Someone can easily design and build a house for themselves but can’t make their shoes. It’s interesting, right? Yes, because shoes and shelter are both basic needs. Shoe design ideas and making process have been left to designers and manufacturing companies, yet it's something one can sit down and customize for either oneself or a loved one. Only a few countries and some retail shops in different countries are known to produce shoes. This situation can be reversed if you choose to be creative and develop handmade shoes originally designed by you. Various brands like the Adidas shoes design, Nike, Under Armour, Jordan, and many more can be a reference point for making your shoe comfortably.


If you already have the skills, it may take longer before getting employed by a prominent shoe company. However, that shouldn't demoralize your efforts. Don't neglect a job from a small company, instead, keep doing your best as you await greatness. People aspiring to be designers should track fashion trends to understand the material type and how footwear can be made. You're also not limited to asking the experts for guidance, especially those who dream of joining the shoe designing industry. This article looks at the steps of making shoes. Keep reading to learn more.


Shoe crafting and creation

The following are four major procedures for designing your shoes. It’s easy to read guide with simple instructions that will leave you wondering how creative you are. They include;

  1. Getting the materials ready

Decide your desired shoe type

Undoubtedly, you must at least have an idea of what you wish to have and design. Shoes are diversified. For instance, we've got different materials like leather, synthetic, fabric, and others. You may also want sandals, sneakers, maybe for casual wear or sports, high heels, flat shoes, loafers, or boots. Think of a shoe model that goes along with your personal style. As mentioned earlier, you don't have to sketch. However, if you're good and have no problem with drawing, please go ahead and sketch that idea in mind. Present the concept on paper or elsewhere for reference, confirmation, and adjustment in case of a change in mind. Note that first-timers should be simple. Do the most basic for a start before embarking on the complex types. It's general knowledge of how gradual progression works best for a complicated process- if you want success.

Develop an outline for the shoe

What plans do you have with your shoe? It’d be best if you gather more details about your shoe choice. Making design decisions during the process may mislead because the shoe designing business is precise. For this reason, any slight errors can mess up the outcome after wasting your time. Why can’t you get on the internet and find out any available shoe templates? They’re so many. Look for shoemaking 'ingredients and recipe'. Be sure it'll inspire your idea, and you'll get the best result. You may also find how design shoes are made and compare what they have to yours. Some art websites may provide more templates that are well elaborated. If you’ve made shoes before, no need to consult the internet.

Gather parts from an old shoe

Are there any shoes not in use? Well, use them to save time and get a more professional appearance by harvesting shoe parts of a pair you don’t wear anymore. The best part is the sole as it gives a stitching foundation. Get it for your reference in stitching the other sections together. However, use this option on the condition that the parts are in good shape. Take care when removing them.

Find other materials from a shoe outlet

The material list for your shoe will largely rely on the type needed. Nevertheless, you need a quality thing. Whatever you have may not be the best yet in need of great designer shoes. That's why you'll have to walk into a shoe accessory store and get the materials with a firm fabric or strong leather. Again, if you lack a stitching kit, the store will provide for sale. Buy rubber, fabrics, or leather a better chassis of your shoes. However, we may have recommended using old shoe soles if you wish for a waterproof and functional bottom and get 1/8 inches sheets of thick cork. Don't forget to carry more for two shoes- a pair.

  1. Make a cast

Customize your last

A shoemaker needs a cast for checking if a shoe fits, therefore, give guidance in their designing process. A last is a block-shaped like a human foot. Making one with your foot means it’s specifically customized for you. The possibility of it fitting others is very minimal unless they’re your foot size. Fill a box with alginate, then take your foot inside- let it cover up to the ankle level.

Give it around 20 minutes to allow for solidification, after that, slowly get your foot outside. Kindly be careful when removing the foot- slowly to avoid damaging the solidified cast. To save on time, it’s recommended that you deep both feet at once. The good news about the lasts is they can be used time and again. Therefore, store them at a better place without any breaking risks.

Add a casting element into the box

Once you have your feet's mold, fill the space with casting material. The solidification duration maybe around one hour or two depending on the quality and material type used. You can do it overnight if you're the kind who might be impatient. Patience is key in this step. Use that time to put the other parts in order.

Removing and taping the cast

After full solidification, remove it and prepare the tape. Then, use masking tape for covering the cast's surface entirely. Do this to increase its life and enable longer use in the future. Put your design against the last. Giving the shoe your desire’s outline around it may be relevant before sewing the parts together. Try and figure out how the shoe would look like in three dimensions angle. The look should help know how to take every stitch- don't rely so much on the concrete measurements.

  1. Stitching your shoe parts

Cut out the material

Using a scalpel or surgical knife, cut every section of the material; fabric or leather. Refer to the template if you had it aside. A ruler or protractor may be necessary for arced areas. When cutting, ensure to leave some extra section- one inch, on the shoe bottom. Again, the upper joints should have an allowance of at least a centimeter, very important for seaming.

Sewing the cut sections together

Do you know the most skillful part of the shoemaking process? It's fluid stitching. It tests your skill. You're advised to be slow and meticulous as you pierce the parts in joining them. You may be fast; it's easier, but are you sure it'll bring out the best? Please be slow and careful to ensure the end product is impressive. Furthermore, as much as possible, ensure the stitches are closer to each part’s edge.

Overlapping may cause irrelevant ridges to appear on your shoe- not pretty, right? Therefore, take into account leaving very small sections on the edges when cutting. In other words, make the size reasonable, because you don't want an oversized shoe or small-sized. For leather materials, stitching the parts may be a bit critical. It’s because leather is heavy and sturdy, making fluid stitching challenging. For this reason, make holes on the edges for connecting the parts.

Make eyelets

If your design is for tying laces, then you need the eyelets. Eyelets are holes for fixing the laces. Space them evenly for a uniform and presentable appearance. Make the holes at intervals of less than one inch apart. Have four or five of them. The first-timers or the do it yourself types can use a scalpel in creating the eyelet incisions. The other group- long time designers looking for a more professional thing, has a special tool for making the holes. Get it from any accessories outlet.

Cut out the sole

This step is for those that didn’t purchase a pre-fabricated sole or got one from an old shoe. If you intend to make a plain homemade shoe, then consider getting the cork sheets for extra cushioning and waterproof sole. You can refer to an already stitched fabric, refer to it when making incisions, but remember to stick to your measurements for a perfect result. Add several layers if you need a higher shoe with more cushion, two or three. Simply cut out the sheet with the same dimensions, then glue the layers together using the typical superglue. After gluing, give it time for drying and solidifying. A high heeled shoe can be obtained by having another layer at the shoe’s posterior region.

Glue and sew the pieces together

Plainly stitching the upper parts of a shoe to the sole may be a bad idea. It'd be good advice using an adhesive specifically for shoes to glue the sole and fabric together. Get it and apply equally. Use the last inside the parts as a reference point for maintaining your size. Nobody limits you- a prowess, from making modified stitches for a prettier and more attractive style. Stitches are artistic and very interesting. Some people use irregular stitching patterns and only ensure it retains its functionality and super look. You, too, can do that. Beginners, kindly don't spoil, don't stress.

Trim the excess parts after stitching

So far, your shoe should be near acting its function. Fix the laces if they're not yet done. Thereafter, trim the extra fabric, and check if any ugly-looking seams need to be covered. If yes, add a fabric layer on it and make it better. The shoe is now ready, but you can more aesthetic beauty.

Apply the same for other side

We believe you have both feet, therefore, another shoe is needed to make a pair, right? It’s ok if you intended to design and make one for your reasons. After completing the first, now it's the other. Remember, it's not a duplicate but a mirror image of the other. Please ensure it looks closer to the original, gives it a reflection of its match. The first shoe may have overwhelmed you, but now, it'll be more fun and enjoyable.

  1. Final touches

Use a sealant spray for making the shoe water-resistant

Leather made shoes have a natural way of limiting water inflow. However, it's crucial to add the sealant spray to ensure no water passes through no matter the region or weather.

Modify with decorations

In most instances, you choose to do things from home because you want to customize, getting a unique taste farther from what the market offers. You should, therefore, spice up the product. Find more ideas online on the beautiful drawings you can paint on your shoes.

Test the shoe

This is the best part, more so when the final thing is exactly what you wanted. Go out and walk with them to recognize how they feel. Do your feet find comfort? Can they absorb water if it rains on them? If you don't get pleased, feel good for your expertise and can go back and come up with a better version. Use the lessons you learned during the process, fix any challenges experienced at first. On the other hand, if the outcome is impressive, tap yourself on the back and quench for making another pair, with a more incredible complexion than this.

The bottom line

Shoe designing is about technically realizing a shoe’s look and functionality. It's not anything near drawing attractive sketches or colorful images. Many people think it's a complex process, but that's not true. They can never figure out how to imagine a shoe pattern and transfer the imagination on paper before following the other steps until manufacturing. But what if we told you that it's not the case? Shoe designing is very simple. You just need to avoid confusion and have knowledge about creating shoes.

While shoemaking can be challenging, more so in untrained hands, it's workable. You can design shoes from home by assembling all the tools required and following the steps provided by this article. Once you get everything, no need to depend on the existing market brands like Adidas shoe design to look superb downstairs. You’ll be surprised how great the result will be. Besides, you’ll have fun through the process. Try it out today and see how good you can be.

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