Ask The Experts

How may I locate a shoemaker or cordwainer?

Thank you for contacting us. As you may already know, a cordwainer is a shoemaker who works primarily or exclusively with leather. The French word for shoemaker is cordonnier, derived from “cordovan,” the famous high-quality leather produced in Córdoba, Spain.  After William of Normandy conquered England in 1066, the word cordonnier was anglicized to cordwainer, the word in use today. You can learn more about the art of shoemaking from our article on the subject. The best way to find a cordwainer or custeom shoemaker is to do an on line search. We are aware of one cordwainer shop in Deefield, New Hampshire (the one actually visited by our correspondent when she wrote the article about shoemaking). Their web site is here: You can contact them directly by e-mail or telephone: Their contact information is posted on the web site. There are other custom footwear manufacturers that can be found in on line searches. When you search, try putting in your location in order to find the ones that are closest to you.

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