Make Your Own Shoes!




A couple of years back I found myself with a weeks vacation and nothing to do, so I decided to find out how to make a pair of shoes. At the time, there were no resources or books that I could find, so I took apart a pair of old loafers I had and "reverse engineered" them as best I could. The trick to making shoes is to do things in the right sequence and to use the right kind of glue. 
Basically, I started out by tracing my feet on a piece of brown wrapping paper. I cut around my foot outline at around a couple of inches and bent the paper up to come to the level of the top of my foot. Then I shaped a piece to act as the "top" front of the "shoe"...kind of adding pieces to it to form a "tounge" and the ankle surrounding material...I wanted them to be sort of like boots. I was taping everything together with blue painters tape so that I could reposition everything without tearing apart the paper. Ultimately, I cut things apart to make flat patterns, which I then cut out of leather that I sourced on the net. I got a leather sewing repair kit from the hardware store and hand sewed it all together as you see in the picture. The "secret" is the sequence of construction. It seems that many shoes have a "midsole" that acts as the means of connection between the soft comfy foot bed and surround and the tough "sole" portion that contacts the street surface. What I did was sew the midsole to the upper portion while all was flat, then, I sewed the "tops" of the shoes to the lower "foot-bed" portion...then when your shoes are all sewed up, you glue the mid-sole to the outer sole. Use a cement called "Barge" cement which is at the hardware store. Its a contact cement that I suspect most shoes are made with. Anyway, that's how I did was fun and I have yet to actually use them outside on the streets cause I think of them more as sculpture than shoes. But they are comfy cause they're custom made!



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    10 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmmm...unfortunately, I did not take pix during the build...but, perhaps I can draw some'll take me a few this space!

    2 replies

    3 years ago on Introduction

    I'm confused. Where is the instructable? All I see is a paragraph that generally describes what you did. Where are the photos, steps of the process, helpful tips, list of materials needed, list of tools needed, etc?


    5 years ago

    Good idea im trying to make skate shoes it might work the same... Hopefully, cause most are made with leather anyway, but it might require some more materials

    gkaseKaptain Kool

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    depends on what you choose to make them out of...if you make em out of heavy canvas or if you find a source of cheap leather...not a lot. the soles which I bought from a shoe repair place were the most expensive part at about $6 bucks I think it can buy leather by the piece online...just did a quick search and found 2 pieces for $9 bucks that were 20x25 17x17, it is pretty reasonable for a pair of leather boots...but it does take time...Im not sure this is a "practical" project so much as just doing it for the grins and experience kind of thing...


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    id look for leather couches people are throwing out and butcher them for leather is free and decent quality so long as its not pleather i use it for knife sheaths