Outstitch Shoemaking Course

Online tutorial from a shoemaker with 45 years' experience in making custom footwear.

Shoemaking has virtually disappeared in the US. Only a few companies still manufacture shoes here. We want to promote self-sufficiency and empowerment- and there are few things more empowering than making your own footwear! We’ve designed a comprehensive course for you with a tools and materials list and a video of the whole process. We’ve included a written manual, time-stamped to the video, so you can follow along and keep track of where you are in the process. We hope you’ll enjoy this and add shoemaking to your skills list! (There’s even a way you can get help with a live Zoom if you’re stuck or have questions) Join us in making a pair of leather desert boots by hand in your own home. This course requires a minimal number of tools and materials. Here's what the package includes:
  • Patterns
  • 8-9 oz vegetable tanned leather for midsoles.
  • Chap split suede leather for heel and lace area lining
  • Vibram Pyramid crepe soling
  • 4.5-5.5 oz chrome tanned leather for vamps
  • Eyelets and eyelet setter
  • Non-toxic leather glue
  • Waxed nylon thread
  • 1 pr 36”-45” shoe laces
  • Edge ink for finishing soles
  • Master’s Contact Cements

You’ll be able to choose colors of leather, thread, eyelets and sole.

Certain tools are required for this course. If you are a leather worker or a crafter, you may have some of them already. You will have the option of purchasing some tools from us and we will send those with your materials package.

Course curriculum

    1. Introduction and Manual

    2. Sizing and Material Selections

    1. Making A Desert Boot

    1. Get live guidance from the Instructor

    1. Show Us Your Work!

    1. Let's Keep Going!

About this course

  • $495.00
  • 6 lessons
  • 1.5 hours of video content


Sara McIntosh

Founder, Master Cobbler

I began making shoes in the early ’70s as an exercise in sustainability and part of the “back to the land” movement. I soon found myself making shoes for family and friends and quickly established myself as a shoemaker in my community of Bloomington, Indiana. From 1981 - 2007, I lived and plied my craft in various locations in the Midwest and Southwest; settling in Santa Fe, which I found to be the perfect environment for my custom shoemaking business for 8 years. I moved to Chicago in June 2007 and count this as another adventure in the life of a cobbler: adapting to a big city environment and finding a customer base here. I started The Chicago School of Shoemaking and Leather Arts in 2011, and since then, retired from creating custom fit shoes after making over 10,000s pairs. I am having a great time teaching shoemaking and leather working to a variety of people from all over the United States and beyond.

Tutorial Trailer

See a bit of what's inside the course