John Allen Woodward entered the music world as a Nashville singer/songwriter. Spending his nights in local clubs playing, Woodward eventually met a leather bootmaker who offered him an apprenticeship. With what started as a side gig to his music, Woodward was drawn to the craftsmanship of the work, and started his own bootmaking company, Woodward Boots, in 1992. He opened several retail stores throughout California, but eventually settled permanently in Boulder, CO. Though Woodward left the stage, his boots didn’t, and his finely crafted footwear has been worn by musicians and movie stars alike ever since.
Now based out of his Boulder, CO studio, Woodward was recently commissioned to create several pairs of boots for Netflix’s The Get Down, which is Oscar-nominated Baz Luhrmann’s hip-hop series currently in its second season. Jeriana San Juan, the costume designer behind shows like SNL and Gossip Girl, was on the hunt for a bright red pair of hornback alligator boots for the show as part of “the crucial wardrobe pieces” Luhrmann requested for filming. Lucky for her, Woodword was able to commission the boots in just a week.
Said Jeriana, "John Allen Woodward is an outstanding artisan. He makes beautiful and unique boots with unmatched craftsmanship.”
The interwebs were listening, and recently, Woodward was again commissioned for another major series- Fox’s Empire.
Said Woodward, “I love the magic of making. Whether it's shoes or boots or music, it's real magic. You have a vision that only you can see. You sit at a bench with the raw materials and will it into being. At the end of the day the image becomes real. Real magic."
Woodward also makes handmade shoes, belts, buckles, wallets and other accessories, all of which can be found on his website. So if you’re looking for a new pair of kickass boots (I’m looking at you musicians and show-goers), make sure to check out Woodward’s fine work for yourself and support this Colorado artist.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.