February 14, 2019

How to cut leather insoles for sandals using simple tools

I love sandals, especially with the leather insoles and with the toe strap in front and I am sure you too. Do you?

If yes, you will love this post, if not, tune out right now, don’t read it, it’s not for you.

In today’s shoe making tutorial I will teach you how to how to cut leather insoles for sandals with basic shoemaking tools. This will be super useful for your shoemaking craft because..

You will be able to implement this shoemaking trick right away in making your sandals.

This trick is about making the accurate cut inside of the leather insoles for the toe loop without any special shoemaking tools.

leather insole

Usually to make this cut, an opening for the toe loops in sandals with leather insoles, you need to have a special shoemaking cutter

Because I know how it is difficult to find appropriate shoemaking tools, in all my courses I teach how to make shoes professionally without special shoemaking tools.

So this super useful shoemaking trick I took from my “Unisex sandal course” where I teach a full process of making sandals and if you want to get more shoemaking tips for free, you are welcome to check this article: "How to make shoes-Best Free Shoe Making Tips And Tutorials For Beginners".

You can now discover this technique in the video at the start of this article and implement it in your shoemaking endeavors today and if you want to learn more about entire shoemaking craft, make sure to check this article: "How to make shoes".

sveta kletina the shoemaker and tools of shoemaking , shoe last, shoemaker hammer and puncher

Obviously, after this shoe making tutorial you will have many questions 

about  leather that I used,

how to find right placement on the insoles for the cut

and maybe you will have many other different questions, so don’t hold back and ask me in the comments below the post.

If your questions will be relevant, I will answer for sure!

So here are my answers for your possible questions:

1. For the leather insoles I use shoulders with thickness of 2.5-3mm.


Sometimes if I can’t find good vegetable leather, the shoulders part, I use sole bends.  

It’s thicker leather and harder, but you can skive the edge, for example, and mold it on the shoe last to create desirable shape that repeat the last’s bottom shape!

2. To find the placement to make a cut you should :

-Attach your leather insoles to the last’s bottom with masking tape. Don’t use nails, you don’t holes on your beautiful leather insoles, right?

- The sandals lasts usually have split in toe area to make a toe loop. So just mark with the awl the line from the beginning of this split  and continue it a little bit more. 

Later you will use this short mark. On top of it you will mark the line for the cut with the needed length. (I teach it in the video, pay attention)

That’s it. Happy shoemaking for all of you!

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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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