Red Dirt Diaries: Boot Maker Rediscovers Passion Through Music


Saturday, February 20th 2021, 12:19 pm
By: Karl Torp


GUTHRIE, Okla. -

Guthrie shoe and boot maker Lisa Sorrell just became the first woman to win a prestigious book-making award in 2020, but it’s her side hustle that keeps her fulfilled.

“I got my first job in a boot shop in 1990,” says Sorrell, of Sorrell Custom Boots in downtown Guthrie.

Her custom creations are pricey. These days she charges $10,000 for pair of cowboy boots.

“It’s not easy physically, it’s not easy mentally to make books. None of it is easy,” says Sorrell, who has made boots for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In fact, Schwarzenegger purchased two pairs after flying Sorrell out to a movie set in Ohio to be fitted. Other celebrities have reached out for a pair of Sorrell’s boots featuring intricate leather inlay and overlay techniques. Sorrell says many times celebrities will request for her to donate the boots for free.

“I don’t do donations,” Sorrell used to say.

The tragedy changed that for the Guthrie mother. In 2017, Sorrell’s daughter Paige who worked in the shop making shoes committed suicide.

“I really lost all my will to live. I was looking for a way to find joy again,” says Sorrell.

That joy came in the form of the two bluegrass-playing musician brothers: Taylor and Christopher Malpass. Sorrell enjoyed the Malpass Brothers twangy retro sound and offered the two a customer pair of her boots for free.

“I said I need this and this is something I would like to do for you,” says Sorrell.

The work got Sorrell back in her shop. She is now making other boots that will be donated to other upcoming musicians in Paige’s honor. Another pair is being auctioned off for a Bluegrass music organization.

“It really has helped me find a way to move on and find joy in craft again,” says Sorrell.