Bootmaking Schools

If you want to learn to make cowboy boots… there are experienced bootmakers who are willing to teach you.

And, if you can’t make the trip right away? Don’t miss… How to Make Western Boots by Dave McKinney & Dennis Cottle and
The Art of Leather Inlay and Overlay: A Guide to the Techniques for Top Results by Lisa Sorrell. Buying these 2 books is a great place to start. They are affordable and easy to read.

(Visit my bookshelf page for more boot & shoemaking books and bootmaking videos.)

1 December 2020 (updated)


Alden’s School of Leather Trades (Rogue River, OR) Classes are offered in boot making, leather carving, holster and chap making. The Western bootmaking class is 3 weeks long and limited to 3 students at a time.  Call (541) 659-1260 or email:

Avale Boot Company (Dallas, TX) Classes limited to three students. A total of 18 days of instruction focusing on the solid basics of bootmaking.  Call 214.843.2905 for more information.

Chappell Bootmaking Seminars. (Saint Jo, TX) Now, experienced bootmakers (who are past students) carry on Carl’s Chappell’s bootmaking legacy with 2 week intensive group classes. Consider taking a group class — working along side other students will provide you with an opportunity to see a wider variety of boot making techniques, and will provide you with a start to your professional network. Class size limited. Offered a few times a year. You’ll also receive a set of DVDs and  at the shop’s “Boot Book” as part of your Basic Boot Making seminar.  Contact: Marian Chappell (940) 995-2600 (or write:— updated listing!

Schwarz Custom Boots This shop teaches 2 week courses in bootmaking in Dillon, Montana. Students spend all of their time in a working  boot shop and gain a basic understanding of the boot business. Affordable housing available locally. Contact Schwarz Custom Boots at (406) 988-0221, or email

** If you have been reading Tyler Beard’s  Cowboy Boot Book, you might have gotten to this page looking for more information about the  bootmaking school at  Oklahoma State University at Okmulgee. Sorry. It’s gone. Closed.  (For a time, the Shoe, Boot and Saddle Program had moved to the Green Country Technology Center, but that program too has closed. )

“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.”
— Matsuo Basho

One student at a time

Michael Anthony (Sebastopol, CA) Individualized instruction.: Bootmaking skills. Design and pattern making. Selecting quality hides and leathers. Located approximately 1 hr drive from San Francisco. Call (707) 823-7204 for availability.

Blucher Custom Boot Company in Beggs, OK is the oldest custom design, made-to-measure boot company in America. Bootmaker, James “Smitty” Smith will take one student at a time. Call (918) 267-5393 for details.

Jim Brainard (Parker, CO) offers top to bottom bootmaking instruction. Expertise in boot repair and shop machines. Call (303) 946-4930 for more information and class scheduling. 

Duck’s Heritage Cowboy Boots (Salado, TX) Dustin Lauw offers in-person instruction and virtual coaching. Call 254-681-5300 for availability. — new listing!

DeWitt Custom Leatherworks (Henryetta, OK) Mike DeWitt taught at the Oklahoma bootmaking schools for many years. He now teaches one on one custom courses at his shop, tailored to the needs of each student. Call (918) 304-4231 or email:

Frank English. Teaches 2 week beginner courses in Ruidoso Downs, NM. Call/text (406) 260-1179.)

David Espinoza (Phoenix, AZ) teaches bootmaking and boot repair, with over 40 years of experience. Coursework customized to student needs.  Call (602) 263-8164 or visit

D.W. Frommer II (Redmond, OR) offers three week seminars in the classic western boot–no plastic, no paper, no nails. All seminars take place in a “working” bootshop. D.W. is the author of three books — full tutorials, really — covering the construction of different styles of western boots. The first of those books, Western Bootmaking: An American Tradition, has also been made into a 27 hour instructional video. D.W. Frommer recently won the Will Rogers Bootmaker of the Year Award from the Academy of Western Artists …an honor bestowed by a panel of his peers for a “Lifetime of Achievement.” Call (541) 923-3808 or email:

Roberto Herrera School of Bootmaking (Tijuana, México)  Offers a Classic Shoe and Bootmaking intensive Workshop. One student at a time. Spanish not required. Learn how to make a pair of classic shoes or western boots with Roberto Herrera. His workshop and home are located in quiet neighborhood near UABC university, where there are nearby beaches, cafes and local shops to visit when you are not working on making your boots.  From California or other US States call (408) 217-3147 (Local Tijuana B. C. Mexico #: 664-607-1688 ) or email:

McGlasson Custom Boots (Spokane, WA) Gary and Clara McGlasson take one student at a time for private bootmaking classes that last 2 or 3 weeks. Call (509) 294-1249, or email the shop at

McGuffin Custom Boots (Albuquerque, NM) Deana McGuffin offers 2 different types of one-on-one teaching. 1) Enjoy a two-week learning vacation in historic Albuquerque, New Mexico and make your own boots!… or 2) Get personalized coaching and instruction for those with a serious interest in the bootmaking business. Call Deana McGuffin at (505) 550-1113 or email:— updated listing!

Lisa Sorrell (Guthrie, OK) teaches bootmaking when she feels like it… and only teaches people she enjoys spending time with. (Consider, instead, buying her boot making DVD.)  Call (405) 282-5464.

Learn Bootmaking from Tex Robin. Learn bootmaking from a 2nd generation bootmaker with over 50 years experience. Two week courses — one student per course. Contact Tex Robin at (325) 691-5700 (or write: 2081 Sayles Blvd., Abilene TX 79605). E-mail:

Woodward Custom Boots offers a 2 week start-to-finish bootmaking course in Boulder, CO (…only 30 miles from Denver). For more information contact, John Woodward at (619) 504-5867 (or through his website at

Sorely missed…

Dave Hutchings  (Thorton, CO) – “Hutch” passed away in 2018.
Jack Reed (Burnet, TX) passed away in 2004.
Al Reynolds (Wickenburg, AZ) …Passed away May 2020.
Jack Rowin (Manton, CA) Jack passed away in 2015.   Click here for a student’s Video Tribute (It’s wonderful.)
(Please note: Illustration on this page courtesy of D.W. Frommer II)

Custom made, vintage and popular cowboy boot brands. Advice from author & expert, Jennifer June (& others) about buying cowboy boots online.

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