May 26, 2022

Clean shoemaking: Fix the folds on your heel

In today’s shoe making post, I will discuss another annoying problem that makes your shoemaking experience less pleasant and much more difficult than it should be, and I will give you the solution to this shoemaking problem.

Before I will go on to the problem and solution, few words of wisdom! 100% you will be able to fix all those problems after making the same mistakes over and over again because there is nothing like experience. Remember,  if you have problems with your shoe model, it doesn’t fit or any other problem related, it must be your basic shoe pattern.

Now, if you want to know more about basic shoe pattern, what it is, and why we need it in shoemaking, check this shoemaking post “Making Shoes with Basic Pattern”.

The problem that many of you asked me about was:

During lasting, many folds are created around the heel bottom.

The solution :

It often happens and the cause for it is not your soft upper leather (to learn more about types of leather, read this post “Best Leather Types For-Beginners in Shoemaking”), as many of your think, although it could influence the amount of the folds that you will have in that area, the reason for it is your shoe pattern.

All you need to do to fix this problem is, to shorten the pattern in the bottom of your heel.

Step 1.

Measure and mark point A at the bottom of your heel pattern  2-5mm ( it depends on how much extra material you have in the back area).

step-1 fix folds on heel

Step 2.

Draw a smooth line from the middle of the heel(point B)  to this point (A). Make this line smooth as possible, so as not to create a curve in the middle of your heel. If you will have a too rounded shape in the middle, it will be very difficult to flatten it during lasting and as a result, you will have folds in that place. To learn more about the lasting process, you are welcome to read this post “Lasting shoes. Where to start?”

step-2 fix folds on heel


Step 3.

Cut it out.


Make this correction on your basic pattern, this way you will correct your upper and lining right away.

Leather type:

As I mentioned above the distance of the cut is depends on the stretchiness of your leather. If you have stretchy and soft leather you need to cut more.

You will understand this when you’ll make your first prototype.  You will see how much needed to be cut off or you can check it by making only the upper using the same leather. Just remember that you must take into account that normally you will last it with lining and stiffeners, so make sure that you will leave 2mm empty between your edge of the upper and the last. You will see it when you will check your basic pattern made from paper.  Why do we use paper in shoe pattern making, you can learn in this post “How to Make shoes working with paper [save your money]”

That is it. I see it as a very important problem that must be solved, as I personally don’t like too many folds on my shoes, they must be smooth and clean as possible.

Watch a new shoemaking tutorial where I explain how to fix the folds step by step. If you want to learn more about different pattern making techniques, techniques to solve most of your shoe making problems, to know which tools you need for pattern making, you are invited to visit this directory: “Shoe pattern and templates”.  

Have you found this solution useful to you?
 What are you struggling with? Tell me all about it in the comment below.

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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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  1. Thank you for giving us a simple, understandable fix for this issue. The more I progress through the course, the importance of proper pattern making is becoming very clear. Every step in the process is reliant upon the pattern and it’s exactness. Thank you for this fix.

  2. Hello Sveta,
    I am absolutely in love with shoe making
    I can not wait to start my husband’s customzed shoes.
    I have already learned so much from you.
    Thank you very much!
    Kind regards,
    Ansie Clementz

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