Crimping Vamps By Hand
We crimp our vamps (the part that covers the front of the foot) by hand using a crimping board and tacks. Crimping the vamp is required on a pull-up boot like a Chelsea or a women’s’ knee high boot if it is one piece (any shoe or boot without a tongue). Without crimping, the leather sitting on the top of your foot on a would not have any structure or shape.
A proper fit for any shoe or boot should feel like your instep is being hugged by the boot and is especially important for a Chelsea boot because there are no laces to tighten the shoe over your foot. Crimping can be a long and difficult process, but is an extremely important step in order to create a snug fit.
This is a video of David crimping a leather and lining for a Chelsea boot in Whiskey Predator from Horween leather as we chat about leathers, crimping and shoemaking. We use a water/alcohol solution to wet the leather, then shape it over the crimping board so it is tight and without any creases, the leather then sits over night to dry. Once dry, the leather has taken the shape of the board and is ready to skive.