June 20, 2019

How to finish shoe sole [Shoemaking Tutorial]

How to make shoe sole is one of the questions that beginners in shoemaking ask me a lot. 
One of the most important shoemaking steps in the sole making is the shoe sole finishing! 

So in this post I will show you step by step How to finish shoe sole! If you want to learn the entire process of shoe sole making you can check this course ''Creating Alternative Bespoke Outsole Course''.

Yes, the look of the shoe sole influences a lot on the entire look of your shoes and you need to know how to do it properly.

In shoemaking there is a variety of shoe sole finishing. Let's learn most common types of shoe sole finishing, so you will know what type to use in making shoes, the type that will suit the entire look of your shoe design.

Colored Shoe soles

colored shoe sole

Soles with a natural look and the colored border around the sole

shoe sole with finishing

Entire waxes shoe sole

natural and waxed shoe sole

Natural and waxed sole with interesting design

Natural and waxed sole

Pure natural soft and smooth leather sole

Pure natural soft and smooth leather sole

All these varieties of shoemaking sole finishing techniques I teach in my ProShoemaking Program.

But no matter which one you will prefer to do in making your shoes, first step in shoe sole finishing is to clean the top layer of your leather shoe soles.

You need to clean it in order to remove all scratches and marks left on it after working with leather sole.

Then after you will have a clean and smooth sole surface you can choose any type of the shoe sole finishing listed above! That's why when you know all shoemaking possibilities in shoe sole making you can choose the best one for you. 

So let’s learn how to make this such an important step of shoe sole finishing working with simple tools and materials. This is the last step of shoemaking before we will take our ready shoes out of the shoe lasts but there are a lot of other shoemaking steps, and if you want to learn all them shortly you can check this post: "Beginners in Shoemaking Tools and Materials Definitive Guide 2023"  or read this shoemaking directory where you can find all needed information on How to make shoes.

How to finish your shoe sole

To remove all marks from your shoe sole you will need to take off the thin top layer of your leather shoe sole working with a piece of glass.

Then to make the surface of your shoe sole even smoother and softer you will need to work with sandpaper. You probably will need a few types of sandpaper: ruff sandpaper with low grid number and gentle, soft sandpaper with high grid number.

Note: The higher number is the softer sandpaper is.

I usually start with grid number 20 and then move on step by step to 1500.

So to finish your shoe soles and make them with the beautiful, smooth surface you will need a piece of glass and few sandpaper types. That’s it!

If you want to learn more shoemaking techniques and tips, you are wellcome to read this article: "How to make shoes-Best Free Shoe Making Tips And Tutorials For Beginners"

Watch the shoemaking tutorial on how to finish your shoe sole step by step and share it to spread the love for shoemaking. Cheers!

 finish  shoe sole

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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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  1. I once watch your video on Pinterest, I love your work I am a beginner from Nigeria I want to know the best gum for shoe making and sewing machine for shoe making

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