Zapatero [Bootmaker]

Project Contribution

DP / Editing / Color Grading


Roberto Robledo, 61, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he runs his shoemaking business.

A zapatero of 48-years, Roberto conveys a special technical ability in his work that is almost all but forgotten. Using his own two hands and simple but crude tools he inherited from his father and his father before him, Roberto practices a 1930s style of shoe making that isn't often found implemented in our vast world of mass production.

Roughened, cut up and stained from years of working with harsh leather dies, Roberto, by hand, completes a pair of custom cowboy boots fashioned in a 1930s technique and explains this trade, his trade, which is a source of happiness for him and which he swears he'll never leave as, in his mind, he was born and destined to be a Zapatero.

This is his story.