Your Custom Cobbler

Mark J. Nelson, B.S., D.P.M.

Custom Medical and Fashion Footwear, Shoe Repair & Modifications


Some Tools Of The Trade


A Work In Process



Many conditions including arthritis, polio, swelling, accidents, and post operative results cause standard footwear to fit poorly.

Custom footwear may make a world of difference. I hand make custom shoes that provide comfort, safety, mobility, and style

from plaster castings of your feet. I can create an entire collection of dress and casuals replacing the pumps, oxfords, sandals

and boots you will love to wear.

We begin with a 45 minute casting procedure. I’ll cover each foot with wet plaster strips which dry as I place your foot in a

comfortable position. Measurements and outlines are made both seated and standing. You’ll choose a pattern style, the

leather skins from which I’ll make uppers and linings, and a sole pattern.

Your castings are next filled with plaster, and a custom last is produced for each foot, combining your anatomical characteristics

with the design elements of the style you’ve chosen. Light weight cushion foam is melted over the bottom of each last forming a

custom molded insole for each shoe.

From each last I develop patterns for the vamps (tops), quarters (sides), tongues and linings. I trace these onto the leathers you

chose, cut them out, and sew them together to make completed uppers, which are moistened, stretched, and tacked over the

shoe forms.

This is known as hand lasting. Once dry, I’ll add balancing material to the bottom of each shoe to improve weight bearing, and

equalize limb lengths. I then cut a thread channel into each sole, and hand sew it into place.

The last is now ‘broken out’ of each shoe. Straps, laces, and buckles are applied. The sole edges are dyed, and the shoes are

shined. It’s time for me to call you and invite you back to try them on.

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