Resoling Custom Leather Boots

Today I'm going to go through how I resoled my custom Catskill Mountain Moccasins, and show you up-close pictures of their construction (because I was curious and I figured others might be, too). Catskill Mountain makes truly amazing footwear - they are custom shaped to your feet, and are incredibly comfortable.  To be clear: I did not make the shoes above (though I'm in the process of making a pair of boots for myself).  I just learned how to resole them after a shoe repair place in Ypsilanti completely botched the resoling.

These shoes have three layers on the sole.  First is the leather that is part of the actual turnshoe.  Second, there is a leather layer that is carefully stitched to the sole: the midsole. Last, a modern sole is glued to the midsole.  Somehow, when resoling, the Ypsilanti shoe repair place managed to cut all the stitching holding the midsole to the bottom of the shoe, which quickly came apart as I started to wear them.

Being a leatherworker, when I heard that a complete resoling by Catskill Mountain Moccasins (including re-stitching the midsole) would cost $227, I decided to do the work myself.  And let me tell you: $227 is definitely a very fair price for this amount of work.  It took a long time to do.

Above is a picture of the bottom of the shoe, once the modern sole and midsole are removed.  A picture of the midsole is below.

The edge of the shoe, with the broken stitching removed.  You can see how tight the stitching is on these, and the welt inside the seam.

With the soles removed, it's easy to look around inside the shoe now.  Here's a picture inside: if you're familiar with shoe construction, you can see how it's a turnshoe.  The leather was sewn right-sides together, with a welt in the seam (an extra piece of leather to make the seam stronger, so stitches won't rip the leather), and then turned inside-out to move the seam to the inside of the shoe.

I made new midsoles out of veg-tanned leather.  It's durable, stiff leather that will add structure to the bottom of the softer leather soles.

Holes were marked and punched to match the holes on the bottom of the shoes.

Then I painted them black.

Now, for the truly time-consuming part: I sewed the stiff veg-tanned leather to the bottom of the shoes.  This was particularly difficult in the toe region of the shoe, as it was hard to reach the holes.

I purchased modern soles from DIY Footwear, cut out the right shape, and glued them on with barge cement.

Adding modern soles to the shoes was really easy.  Here's an Instructables on how to do so, if you want step-by-step instructions.

My shoes have soles again!

I'm so pleased to be able to wear my gorgeous Catskill Mountain Moccasins again.  I highly recommend them - their shoes are worth every penny.  If you have any questions about how to re-sole your shoes, feel free to ask!  It takes time, but saves you a lot of money on labor costs.  ~Kell

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