America’s heritage footwear

cowboy boots

by Lisa Sorrell

Episode 61

This episode is filmed and directed by Morgan Sorrell! 

It features excerpts from Lisa's two week cowboy boot making class with two students.


Episode 60

Lisa experiences life with a narrator, demonstrates putting a toe bug and wrinkle on a boot vamp, interviews Paige about graduating from high school, and catches Morgan making messes.


Episode 59

Lisa visits the Penland School of Craft in North Carolina to teach, visits another studio and attempts to blow glass, and demonstrates how to trim an insole.


Episode 58

Lisa demonstrates pegging a pair of cowboy boot soles, accidentally admits that she's old, and bravely speaks in a high school classroom in "Boot Maker vs Wild."


Episode 57

Lisa takes a trip to England to attend the Independent Shoemakers gathering, visits with Tony Slinger and Jim McCormack, and survives Dale driving on the left side of the road.


Episode 56

Lisa demonstrates applying water-based contact cement, dons a beard for "Bootmaker Dynasty", and interviews two students on their final day of boot making class.


Episode 55

Lisa demonstrates channeling an insole on "In the Studio" and wears a disguise in "Undercover Bootmaker."


Season Finale (Episode 54)

Lisa announces that she's taking a break from filming "It's a Boot Life." She'll return in January of 2015.


Episode 53

Lisa demonstrates stitching curves, reveals a completed boot top, reads her Top Ten list, and shows a picture of baby Paige.


Episode 52

Lisa tells a joke, demonstrates creating a pattern, Morgan expresses one of her many opinions, a new feature called "Story of a Tool debuts, and Lisa remembers an old boot top project.


Episode 51

Lisa demonstrates how to sharpen a knife, interviews a beginning boot maker, reveals a new source for Italian tanned kangaroo, and shows one more clip from her recent visit to West Virginia.


Episode 50
Lisa interviews her current student Emelie, a shoemaking apprentice from Sweden, follows the progress of her boots on "In the Studio," and goes to a lake over the Fourth of July.


Episode 49

In the absence of a student Lisa demonstrates sweeping her shop, debuts a new segment called "A Pause for Paige," and travels to Pocahontas County, West Virginia.


Episode 48

Lisa buys thread--lots and lots of thread, demonstrates why skiving is important, allows Morgan to express her opinion on the computer mouse, and Paige finishes a pair of shoes.


Episode 47

Lisa shares an opinion about a dilemma in her career, introduces a new segment featuring her daughter Morgan and demonstrates leveling heels on "In the Studio.”


Episode 46

Lisa demonstrates making a waxed end, Lisa and her daughter Morgan go on a road trip to the Rocky Mountain Leather Trade show in Sheridan, Wyoming.


Episode 45

Lisa fights with her curved needle, demonstrates the tools she uses for crimping, and cuts apart a pair of her personal boots to remake them.


Episode 44

Lisa announces an inlay/overlay class at her studio, demonstrates cutting boot vamps out of an alligator skin, and shows off a brand new product--shank pullers with exotic wood handles.


Episode 43

Lisa demonstrates correct technique for using her skiving knives and shows off a buckle she won at the Art of the Cowboy Makers competition. The featured product is a new product she's carrying--scissors for cutting heavy leather.


Episode 42

Lisa shares footage of working with students in her shop.


Episode 41

Lisa demonstrates wiping in a toe, reads an email of the day, celebrates hanging a new sign on her building, and has some help for "You Want My Opinion?”


Episode 40

Lisa talks about attending a bluegrass festival, announces her "How to Make Cowboy Boots" DVD is ready to order (FINALLY!!!), and demonstrates how to time a sewing machine.


Episode 39

Lisa demonstrates changing the toe shape on a last, learns a valuable lesson, and photographs boots before shipping.


Episode 38

Lisa talks about how to properly position a wingtip, announces the arrival (finally!) of a shipment of Baker Leather from England, and shares her opinion on the wisdom and efficiency of being self-taught.


Episode 37

Lisa demonstrates spraying the water-based glue from Germany that she sells, interviews her daughter Morgan, and talks about a new boot order.


Episode 36

Lisa talks about the difference between talent and skill on a new segment entitled "You Want My Opinion?", features a photo essay of shoemakers wearing their work, and demonstrates reinforcing an ostrich vamp prior to crimping on "In the Studio.”


Episode 35

Lisa does a video essay on adding a shank cover, talks about an old Jay Griffith boot, interviews her mother, and visits the Grand Canyon.


Episode 34

Lisa demonstrates trimming an outsole, interviews Bill Shanor of Bonney and Wills School of Shoemaking, demonstrates how to hold and use a skiving knife, and debuts a new feature: Email of the Day.


Episode 33

Lisa hosts the annual general meeting for the Honourable Cordwainer's Company, interviews Frank Jones of Noble Footwear, demonstrates dyeing the edge of leather that's not "struck through," and talks about the new book "Portraits of the American Craftsman" that features her work.


Episode 32

Lisa visits Wichita Falls, Texas for the 25th annual Boot and Saddlemakers Roundup.


Episode 31

Lisa talks about presentation, visits New York City for the first time, talks about the first pair of boots she made, and demonstrates how she creates patterns for inlay and overlay.


Episode 30

Lisa changes the name of her show, teaches a boot making class, and talks about kangaroo leather.


Episode 29

Lisa demonstrates cutting the heel breast and interviews her apprentice Brittney who just completed her very first pair of boots.


Episode 28

Lisa demonstrates sharpening a knife, talks about alligator leather supplier Mark Staton, and shows several clips from her recent visit to the MAGIC trade show in Las Vegas.


Episode 27

There's a new format for the Monday videos and a new schedule. They're going to be longer and cover a wider variety of life in a boot shop, but from now on I'll be doing one every other Monday. "Every Other Monday with Lisa" is kind of a clunky title though so I went with "Mondays with Lisa Sorrell" and I'm accepting suggestions for better names.


Episode 26

Part 2: Lisa's making a leather pillow with a scene of mountains and trees in Montana. She recently had the opportunity to stay at the Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana and this was the view outside her window each morning.


Episode 25

Lisa's making a leather pillow with a scene of mountains and trees in Montana. She recently had the opportunity to stay at the Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana and this was the view outside her window each morning.


Episode 24 Removing a Last

Lisa demonstrates pulling a last that's difficult to remove from the boot and also shows some photos of her recent trip to Montana.


Episode 23 Finisher

This is a series of videos about the most necessary and common machines in a boot shop. This week Lisa talks about the Finisher.


Episode 22 Straight and Curved Needle Machines

This is a series of videos about the most necessary and common machines in a boot shop. This week Lisa talks about the Straight Needle and the Curved Needle machines.


Episode 21 Post Machine

Over the next few weeks Lisa will talk about the necessary machines for a cowboy boot shop. This week she talks about a type of sewing machine called a "post machine.”


Episode 20 Flatbed Sewing Machines

Over the next few weeks Lisa will talk about the necessary machines for a cowboy boot shop, starting with a flatbed sewing machine for stitching boot tops.


Episode 19 Old Tools

Lisa talks about a few of the old tools she owns and confesses to making up reasons why she must own many, many versions of the same tool.


Episode 18 Bootmakers and Mentors

Lisa talks about her memories of working for Jay Griffith.


Episode 17 Stitching Curves

Lisa demonstrates how to sew small curves without increasing or decreasing the stitch length or getting corners in the curve.


Episode 16 Evolution of Design

Lisa demonstrates through images of her own work how a design can evolve through time and client preferences.


Episode 15 Sheridan Leather Class

Lisa was in Sheridan, Wyoming last week at the World Leather Debut. She taught a class on leather inlay and overlay.


Episode 14 Putting in the Steel Shank

Lisa puts the steel shank, using hot glue to hold it in place and then lacing it with the inseaming threads.


Episode 13 Making Side Welt

Lisa demonstrates making side welt and talks about the years of practice it requires to fully become a cowboy boot maker.


Episode 12 Curved Needle

Lisa demonstrates stitching soles on a curved needle and give advice on keeping a curved needle happy. Her curved needle enjoys bluegrass music, specifically a very sad song called "Last Letter Home" by the Gibson Brothers.


Episode 11 Lasting and Wiping in the Toe

Lisa demonstrates lasting the toe on a boot with a stitched wingtip.


Episode 10 Putting an Insole on a Last

Lisa demonstrates putting a leather insole on a last.


Episode 9 Substitue for Rubber Cement

After much searching, Lisa finds a substitute for rubber cement--Aqualim GL by Renia.


Episode 8 International Shoemaker’s Days, Germany

Highlights of my visit to the International Shoemaker's Days in Wiesbaden, Germany.


Episode 7 Guest Appearance by Paige Sorrell

I hijacked my mom's channel! Mwahahaha! ;)


Episode 6 Shaping a Steel Shank

Lisa demonstrates shaping a steel shank for a cowboy boot and is helped with her monologue portion by her ever-so-helpful daughters.


Episode 5 Skiving Knives and Skiving

Lisa displays several types of skiving knives and demonstrates her own style of skiving.


Episode 4 Making a Waxed End

Lisa demonstrates making a waxed end from a tapered thread and a fishing line bristle.


Episode 3 What is a Bespoke Cowboy Boot?

Lisa talks about bespoke footwear, and the differences between factory boots and bespoke boots.


Episode 2 Stitching a Boot Top

Lisa demonstrates stitching a boot top with 10 rows of stitching, and talks about why her stitching goes all the way through the lining leather.


Episode 1 In the Studio with Lisa Sorrell

Lisa demonstrates how to cut small curves with an X-Acto knife, and tells her favorite joke about boot making.

It’s a Boot Life Episode List

Lisa uploads a new episode of “It’s a Boot Life” every other Monday. Each episode features videos that showcase the process of building bespoke leather cowboy boots, as well as her personal opinions on the shoemaking industry, guest appearances, and recommendations for essential products that Lisa uses in her studio.