The most affordable and practical way of becoming a master boot and shoemaker.

If you were to google boot and shoemaking schools you would find several listings. They are all costly, but where else can you learn the craft these days?

Many settle on a second option of taking a crash course. There are several willing accomplished boot and shoe makers that, for a price, will take you in for a couple weeks and run you through the process.  I have been making boots and shoes for over forty years and I see neither of these options as practical.

My name is Don Roundy and I teach boot and shoemaking. I am convinced that, unless your father or uncle is a shoemaker, the best way to learn is to learn from me.  If you take the class I teach at Salt Lake Community College and practice in my shop you can become a master boot and shoemaker in sixteen weeks. I have had in my class those who had gone elsewhere to learn. They proudly show what they made, but yet they find it necessary to come to the class in order to really learn the process of construction, and especially in pattern making. They paid thousands but did not master the process.  Either the instructor simplified the process so as to allow them to achieve a satisfactory result or because so much was piled on them in so short of time that they could not retain it all.  

At SLCC, we master the geometry of pattern making first.  Understanding the pattern takes the heartache and brinksmanship out of shoemaking. If the pattern is right the shoe or boot will be right. The very term, geometric pattern making may sound overwhelming, too scientific, and too scary to some.  However, it is actually simpler than it sounds. I myself struggled in school and especially in math, but found the process easy, fun and exciting when I was first introduced to it years ago.

Well learn the process of making patterns for every type of shoe and boot. There is nothing you won’t be able to make.  After succeeding with each pattern we make the respective shoe or boot out of felt. This way we can see what it looks like finished without having, up front, to complicate the process of mastering the skills required in shoemaking.  That exciting challenge comes next.  Having mastered patterns, we can now learn the secrets of cutting, sewing, and finishing leather. We learn about the standard for excellence in workmanship.

These classes are taught in the evenings. For those who want work place experience, I offer an opportunity to come to my shop and make shoes and boots for customers. There is no better way to quickly become a master than this process. 

The cost of learning this way is only the cost you pay to the college for taking the two classes.