For the past two weeks I have been learning how to attach a heel to a boot. This process takes place after the boot has been completely outsoled. It is a several step process that has taken several weeks to learn.
You begin by figuring out what heel to put on the pair of boots. You read the ticket for the pair which holds on the information you need when putting together a boot, including type of leather, stitching or cording pattern, etc. Lucchese uses several different types of heels all given numbers as names. We also have special heels for women’s fashion boots and a heel for riding boots.
Once you select the correct heel you put rubber cement on the part of the outsole where you place the heel and the topside of the heel. Then you remove the last out of the boot by placing it upside down on the last and essentially yank the boot off of the last (which is not as easy as it sounds).
You then take the heel, place it properly onto the bottom of the boot, and center it onto a nail machine (upside down) that places 5 nails into the heel through the insole of the boot. After the heel is nailed on you have to level the boot. The boot heels are not always flat on the bottom so you use a large sanding machine to level out the boot. You examine the boots looking them head on to see if each one is straight.
After you have the heel properly leveled you then put rubber cement on the bottom of the heel and onto a small rubber pad which is called the top lift, and place the top lift onto the bottom of the heel. The top lift is the only part of a Lucchese heel that is not leather and is added for comfort and to prevent wear-and-tear on the heel. You place the top lift properly and then hammer it down to ensure it does not move. After that you have to be sure to close the front part of the heel with the outsole, as the heel, after being nailed, is not always flush with the outsole. Once you close the heel, you are finished!