Frequently Asked Questions

Other things you might be wondering about our Workshops and Custom Shoes

What do I need to bring with me to a workshop in Deerfield?

Just enthusiasm and a notebook! Everything else you will need for making shoes will be provided.

What do I need to bring with me to a craft school workshop?

Again, first and foremost, enthusiasm and a notebook. Molly provides all tools and materials, but students may choose to bring their own high quality hand punch, sharp scissors, etc. if they have them.

Can I make ANY style of shoe at a workshop?

Deerfield students can choose any style and leather, with the exception of Victorian Boots, which is an advanced class.  Students who wish to make Victorian Boots must have already completed a previous workshop with the Cordwainers. Craft School workshop students make the Pathfinder style, which is completely sewn by hand. This is a great style for learning because it does not involve using a sewing machine to assemble the uppers.

I can’t travel to Deerfield or a craft school but I really want to make shoes! Do you offer do-it-yourself shoe kits?

Yes, we have a shoe kit for the Pathfinder style shoe. Contact us to learn how to order one!

I know someone who would love these shoes or a workshop as a gift…do you offer gift certificates?

Yes, gift certificates are available for both workshops and custom orders. Contact us to get one!

Why are Cordwainer shoes not glued together like all other shoes I’ve seen? 

Cordwainer shoes are sewn together by hand. The uppers and soles are made separately and then sewn together.  This makes the shoes 100% non-toxic, flexible and resoleable.

How is it that even though many of the Cordwainer Shoes were designed from the 1920’s to current days they are still modern-looking and current, and not old-fashioned duds?

Master Cordwainer Paul G. Mathews was a forward-thinking designer who created simple and elegant styles that are timeless, even with today's ever-changing fashion trends.

I ordered a pair of custom shoes and it took several months to receive them. Why?

Cordwainer Shoes are individually cut and created to fit each particular client’s feet. The Cordwainer Shop is not a factory, but rather a small shop attached to a 1760 New England Farmhouse. The Cordwainer craftsmen work many hours on each pair, lovingly crafted to ensure comfort and longevity.

Can Cordwainer Shoes be resoled?

Yes, worn Cordwainer Shoes may be sent “home” to be resoled. The old sole is removed and a new one is sewn on, then the entire shoe is refurbished and brought back to life. See our Orders page for more information on resoling and other repairs.

Do you make childrens shoes? 

We have and do but unfortunately the pricing is very close to adult size shoes….so if you want an heirloom pair of shoes for your child and/or grandchild, some folks have had their progeny shoes bronzed after a few years’ wear!