How to Make Shoes

How To Make Shoes: 4 Steps And Benefits On Making Your Own

Many people spend hundreds of dollars each year on various pairs of shoes.

Yet, shoes are one of the easiest articles of clothing to make.

This article offers a very basic approach to making shoes.

Each section walks you through a different part of the shoe-making process. Towards the end of the article, the benefits of making your own shoes are discussed as well as the future of shoemaking.

The First Step – Deciding What Shoe To Make

How to Make Shoes

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If you are wondering how to make shoes, the first step is to decide what kind of shoe to make.


There are many different types of shoes. Some of these include sandals, athletic shoes, boots, dress shoes and high heels. Additionally, there are many different varieties of shoes within these categories.


The best way to decide what shoe to make is to determine what purpose it will have. If you want a pair of shoes that is extremely durable, then a pair of athletic shoes or boots might be your best option. Alternatively, some sandals can be made in such a way that they are extremely durable.


For example, the company Chacos designs sandals that usually last at least 10 years.


shoe lifted with one hand

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If you don’t need shoes that are that durable, then perhaps you should consider making a pair of beach sandals or slippers. These will still be functional, yet they won’t be amenable for intense outdoor activities like hiking or running.


Deciding what kind of shoe to make is critical, as this will greatly impact how you design the shoe and what materials you use.

The Second Step –
Designing Your Shoes  

The second step in making shoes is to design them.


This can be done in a number of ways. Perhaps the simplest way is to get out a piece of paper and a pencil and sketch a rough blueprint of how you want your shoes to look.


This can be a very abstract sketch, as the important part is to start brainstorming immediately. Even if the first couple of sketches you make are undesirable, at least you’ve gotten those ideas off of your mind. Creativity really flourishes when you are unafraid of failure and allow your thoughts to just stream.

Adult sketching

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Eventually, after sketching some designs, the right form will emerge. You will know it when you see it, as it will appeal to your senses and will present a clear image in your mind. If you can’t visualize your future shoes from this sketch, then you should work on a new blueprint.


If you are focused on zero waste, then another way of sketching a blueprint of your shoes is to use some kind of technology like a smart phone or tablet. These devices offer access to free applications that allow you to sketch whatever design you want using your fingers or a stylus. The main benefit of these applications is that they don’t waste paper.


After making this initial sketch, you can always create a more complicated design with more accurate proportions. You can also use colors if you wish, as this will really help you visualize your future pair of shoes.


Some people also like to make a foot cast out of alginate jelly, as this is a great guide when building your shoes. Basically, you just let your foot sit in the jelly for about 20 minutes, allowing it to solidify. Then you slowly remove your foot.

Finally, you pour casting material into the mold, allowing that to solidify overnight. Then you remove this cast from the jelly. This is a great way of ensuring that the shoe you make fits your foot.

The Third Step – Sourcing The Materials

Different colors of cloth

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If you have an interest in how to make shoes, then you will you have to source the materials yourself.


This is not as difficult as it might seem, though it does require some effort.


Generally speaking, the materials for your shoes shouldn’t cost more than $75. Of course, if you decide to source expensive materials, then the costs will definitely rise.


If you follow a vegan lifestyle, then leather will be off limits, as this comes from animals that have been brutally manipulated in some way.


The best place to source materials for shoe making is local hardware stores and specialty stores. These places are great resources, as they often have very helpful employees that are willing to guide your shoe making process.


The most affordable way of sourcing materials for shoes is to repurpose old shoes. This also avoids creating waste, as you will just be recycling old materials.


Many people use sheets of cork in order to make a durable sole for their shoes. Many online websites offer environmentally friendly ways of sourcing cork for your shoes.

The Fourth Step – Assembling The Shoes


shoemaker showing how to make shoes

​Image Source: Pixabay.com

The last step of this process is to assemble the shoes.


The best way to do this is to use glue and a sewing machine. Many manufacturers make glue that is specific to making shoes. This kind of material is recommended, as it will result in a more durable pair of shoes.


It’s important to realize that there is no right way to make a pair of shoes. All that matters is that your shoes serve your needs.


One of the best ways to personalize your shoes is to add decorative touches at the end. This can be done using colorful materials or various paints and markers. Truly, the sky is the limit.

The Final Step In Making Shoes

A Pair of shiny black shoes n the floor

Image Via  Pixabay

Before you declare yourself an expert in how to make shoes, it’s important to test your creation.


Some people create shoes only to find that they break down the second they are used. Testing your shoes is critical in this sense, as this could prevent an unfortunate situation from occurring in the future.


For example, some people make their own shoes before they go on vacation. Yet, within a few days, these shoes start to degrade, forcing these people to buy a new pair of shoes. Depending on where you are vacationing, this could be quite difficult or costly.

The Benefits Of Making Your Shoes

There are many benefits to making your own shoes that are worth noting.

How to Make Shoes

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First, making your shoes gives you more control over the pair of shoes you will eventually wear. This is not the case when you purchase shoes from a store, as you effectively have no control over these kinds of products. This often means buying a compromised pair of shoes that doesn’t fully align with your life’s purpose.

When you make your own shoes, you can design them to dovetail perfectly with your lifestyle, down to every last color, material, and stitching.

Furthermore, making your own shoes allows you to source environmentally friendly materials. This is critical in our current situation, as many modern shoes use leather in their construction.

Beyond being unsustainable, buying leather shoes is also unethical. Just ask the cows, pigs, and sheep how they feel about being turned in to shoes. If they could speak your language, they would certainly protest such a use of their body and life. Would you like a part of yourself to be turned into a pair of shoes?

Final Thoughts On How To Make Shoes

Most shoes will become obsolete in the future, as global warming will cause every city on earth to have a tropical climate.

This means that most people will just play on the grass and beach during the day. These surfaces don’t require shoes, as there is nothing more enjoyable than walking barefoot through a meadow or sticking your toes in the sand.

Still, there might some use for shoes in the future when it comes to certain intense activities. For example, if you wanted to run a marathon that goes through the jungle, then a pair of durable running shoes would likely be ideal.

In the future, all shoes will be made from recycled materials. Furthermore, animal products will be banned from being used to make shoes in the future. Using animal hide is a cruel and inhumane act that should be abolished once and for all.

Until animal products are abolished, our society cannot truly call itself a peaceful, loving, or ethical society.

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