PAUL THOMAS SHOES

William Powell - Buxton, UK

"Paul's 15 day intensive course was exactly what it promised; a chance to design and make your own shoes from scratch. This is a rare opportunity to gain a solid knowledge of the WHOLE process, not just one element. The real value of this course is Paul. He is not only an experienced professional, but also a fantastic teacher and great company to work with. Every step was made enjoyable in the relaxed (yet highly productive) environment he offers at his creative studio. The course was my first foray into the world of shoemaking and Paul really gave me the confidence to pursue the craft as a career. The shoes I made with Paul acted as my "foot in the door" within the industry and I haven't looked back since! I can't recommend Paul's course enough. Whether you are a complete novice or an advanced crafts person, Paul will tailor the course to your style, skills and speed" I am now employed at John Lobbs Bootmakers.”

Ed Vermaak – South Africa - www.edwardvernon.com

“It was a strange moment in my life when I decided to tackle shoemaking and turn it into a career, at the age of 48. Finding the most suitable training for my needs was not easy, because I had to blindly calculate the cost of training compared to the benefit that I would derive. I narrowed it down three schools, each one of them in Italy, USA, and the UK. The choice became self-evident when I concluded that the amount of information that I would gain from Paul Thomas was vastly more in a much shorter time when compared to the other schools. Paul’s intensive courses stand out head and shoulders above the rest. I was fortunate to attend 2 intensives lasting 3 weeks each, during which I know I was taught more than I would have ever learnt in 2 years elsewhere. Thank you so much Paul for the superb training, and the after-care!”

Anna Biggerstaff – London/New York

“Paul’s technical knowledge & ability translate a novices 2D sketch into a real pair of shoes; makes this one of my favourite classes. I'm addicted to the process like so many others. It’s the highlight of my week.”

Lisa Teng - Singapore

"Before I started my first year at the Royal College of Art, I felt that I had to refresh my shoe making skills. Therefore, I decided to enroll myself into Paul's shoe making classes. I knew it was the best decision I have made, as going through the course from scratch made me aware of the skills I had forgotten and it was refreshing to practice them again. In addition, I acquired new shoe making skills. With that new found confidence, I felt that I could start my first year without worrying about making a pair of shoes. I feel that his classes are worth the investment if you want to either go through the fundamentals of making a pair of shoes or to refresh your skills."

Aida James – Zürich, Switzerland

“I've enjoyed every day of Paul’s course. Every step of making my shoes was exciting and interesting and I loved every bit of it! Paul is a really cool guy and we had lots of fun in our little class! I hope some day I can come back and make more fabulous shoes!”

Thomas Perks - London

"One of the most satisfying and rewarding courses I've undertaken. You have the opportunity to create something unique and personal, regardless of your ability, in a small class with a knowledgeable instructor and a great working environment. I always looked forward to my Tuesday evening class as a change from the usual working week. I couldn't recommend it more!"

Zoe Phillips – Royal Opera House, London

"The only shoe course for miles whereby you make both the left and right shoe made to measure; and can challenge yourself as a maker! Shoe making truly is a specialised skill and Paul was an excellent tutor! I am by no means now a shoemaker but the skills I learnt were priceless and transferable. You are really only limited in what you can do by the time you have to spend on the course, but the variety of lesson slots meant I could fit it in with working full time. Paul has lots of regulars and I can see why, I definitely hope to return!"

Maria Jose Delfau – Santiago, Chile

"Paul’s shoemaking classes were an incredible experience, not only because I learnt many interesting things about shoes; and made my own pair. But also because Paul is a great person, worth knowing. An amazing course, an amazing professor, an amazing city."

Adriana Gerbasi - Venezuela

“Since the first day I went to meet Paul at his workshop, I felt like the course was going to be inspiring; the smell of leather, the tools and the machines; makes you want to start working right away. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for the amazing experience, of hand making a shoe from start to finish. Paul is a great teacher, he pays a lot of attention to detail, while his expertise and guidance allows you to develop the project confidently on your own.”

Mina Balali – Athens, Greece

"I attended a shoe construction course with Paul Thomas Shoes in London, and successfully completed a handmade pair of high heel shoes. Thanks to Paul's experience, patience and devotion to his work. He helped me accomplish a lifetime goal I am very proud of. I would recommend this course to anyone who has a passion for shoe design! Paul is really an excellent teacher."

Leung Chi Tak - Hong Kong

“It was an amazing experience. It was an intensive course but Paul has made it pretty easy to understand every step in bespoke shoemaking with lots of useful tips.“

Lena LeCain - London, Red By Wolves

"Paul's shoemaking classes were a great experience and I would definitely recommend them to anyone interested in shoemaking or just in taking up a new hobby. Not only will you leave with a unique and handmade pair of shoes, which is incredibly rewarding in itself, Paul's attention to detail, excellent ability to teach and patience will ensure that the end-result is something to be proud of."

Beth Anne Krajicek – Texas, USA

"The intensive shoemaking class with Paul Thomas was hands down the most informative, enlightening and enjoyable class I've ever taken. Paul's passion for his craft shines through in his teaching and was worth every minute and penny spent getting there from Texas!"

Silvia Fado - Barcelona - www.silviafado.com

“It was a really great experience, the classes are very complete and he is very patient and kind with all the students. It’s very exciting that everyone can do their own design and the best part is when you realise that you can actually wear the shoes you made. I strongly recommend the courses to everyone that has interest in footwear making.”

Alison Truesdale - Oxford, UK

“Paul's shoemaking classes are by far the best classes I have ever attended. The level of teaching I have received has been really in-depth and technical, covering all aspects of shoemaking and design, whilst allowing me to have real creative freedom in choosing my designs. His classes really are in a league of their own.”

María José Tagle Rozas – Chile

“Paul's shoemaking classes were intense and fully explained what the shoe really is. I now understand that the shoe is not only something that people wear, it is also a work of art where you ideas, ambitions, and personality reflect. With his shoemaking classes, you will not only learn the amazing skills of shoemaking, but you will also have the time of your life. Sharing with other students, and laughing at Paul's cool Welsh sense of humour, really a lifetime experience for me. Liberating!!!!”

Rachel Minty - Instow, Devon, UK

“Paul's shoemaking classes are amazing, whether you go to weekly or intensive courses, you always get superb tuition, wonderful company, and enjoy yourself, with the added bonus of a fantastic outcome - a totally unique, bespoke pair of shoes that are entirely your design and made by you. Paul can take the most complex of shoe design ideas and transfer them into reality in a relaxed but business-like way. His extensive knowledge of the shoemaking business can help students at all levels - whether as a hobby, starting your own business, or practical skills for presenting a portfolio at college. He is a star!”

Sara Tesouro Nieto – Gibraltar, Spain/London

“I really enjoyed the classes, the environment at the workshop is very comfortable and relaxed. Paul is an amazing teacher with tons of knowledge, he guides you through every step of the process and is always there to give you personal attention whenever you need it.”

Kira Goodey – Sydney, Australia/London - www.kiragoodey.com

“I had the pleasure of studying with Paul for over 12 months from 2011-2012. Without exaggeration, this was absolutely one of the best things I have done in my life. Paul's knowledge of shoe history, design and construction is second to none and he is an immensely thorough, patient and fun teacher to have. I enjoyed the classes so much it was the highlight of my week, and I really miss my Saturdays in his studio still. Paul's warm demeanor meant that the class would always have a lovely welcoming atmosphere, where we could all learn and have a go at things without feeling at all intimidated. The class was made up of people of mixed ability and goals; some were there for a fun hobby, others like myself were there to start a career in footwear. But regardless of our motives and ambitions, everyone had an immensely positive attitude and there was a great spirit of altruism and camaraderie- lots of laughter too! I started the course without having the faintest idea of how a shoe is constructed and finished the course with not only an in-depth understanding but also the skills to turn any footwear concept into a physical functional shoe- by hand! I have now made design and bespoke shoemaking my career, and I entirely have Paul to thanks for this. The thing that I believe makes Paul's course particularly special, is the fact that you get to make a shoe that you yourself designed, and fit it to whoever you want (yourself, a friend or family member etc), meaning that you literally walk away in a pair of shoes you created from concept to completion. This is especially great for people who are planning a career in footwear. One of the most challenging and important skills to know, is how to take an idea and convert it to a 3D form. Overall I could not rate this course highly enough and I recommend it to anyone who wants a career in footwear, has a passion for traditional crafts or is just looking for a fascinating new hobby! A+++++++++++++++++”

Helen Barnes – London

“I always look forward to going to Paul's handmade shoemaking classes. When it comes to teaching shoemaking, Paul has an inexhaustible wealth of knowledge and expertise on all aspects of the design and construction process. Like all true masters of their craft Paul's method of teaching is through flawless demonstration. Plus Paul has so much enthusiasm! Through this combination I have learnt so much, and mastered many shoemaking skills. Despite Paul making it look easy, handmade shoemaking is complex and can be challenging; so mastering any aspect is for me immensely rewarding, and confidence boosting! Paul is very professional and will tailor the learning process to individuals' needs and skill level. I also love the atmosphere of the classes, which is warm and friendly. All in all the classes are a fantastic enriching odyssey into handmade shoemaking!”

Vito Antivigilia – Belgium - www.antivigilia.com

“If you want to learn how to make shoes, the best teacher around is Paul Thomas. He is a walking encyclopedia on the matter and he shares all this knowledge with you. For every question, he has a to-the-point answer. His courses are organized very professionally and he creates a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere in his atelier. It was a pleasure to meet him and to learn from him! Thanks Paul”

Emmanuel Dardennes - Folkestone, UK

“In a friendly and relaxing atmosphere Paul uses all his experience to help you make the shoes of your dreams. The quality of the finished product reaches the standard of the best shoemakers.”

Nancy DeRuchie - Phoenix, Arizona, USA

“I have been a student of Paul's almost 4 years. If you are looking for an experience where you learn how a shoe is made from design on, this is the workshop for you. The process isn't simple, not at all easy but Paul's teaching style gives you an opportunity to try to tackle each step on your own without hovering over you. Of course he is right there to help when you need it but the only way to truly learn the process is to do it yourself. He is patient and a stickler for perfection, striving for each one of us to leave with a lovely pair of handmade shoes. His motto is he wants them to be handmade but not homemade looking. It is a wonderful experience. I always feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I walk out with a pair of shoes I've made by my own hands. Give him a try. Really good fun.”