Dan Freeman's Leatherworks


Dan Freeman learned to make shoes over thirty years ago in New Orleans. Now he practices his art in a small shop off of Route 7 in Middlebury, Vermont.

Dan custom makes all types of shoes including dress, sneakers and boat shoes but is best known for his equestrian and hiking boots. For every shoe, Dan creates a custom form modeled after the foot of a customer. Dan keeps all of these customers' forms in the back for future use.

Dan requires customers to make multiple sizing visits to his workspace in Middlebury, and ohh yahh, they cost $1,800.

Day Hikers. Dan uses Vibram soles for all of his rubber soled shoes.

Forms for Equestrian boots and a pair of his early work.

A view of Dan's shop and his apprentice.

Dan makes these labels himself.

I loved these sandals. Very simple, high quality and 1/10 the price of the Day Hikers.

I love the simplicity of the design. These will last forever.

If I ever have the money to purchase a pair of $2,000 custom made shoes, I will certainly support a shoemaker like Dan Freeman. His trade represents the last of a long tradition craftsman who learn by apprenticeship, not a $50,000 a year college or an online course. Dan doesn't have a website and does all of his business out of his workspace. Customers fly to Vermont from all over the US to have Dan make their shoes. After spending twenty minutes in his store I can see why.

21 Comments