BASIC-Tools for Shoe Making

Oct 21, 2022


In this lesson we will study the tools and materials we will need to make a shoe. Of course, we will start with a 1-SHOE LAST, without such, it would be impossible to start. We will also need for example a 5cm width 2-MASKING TAPE to cover our last as we studied in our previous lessons. By covering our last with the masking tape, we are now creating our shoe pattern.
Once we have covered half or entirely our last, we can now mark our pattern points and pattern lines with a pencil to get the exact measurements for cutting our masking tape pattern. We can mark these by hand utilizing different solid and flexible 3-RULERS. We will then utilize a 4-UTILITY KNIFE to cut our masking tape following our pattern points and lines. This masking tape shoe pattern will be lied down on a piece of paper which then be flexible and allow us to study the fit and bring corrections and adjustments to the paper pattern.
Once we are satisfied with our paper shoe pattern, we will place it on a 1mm stiff carton to get our final stiff cardboard shoe pattern which will be placed on top of our leather or material and guide us to cut our upper material.
One important tool is to have a 5-GREEN RUBBER CUTTING BOARD to protect our table and which has all guidelines and measures already marked on it.
The 6-PINCERS will be utilized to pull the leather around the last and give its shape. Another must for a shoe technician is a 7-SHOE HAMMER and a 8-RASP. The hammer is utilized to flatten the leather around the curves, insert nails and bend them around the bottom of the last to hold the leather in place onto the last. The rasp is utilized to smooth the leather beneath the last up to the feather edge flushing it so the bonding between the upper and the outsole will be stronger and the outsole will be more flush with the upper.
The tools of a designer are like the wheels on an F1 race car. You can still drive with bad wheels, but you will never be able to win a race, so choosing the best which fits better to your needs is an essential part of good design practice. It is also as important to always keep them handy and tidy in the same place. Like my mentor would always tell me… “Everything in its place” … and his shoe factory would look cleaner than most hospitals. In the chaos of shoe-making materials, production line, and logistics, in his shoe factory, you could find a needle because it would always be in the same place.

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