Awls for Shoemaking

Awls for shoemaking are pointed tools used to pierce holes in leather, aiding in stitching and lacing, ensuring precise punctures and facilitating hand-sewn techniques.

Round Point Awl (Clicker's Awl)

The round point awl, often referred to as the clicker's awl, is a straight awl that gradually tapers to a small, round tip. It features a rounded handle for a comfortable grip. This type of awl is primarily used in pattern making and during the cutting and clicking process. Shoemakers rely on it to mark essential points on leather parts, ensuring precision and accuracy in their work. 

This awl is an essential tool, required for crafting any shoe type, as demonstrated across all our shoemaking courses.

If you're interested in understanding how we utilize this awl in the shoe-making process, check out our free shoemaking tutorial. This article also offers additional tips and techniques I cover in-depth: "10 Best Value Shoe Making Tips for 2015 That I Use in My Work [UPDATED]"

Shoemaker's Awls for Hand Stitching:

1.Curved Blade Awl:

This awl comes with a curved and diamond-shaped blade. The tip of the blade, when viewed from the top, is flattened and sharpened to sew in welts. It is a versatile tool that allows shoemakers to create secure stitches without leaving marks on the shoe upper during sewing the welt to the insole.

In the Bespoke Derby Handsewn Opanka shoe course, we use this specific type of awl to stitch the opanka sole to both the upper and lining.

2.Square-Tipped Awl:

Another type of shoemaker's awl features a curved and diamond-shaped blade with a square-shaped tip. This design is ideal for sewing soles with welts, providing stability and durability to the shoe's construction

Sewing by hand the upper of Martens boots to the midsole

This image is taken from the Dr. Martens Boots Course, showcasing the use of this specific awl to execute the stitch-down sole construction.

3.Straight Awl with Hook

 For convenient hand stitching, shoemakers turn to the straight awl with a hook. This design simplifies the stitching process and ensures stitches are even and secure. It's especially useful for stitching in straight lines.

In the image below, you can see an example of how this awl is used for stitching, as demonstrated in the Sneakers Making course with Vans sneakers.

sewing sole with awl

4.Curved Awl with Hook

 In cases where hand stitching needs to reach curved and challenging-to-access areas, the curved awl with a hook is the go-to choice. Its unique design allows shoemakers to navigate tight spots while maintaining stitching precision.

Online stores for shoemaking tools

When choosing the right awl for your shoemaking project, consider factors like the type of work you'll be doing and the type of leather you'll use. Different awls excel in specific tasks, so having a variety of awls in your toolkit can enhance your craftsmanship. Whether you're creating patterns, stitching welts, or navigating intricate stitching, the right awl is your trusted companion in the art of shoemaking.If you're keen to explore other fundamental shoemaking tools essential for beginners, I invite you to delve into this highly informative article: "Beginners in Shoemaking Tools and Materials Definitive Guide 2023"

There are several shoemaking online stores , and here are a few where you can find some of these awls. Additionally, I'd recommend checking out local stores in your area.

All Shoemaking Supplies 

If you want to make shoes there is no way around it, you will need knifes, hammers, leather, glue, shanks, boards, and everything else to get the job done.
For that purpose I have created a detailed list of everything you need to make shoes.