Shoe designing 100% working approach[make any shoes]

Shoe Designing 100% Working Approach [Make Any Shoes]

Shoe designing through pattern making

Shoe designing is not about beautiful sketches or colorful prints, shoe design is a technical realization of the total look and functionality of your shoes.

To make your shoes, any type of shoe, designing is the first thing you need to do. 

Shoe designing process pushes people (especially beginners in shoemaking)  away from the creative process of making shoes. 

The major reason is the lack of knowledge and confusion about how to design shoes. 

How you can design shoes without making shoe design drawings? Is it even possible?

If you don’t know how to sketch, how you can show your shoe design ideas or how it can be done if someone will make your shoe design for you?

How you can get this great shoe design idea from your head to the actual pattern and the finished pair of shoes?

In this post, I want to give you a solution on how you can design any shoes without any sketching skills, without any difficult pattern making calculations, without having all needed shoe supplies. 

What if I show you that shoe designing can be much easier for you?!

In this post, I will talk about my Freehand Pattern Technique. This is 100% working technique that I developed for myself, this is how I make shoes, this is how I design my footwear collections.

designer boots

Why Shoe Design Can Prevent You From Making Shoes

There are a few common stereotypes of what does it mean a shoe designing process that can prevent you from making your own shoes.


1. The fact is that many of you think that to design shoes it requires to work on software.

It is too expensive to acquire these programs for footwear design and it requires certain skills to work with. So you stuck.


2. Sketching shoes is another ‘’needed’’ skills to design shoes. So if you can’t make beautiful shoe sketching you don’t move on in your shoemaking craft.

3. You think that to design shoes and to be a shoe designer you need to take some footwear course (and you are right!), but you don’t have any footwear course close to you.

I am here to break all these most common stereotypes to help you in your shoe designing.

Designing Shoe Software

Of course, there is a new edge designing shoe software like Shoemaster, ICad3D+ etc that makes shoe designing to be much easier. 

But let’s be honest, this software is expensive and if you don’t plan designing shoes for big brands this is not for you

Sketching Shoe Alternative

sketching shoes
sketching shoes

Sketching shoe skills is not only about beautiful shoe drawing, but it is also much more than that.

You need to know the correct parameters of shoe models, considering the anatomy of the foot to make shoes that not only look good but comfortable as well. 

You need to have certain understanding of the shoe proportions when you need to apply a shoe design on the shoe last during shoe designing process.

So sketching shoes on paper is one thing and it is a totally different thing to transfer it from paper to the real shoe last.

If you can’t sketch, but have different shoe design ideas that you want to make here is my solution for you:

Free Hand Pattern Technique

Designing Shoes With FreeHand Pattern Technique

FreeHand Pattern Technique is a technique where you design shoes through pattern making.

In this designing process, you will create shoes working with different materials like paper, fabric or leather working right away on the shoe last.

This is ‘’nontraditional’’ way of making shoes that I developed through my work. This is how I make all my footwear and this is what I teach in my footwear design course.

It is created from pattern making knowledge and that is a reason why my

FreeHand Pattern Technique is something that requires basic pattern making knowledge. 

That is the min. requirement for my student to attend this shoe design course ‘’Knowledge-Technique-Freedom’’

What Is So Special About This Shoe Designing Approach?

Because I developed this technique due to my search for easier ways to create complex shoe designs it gave me the freedom to make whatever I want, to make any shoe design, any shoe design idea very easy and fast.

FreeHand Pattern Technique gives many advantages over the traditional approach in pattern making and shoe designing:

-Design shoes and make the pattern without any calculation

-Easy to learn tools to simplify the design process

-Possibility to create 3D elements in footwear

Designer boots
Designer boots

– Fast and precise footwear design

 – Footwear sculptural integration

 – How to make full collection with just one last 

 – Learn to design right on the last ( No shoe design drawings needed)  

Shoe Design Can Be A Great Solution To Overcome The Lack Of Shoemaking Suppliers

If you have some shoe design idea but don’t have all needed shoemaking supplies like shoe lasts, heels etc or don’t have good leather to make your shoe from, you will be stuck.

But what if I tell you that you can overcome all these problems through your designing shoe skills.

You can develop such a shoe design idea that will consider the lack of some shoemaking supplies.

I worked like these many years because I, like many of you, also didn’t have the possibility to find all needed for me shoe lasts, heels that I want, leather with good quality. So using my FreeHand Pattern Technique I overcame all these difficulties and made my shoes!

Let’s say you have a bad leather, that is too thick or too soft, with scratches and suites only to make furniture. Can you use it to make your shoes?

According to traditional shoemaking vision you can’t but using my design approach you definitely can. You can create such a  shoe design that will use the ‘’bad’’ quality of the leather and will transform it to its advantage! 

For example:

– you have too soft leather – design shoe that will have folds and will use this ‘’bad’’ quality as a good one! 

With FreeHand Pattern Technique you will know how to make shoe designs with folds very easy and without any calculations!

Design of the boot with folds
Design of the boot with folds

-You want to make boots but don’t have boot last, use the pump last. 

If you want to learn more about all advantages by working with only one shoe last to make a variety of different shoe types, check this post ‘’Perfect Shoe Last To Learn Shoemaking’’

So this is only two examples of how you can overcome many difficulties in shoemaking by working smart and using your creative shoe design ideas.

Shoe Designing To Make Any Footwear

Free Hand Pattern Technique will give you freedom in your shoe design process and in the process of making shoes.

You will be able to overcome many different problems:

  • Can’t make shoe sketching- design right away on the shoe last
  • Don’t have shoe design software but want to work with big brands – design on the shoe last right away, take pictures of this shoe, send to the shoe brand
  • Don’t have needed shoemaking supplies- overcome it by transforming  with your design approach the ‘’bad’’ quality of material to the good one
  • Don’t have any shoe design idea but want to make shoes- manipulate with some material on the shoe last to find inspiration for your shoe design

Now, I want to give you a sneak peek from my Footwear design course to demonstrate to you what possibility will you have when you use my system in shoe designing.

I prepare for you a short tutorial on how to make a pump shoe that will look like a ‘’boot’’ very easy and fast, without any difficult calculations but considering rules of pump construction!

I will make a ‘’boot’’ pattern in less than 5 min.

Let’s start!

Time needed: 5 minutes.

How to make a boot pattern very easy and fast working with the paper basic pattern

  1. Take a Basic pattern of the pump last, cut it from paper A4 and place it to the shoe last.

    Learn in this post ‘’How to speed up your shoe making process using basic pattern’’  more about basic pattern and why we need it in shoemaking.
    I use paper A4 not only to check the correctness of my shoe pattern but as a good and cheap material to build my shoe design right away on the shoe last working with FreeHand Pattern Technique.

    To learn more about the use of the simple paper A4 in pattern making check this post ‘’Save your money on leather, make shoes working with paper patterns’’  
    Basic paper pattern

  2. Mark on the paper pattern all-important lines and points that belong to the pump construction:

    Joint line
    Back height
    Sideline

    Joint line is the line that passes in widest place of the shoe last, in the balls.
    Learn in this post ‘’How To Find The Joint Line In Shoemaking?’’ the easiest and precisest way to find the joint line on the shoe last.

    Back height is the point that the top line of any court shoe type must reach in the heel. 

    Sideline is a line that connects back height with the joint line.

    In this post, ‘’What Anatomical Lines In Shoemaking You Need To Follow To Make Correct Pattern’’ you can learn more about correct measurements of the back height for each shoe last size and what is the sideline as well.  Basic shoe paper pattern with all important lines of the pumpshoe

  3. Cut along the front center line of the paper pattern until the joint line.

    Cut along the front center line of the paper pattern until the joint line. Cut along the front center line of the shoe paper pattern

  4. Masking Tape Top Part

    Attach masking tape to the top part of the paper pattern in order to design on it the line of the boot. shoe pattern reconstruction

  5. Cut extra of the masking tape

    Before you will cut it be sure that you love how boot looks.
    This is one of the biggest advantages of this approach where during shoe designing process you can see how your real shoe will look like at the end and if you don’t like something you can fix it right away. finished basic boot paper pattern

  6. Take this boot paper pattern off and transfer it to the cardboard to make a basic pattern of this new boot pattern. 

    That’s it. You finished the main construction of this ‘’boot’’ made on the pump last. 
    All you need to do to proceed with the boot making is to develop upper pattern and lining pattern working with this basic pattern that you just made.
    paper boot pattern ready to proceed with full pattern making

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  • September 19, 2019

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