The School

Chicago School of Shoemaking
3717 N Ravenswood Ave #113 (NEW Location)
Chicago, Il 60613
773.242.7436

A New School for an Old Craft

At the Chicago School of Shoemaking, we are passionate about passing on the delight and excitement of such an important and unusual skill. Shoemaking has been described in our culture as a “lost art”. But now you can find it here in Chicago. Whether you love shoes, love working with your hands, or are interested in the independence and sustainability of providing such an essential item for yourself –We welcome you at the Chicago School of Shoemaking.

There are two main techniques for fabricating shoes. One is the Lasted Technique, which translates best toward the manufacturing industry, and the other is the Out-stitch Technique, best used by craftspeople who want to have the independence and flexibility to make shoes from home or in a small shop environment. At the Chicago School of Shoemaking, we teach a unique version of the Out-stitch Technique developed by our Master Cobbler, who has been making custom shoes for over 40 years for people all over the world.

In the Beginning Shoemaking Class: Basic Tie Shoe , we teach you how to make a pair of desert boots by hand. The school provides the patterns you will use for leather uppers, midsoles and soles based on your shoe size. You’ll cut out the leather, prepare the materials and stitch the leather uppers to the midsoles, glue those to the soles and then form the upper to the shape and size of your feet. After a few finishing details, you’ll be walking away with a pair of shoes you made yourself that are resoleable and will last for many years. This class is a great start in the art and craft of shoemaking.

For students who want to make shoemaking a profession or to support a sustainable lifestyle, advanced classes are available.

Classes are no more than 4 students at a time and are 2 days long. This allows for completion of one pair of shoes. Private instruction is also available. Please check the current schedule. For students who wish to pursue independent shoemaking projects outside of a class, shop time as well as tool kits will be available for a fee.

Classes are taught by a Master Cobbler with over 40 years of experience. To learn more about the instructor’s background, expertise and body of work: Sara McIntosh