How to Make Leather Men's Shoes

by Andrew Fousek ; Updated September 28, 2017

Make Leather Men's Shoes

Tired of shoe shopping? Here are the tools and directions to make a pair of leather shoes. If you've got a little bit of a creative flair, then you might enjoy designing and making shoes. Make your custom made shoes look and fit perfectly.

Sketch how you want your shoe to look.

Cut out your sole in the shape of your pattern. The sole should be made of rubber.

Build the upper shoe using a shoe last--a wooden form of the shoe. The shoe last should be the same size, matching the shape of your sole pattern. Wrap the shoe last in fabric tightly, making sure it is completely taut.

Wrap masking tape around the shoe last, keeping the fabric wrapped tightly. Don't wrap the masking tape around all of the last; use separate strips, creating three layers.

With a box cutter, slice along the bottom of the shoe, removing the tape pattern.

Cut two patterns in the leather and cement them to the tape pattern.

Attach your upper shoe to your sole with shoe nails.

Glue insoles inside the shoe. Insoles can be found at any shoe store.

Using a shoe hole punch, punch two lines of seven holes each on both shoes. Make sure the holes are parallel and are exactly even. The holes should be punched on the top of the shoe where the laces go.

Lace up your shoes and try them on.


  • To make it easier, go to a thrift store and use soles from old shoes instead of cutting your own. Make sure to turn over your sketch when drawing the second shoe. That way you have a left and a right.

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About the Author

Andrew Fousek began freelance writing in 2009. He has worked with the Cleveland International Film Festival, where several of his movie reviews have been published. Fousek is pursuing bachelor's degrees in journalism and film/digital media from Cleveland State University.