Shoe Making course – 3 Days


SKU: Shoe Category:


The Nene Valley in Northamptonshire is renowned for its long history of making hand-crafted footwear and we are delighted to offer a unique course that helps to maintain the area’s proud heritage.

The course takes beginners though the complete process of making a pair of cemented Chukka Boots by hand. The concept of the course is to learn the first steps of making simple unlined styles of footwear using everyday hand tools and only limited use of specialist equipment.


The first day begins with an introduction to leather and time to choose from a range of bespoke-grade calf skins stocked in several colours. Using pre-fabricated pattern pieces delegates will learn the skills of ‘clicking’ (cutting out the leather pieces by hand) and how to close the uppers together using a simple hand-stitch.


Uppers are softened, pulled over the lasts with special lasting pincers and secured to the underside of the insole with adhesive.


Soling units are constructed and then attached to the boots using specialist contact adhesive. The lasts are then slipped out, a sock added and to finish off, a quick polish before adding a pair of laces.


The course is led by Nick Cooper, a Northamptonshire bespoke shoemaker.

“Well worth coming up from Somerset!!” Suzie C & James L “Exceeded expectations – and I rarely say that so I am truly impressed!” Julie T

This course starts at 9.30am and finishes at approximately 4.30pm. The building will be open from around 9.15am so please arrive ready to start on time. The Craft Centre is the wooden barn with two chimneys, next to the dry stone walls. It is easily visible from the car park. Free exit car parking tickets will be given out at the end of each day.

Note: This course is an introduction to the skills and techniques used to make a pair of handmade shoes and we cannot guarantee that you will make shoes to perfectly fit your own feet. Most people achieve a relatively good fit by selecting their typical shoe size from our range of lasts which are available in whole sizes and a standard width. If your goal is to walk away in a made-to-measure pair of shoes then please get in touch at least 6-months in advance about having bespoke lasts and patterns made for your feet ready for when you start the course.


LASTS are available in sizes:-

Ladies – 3-10, standard width

Men’s – 6-13, standard width