Finishing soles


Cowboy boots typically have half of the sole natural and half black or brown. I’m using a refillable marker to dye the brown right at the line because these markers won’t allow the dye to bleed like a dauber will.


I’ve applied dye and bottom stain to the appropriate parts; while they’re drying on this one I’ll do the same on the other boot.


I’ve applied burnishing ink over the brown dye and added another coat of bottom stain.


Now they’re all polished and pretty, and ready for me to start building the heels tomorrow!

About customboots

I'm a custom cowboy boot maker. I own a business, Sorrell Custom Boots, and I create bespoke cowboy boots using vintage machinery and hand tools. I also own, a company that specializes in tools, supplies, and leather for the boot and shoe making trade.
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3 Responses to Finishing soles

  1. René Bertin says:

    Looks beautiful! I was having a discussion with a French (dress)shoemaker about leather soles; he laments that he can no longer find soles tanned for more than 18 months. I wonder, what kind of quality can you and your colleagues get in the US?

    • customboots says:

      I’m not sure if there’s sole leather being tanned in the US anymore–definitely no oak bark pit tanneries. I import the leather that I use from J&FJ Baker in England. It’s pit-tanned for about a year. Rendenbach in Germany also makes beautiful pit-tanned leather in about a year. I haven’t heard of leather being tanned for longer than that though.

      • René Bertin says:

        The shoemaker I was discussing with (from Jacques & Demeter shoes) uses leather that’s been tanned for 18 months, from Garat: . I haven’t checked if they list that quality on their site, nor if he has a special arrangement with them.
        In any case that means I won’t need to order replacement soles in the US when my own boots need them (Noconas, nothing too special I guess). At least not for the leather quality.


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