There are anywhere from 80-110 steps used in producing a
single boot. This section is a brief overview of the major steps in boot making.
- There are two basic types of boot construction - welted and
cemented. Welted construction means that the welt part of the upper on the boot is
stitched to the sole. A cemented construction means that the upper itself is glued to the
sole. Many cemented boots are stitched to give the look of being welted. Now, on to boot
- The cutting department does just that - it cuts all the upper
materials used to make a pair of boots. A cutting die or pattern creates the unique
elements of the different styles of boots.
- Next, the boot parts are sent to the pre-fit department where the
parts are partially assembled and the linings are cemented to the upper parts. If the
style requires a medallion on the vamp it is stitched at this time.
- While the upper parts are in pre-fit, the insoles and outsoles
are cut and prepared for the lasting department.
- Many western boot styles have a fancy stitch design on the
quarter. This is done using a computer fancy stitch machine that receives electronic
instructions from a standard audio cassette tape.
- The next step is the fitting department where the upper parts of
the boots are finally assembled. First, the decorative stitching is done to the foxing and
the counter pocket is stitched inside the back quarters. The front and back quarters are
attached using side welting. The upper is then turned right side out in preparation for
the lasting department.
- The insole, outsole, last and upper all come together in the
lasting department. First a cemented box toe is inserted into the vamp section where it is
pressed and formed. Next, the insoles are tacked to the last and the upper is attached
with hot cement. The shank is then attached. The boots are visually inspected to make sure
that the leather is pulled firmly over the last and any excess leather is trimmed.
- The boots are then moved to the bottoming department where the
outsole is stitched to the uppers and the heel is nailed on. The boot edges are then
trimmed, scoured and inked for an attractive finish. The last is pulled and the boots are
sent to packing.
- Finally the boots are in the packing department. Here the boots
are made ready for packing. They are cleaned, logo stamped, receive a final coat of sealer
and final inspection. The boots are then packed and transported to the distribution center
for shipment to customers.
Boot Care Basics
Q: Are petroleum oils good?
A: Petroleum oils are incompatible to skins or hides. They have
a drying effect on leather.
Q: When should silicone sprays be used?
A: Silicone is O.K. to use on split leathers. Sometime
silicones can be recommended for outdoor work purposes.
Q: If boots get wet, what can I do?
A: Let them dry naturally. Do not set them near heat or direct
Q: What causes dry rot or cracking?
A: Dirt and dust that collect in the fiber structure can
actually cut at leather surfaces like sandpaper.
Q: How can I get rid of scuff marks?
A: Scuff marks generally come off with a soft pencil eraser.
Q: What causes snake skin scales to lift up?
A: Snake skin moves the way the foot flexes. The scales will
develop a "characteristic" that conforms to the wearer's foot.
Q: How often should exotics be conditioned?
A: Exotics should be conditioned often, or whenever they look
or feel dry.
Boot Care Don'ts
- Never use a wet cloth.
- Never use petroleum based products. Over time they can weaken
- Don't store near heat or direct sun.
- Don't store in cold or damp places. Boots will mildew.
- Don't store in plastic where boots cannot air out properly.