How to Create Your Own Steel Toed Shoes

by Kim Hughes ; Updated September 28, 2017

You can save money by making your own steel toe caps.

old boots made in the USA image by Stephen Orsillo from

Steel toe caps have been popular for decades, whether as a practical work accessory or as a fashion statement. Buying steel toe caps can be expensive, so making them will definitely save money. However, it is time-consuming and will take some patience. Hand-made steel toe caps are semipopular with Punks and Goths for their edgier look, but they may not be as effective for the workplace, depending on what kind of work is involved.

Measure the length of the boot or shoe by stretching a tape measure from the tip of your toe to roughly the center of the the top of the foot. Next, measure the width on the widest part of the sole. Write these measurements down.

Cut out a piece of scrap leather the size of your length and width measurements, rounding off the corners and making it fit around the boot. Make sure the toe tap will fit nicely in the center. Turn the tap the wrong side up (the part that doesn't have the text) and glue around the edges, then make a diagonal cross.

Place the tap in the center of where the scrap leather will be secured and leave to dry. Once the toe taps are secure and dry, glue around the edges of the scrap leather, make another diagonal cross and place over the boot or shoe carefully, pressing down firmly at each edge with your fingertips. Wipe away the excess glue with a cotton swab before it dries. Allow the remaining glue to dry; wait about four hours to be sure.

Use a large, sharp wedge needle (also know as a glover's needle) and thick thread to complete the project with a running or overcast stitch around the overlaid leather.


  • -When using leather glue, be sure to use disposable gloves or wash your hands immediately after use. -Use new leather boots for a stronger, safer and more effective finish. -Don't attempt to rush this project, as leather glue is very thick and strong and can take a while to dry. Allow at least two hours for drying after each step. -If thick scrap leather isn't used, the tap may begin to show through the leather, which can ruin the style and look. Always opt for the thinnest toe tap available.

Photo Credits

  • old boots made in the USA image by Stephen Orsillo from

About the Author

Kim Hughes began writing professionally in 2007. Her work has appeared in publications like "Art and Soul" magazine and "Alternative" magazine. She has also written for clubs including Mama Liz's Voodoo Lounge, The Solstice and District 7. Hughes is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in journalism at University Centre Peterborough.