Day Seven, Oklahoma State Boots

Today I’ll share the photos of how the boots were built so you can learn a little about cowboy boot construction.

When you look down at a cowboy boot and see stitching going around the toe, that stitching is not on the top of the sole. A narrow strip of leather called Welt is hand-stitched through the boot and also the insole. After the sole is added it’s stitched onto the welt, and this is the visible stitching you see. The Welt stitches, if they’re done properly, are completely invisible but they’re very important, as they’re what holds the top of the boot to the bottom. The metal shank is laced into the arch area with the excess threads from sewing the welt.
A cowboy boot traditionally has a rounded shank area, so I’ve covered the laced shank with a heavy piece of leather called a Shank Cover, and then rounded and smoothed it to provide a nice surface for gluing on the sole. 
The soles are added to the boots, stitched, and pegged with a double row of little wooden pegs. The pegs help hold the sole securely to the boot in the arch area and also strengthen and reinforce the arch area.
Here you can see the stitched that goes around the toe, which is on top of the welt but also through the sole. The bottom of the sole is grooved with a channel, the stitches fall into the channel, and then the channel is closed back over the stitches to protect and hide them.
The heels are built from sole leather, one layer at a time, each layer is leveled and another added, until the correct heel height is reached.
The final step is treeing the boots overnight to reinforce their shape. 

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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