to start, I think if we all had a greater conscience of craft and hand construction we would be better designers in any field