How to Make Shoes
If you want to learn how to make shoes you have come to the right place! I’m going to explain the modern, most common ways that shoes are made. This is how the big brands like Nike™, Adidas™, and even Walmart make shoes. This basic shoe making technique applies to almost all running shoes, basketball shoes, dress shoes, work boots, etc……So let’s get started!
Let’s talk about the steps in shoe making. The basic idea is to sew the upper in a shape that resembles a sock, then stretch the upper over a foot shaped form called a last.
Once the upper is stretched over the last, the shoe bottom is glued, stitched, or nailed to the shoe upper. When the last is removed the shoe is complete. That is the most basic explanation of how to make shoes, but within each step are many variables and complications.
First, the shoe upper can be sewn together from one or many parts. The key here is the shape or “shoe pattern” of the upper. To make the flat, sewn parts, fit to the 3D shape, requires “spring” in the shoe pattern. This work can be done by hand or by computer. When a shoe is in development the pattern maker may need to make a few attempts to get the shape just right. This is why shoes tend to be made of material that have some stretch, like leather. Leather may be the perfect shoe making material. It’s strong, stretchable, and shrinkable.
Once the shoe upper is sewn, the next step in shoe making is to pull the upper onto the last. The upper must be tight so it can be stretched to take the shape of the shoe last. Dry heat or steam is often used to soften the uppers, getting them ready to stretch. Once on the last, they are often cooled to shrink them down tight to the last before the shoe bottom can be attached.
To learn more please check out our
OnLine Shoe School.
Learn more about how to make shoes in our book
How Shoes are Made.
Learn more about making shoes:Do you want to learn how big brands make shoes? Now you can! How Shoes are Made will show you how modern shoes come to life! More than just a tour through a sneaker factory and more than your average shoe making book! From drawing shoe designs to sample development and footwear manufacturing, you will learn how it is all done. Written by veteran shoemaking pros, How Shoes are Made will give you a look inside the REAL world of shoe design, development, and mass production. 220 pages with over 400 color photos and drawings. 26 chapters explaining shoe design, footwear pattern making, sample development, footwear materials selection, upper stitching, outsole and tooling design, shoe lasts, shoe costing, quality inspections, starting you own shoe brand, and much more! A must read for young shoe designers, sneaker heads, or any footwear fanatic! Over 2500 copies sold! Read in 60 Countries! See Preview Video On YouTube
Print Edition Now Available!
Table of Contents:The Design Process, Shoe Development, Shoe Patterns, Shoe Specifications, Outsole Tooling, Development Process, Pre-Production, Material Preparation, Stitching Operations, Rubber Pressing, EVA Forming, The Assembly Line, The Shoe Last, Footwear Costing, Importing Shoes, Shoe Logo Design, Leather for Shoes, Textiles for Shoes ,Synthetics for Shoes, Foam for Shoes, Know Your Footbeds, Material Suppliers, Shoe Designers Tools, Jobs in the Shoe Trade ,Quality Control, Starting a Shoe Company, Life at a Shoe Factory, Shoe Making Dictionary
If you want to learn more, check out our new books.
Print Editions and Instant Downloads Available Now!
E-Book edition 170 pages. PC and Mac compatible PDF file. Download Now!
E-Book edition 220 pages. PC and Mac compatible PDF file. Download Now!
Now enjoy the double download of two Sneaker Factory books.
Print Edition, 220 pages with over 400 color photos and drawings.
Print Edition, 250 Pages with over 400 color photos and drawings.
A must have for anyone serious about launching a new footwear company!
E-Book edition 170 pages. Profit margin and Size run calculators. Download Now!
Download Edition + Paper Pattern + Blue Prints and Spec sheets
Start-up Pack is all you need to get your own shoe business started.
Print Edition + Paper Pattern + Blue Prints and Spec sheets
A complete technical specification, drawings, blueprint, pattern and spec.
Computer cut shoe pattern for a classic jogger. Factory Blue Print included.
Entire pattern size run for the Arris classic trainer, Men’s US 7-13 (Euro 39-47)
24 inch tape specifically designed for measuring shoe lasts.
Ready to Print! Men's size 9 last. The .STL file can be scaled in X, Y and Z.
Great for checking leathers and synthetic materials. Features adjustable dial.