I Started this project because I found these cheap ankle high boots at Walmart. I had some thin pig hide at home in my leather box that needed something done with it and I thought, “hey I bet I could add a shaft onto these and make some quick riding boots,” which as we all know are a pain to find in your budget sometimes. Especially for fellas like me who have 18″ calves. So I knocked up a pattern, and divided a way to pull it off and here is the result.
I based these after some boots I saw on a movie, Lord of the Rings, The style lines looked like they’d lend themselves to this project.
This is the shoe that I picked up from Walmart (minus laces)
Prepping the Surface
These shoes had a shine that I didn’t really want so I took 180 grit sand paper and just buffed off the shine. Simultaneously this prepped the surface of the shoe to recieve glue.
You can see I opted for a tape pattern on this project. I have rather large calves and a I was concerned a strait shalf boot might look to much like a boot cover that you get at Spirit Halloween. So I opted to stitch multiple panels for a more form fitted look.
ALWAYS trace pattern on the suede side of leather. You never want a bit of sharpie or pen peaking through on the outside of your leatherwork. It’ll drive you to drink.
Inside Calf Panel
Complete with personal notes. Not very professional looking but hey…
Inside of Shin Panel
I kinda wish I had taken the chance to back these panels with linen or some sort of heavy fabric to stiffen and strengthen them.
Quick Means Glueing
I didnt need these to be indestructable, if anything i just needed them to look good for a few hours so I settled for glueing portions of the shaft down. Others I had to stitch by hand to the boot.
Fashion Side of Calf Panel
I dont have pictures showing the process but this part was actually stiched to the shoe at the base with a special leather sewing awl that has a spool of thread that punches through with the awl head.
Front View Weathered
Upon finishing I figured they were for costumes right? So why not weather them. I scuffed em up with some sand paper and used acrylic and spray paint to get the dirt and dust look. I also used leather dye to “over darken” low points to make it look more worn.
I like how the thin pig hide actually lends itself well to a worn in look even though its literally just collapsing under its own weight. The stuff is about the same weight as cotton canvas.