December 4, 2022

How to make shoes – 100 % guarantee! [Where to start?!]

How to make shoes with the right approach that will 100 % guarantee your progress and success in shoemaking. 

Now, to get the big picture and to see my approach to how I really recommend learning this craft, check out this shoemaking 

video tutorial I made for you.

Making shoes is a long process and involves many steps. 

So how you will approach shoemaking will determine if you will or won’t make your shoes.

The work of One of my students

student made shoes

In this article, I will explain why many beginners fail or struggle to make shoes and I will show you how to make shoes if you are a beginner in shoemaking.

Here are your obstacles to making shoes.

  • What is the right approach to learning shoemaking? (order of learning)
  • How to make shoes with consistent progress in the quality of your shoes?
  • Shoemaking tools won’t make you a better shoemaker? But this will….
  • [What is the best way to learn shoemaking?- understand the process, why to do and what to avoid.]
  • Why does a “too simple” shoemaking approach won’t get you anywhere?
  • Why you need only minimum shoemaking supplies if you want to make beautiful shoes?
  • Why you only need one shoe last?

To learn about the common mistakes beginners often make in shoemaking, I invite you to read this article: "8 common mistakes that beginners do".

Why making a complicated shoe model as your first pair is a bad idea?

Here is a big problem that I see with a lot of my students before they signed up for my courses. 

They take this BIG, expensive and, to be honest,  a very good course ( depends on a teacher -shoemaker, of course). They learn how to make this complicated, beautiful pair of shoes, something like Brogue Oxford, or sports shoes, etc. 

Everything is good, wonderful and at the end, they have finished shoes that look good but here is the problem. These are the first shoes they made. 

When this beginner in shoemaking returns home, his first problem is that he can’t replicate the same shoes he made under muster supervision. 

The reason is simple. It is because this shoe model is very complicated and requires experience, skills, and knowledge in shoemaking. 

To make this one pair (even with supervision) is not enough! 

The second problem is you can’t make a simple pair nether, because you skipped this necessary core stone of shoemaking: making basic footwear patterns and shoes.

 So, here you have one pair of beautiful shoes and that’s it. 

That is why it is a bad idea. 

That is why I want to show you the right way to learn shoemaking, so you will know how to make shoes from basic to most complicated footwear types

We will talk about it in this shoemaking post.

Why does ‘’too simple’’ shoemaking approach never get you anywhere?

When you want to learn how to make shoes, what results do you want to get?

  1. You want to make beautiful shoes, they need to look good
  2. The footwear needs to be comfortable
  3. You want to make long-lasting shoes

I understand that shoemaking can be a complicated craft and to make shoes you need to go through a long process, so many of you, beginners in shoemaking,  are looking for shortcuts. 

In recent years there is a wide range of semi-professional shoemaking courses everywhere.

How do you know they are semi-pro?

They make a lot of shortcuts. 

Why that is a problem? Because it will hurt you!  And you will not make the shoes that you expect to make.  

‘’It looks the same to me’’- you will probably think, and you would be WRONG.

  1. There is no consideration to anatomical feet construction
  2. Maybe it looks the same but it feels different, your feet will hurt, your back will hurt, shoes will slide down from the feet.
  3. They never last, they never last

So call it as you want: semi-pro, DIY, or simple shoemaking, that is not the shoes that you expect to make, believe me! 

Shoemaking tools won’t make you a better shoemaker? But this will….

The most common mistakes that beginners have when they try to learn how to make shoes is this misleading concept:

‘’If I will have all the tools that shoemaker has, I will make shoes just like him.’’

Wrong, wrong, wrong

shoemaking tools

Shoemakers use a lot of different shoemaking tools, different shoemaker knives, hammers, different shoemaker pincers, different awls, and the list is long.

But if you will try to copy him with his own tools, you will fail. Beyond the shoemaking tools, this shoemaker has the experience, skills and knowledge. 

You won’t skive with his knife, you won’t sew as he sews.

The gap between you is not the tools.

You need consistent progress in your shoemaking knowledge and skills, and we will talk about it in a sec.

How to make shoes - 100 % guarantee!

There is a certain shoemaking approach on how to make shoes a 100% guarantee and in my shoemaking courses online platfrom I teach this approcah. 

This is a proven solution to how you will turn from being a beginner to making your own shoes. 

It includes a few important aspects so let’s dive in.

1. The right approach to learning shoemaking

I already told you at the beginning of this post that is a BIG problem to start learning shoemaking from advanced footwear types

Now, there is the right order of shoemaking learning that will allow you to make shoes on your own and will 100 % guarantee your success. 

I have a lot of students who successfully finished my shoemaking courses because they followed my program exactly and many of them even launched their own shoe brand. You can check the story of one of my students and hear her interview in this post "Shoemaking courses success! From 0 knowledge to making shoes professionally"

The fact is, in shoemaking, there is one primary footwear type, and it must be the first footwear construction that you will learn to make. It will help you to learn and progress in the most efficient way. 

Why is that?

Because this footwear type has primary rules of construction that you will use in the making of every other footwear type.
At the same time, this footwear is not complicated to make, and for you, as a beginner in shoemaking, it will be a gradual immersion in making shoe crafts.

I am talking about simple Flat Ballet Shoes

Yes, it is the first shoe type you must make, no matter if you want to make men's shoes or women's shoes. 

Ballet Flat Shoes Course

Flat ballets online shoe making course

After you learn flat ballet shoes, you should learn the High heels Pump Shoes.

Here you will use what you have learned already in the making of ballet shoes and at the same time you will learn something new that belongs to the High heels pumps construction. 

It is a must-know construction that you will use in the making of any shoe type with high heels because this construction is based on the existence of the high heels that radically change the pattern-making approach. 

High heel Pumps-shoes-course

When you make these two shoe types you will be ready to learn something more complex, that requires experience.

Surprise, right?!.... but you will already have this experience! 

Is it the greatest feeling? Ah? 

I think so.

So you will be familiar with the same rules of construction that you learned in the making of ballet shoes and you will learn more advanced rules of construction of the Oxford shoes, as it is your NEXT SHOE type you must do.


So according to this order of shoemaking learning, you will be ready to accomplish every new shoe type on your own, because you have learned shoemaking with a smooth, step-by-step approach.  

graph of making shoes

This approach of learning is proved by more than 2000 students that learned shoemaking in this order. They started as a total beginner like you, and now they make their own shoes. 

You can check the work of some of my students here ‘’Shoemaking Students Make Shoes’’.

This is the exact Beginner program that I created especially for beginners in shoemaking!

How to make shoes with consistent progress in the quality of your shoes?

Next very important moment in the making of your shoes is consistent progress in the quality of your shoes. 

So how can you make shoes with consistent progress and better quality?

The only way to have constant progress in making your shoes is a good understanding of the process.  You need to know exactly the entire process of making each shoe type, for example, flat ballet shoes as your starting point in learning shoemaking. 

You will have control of the process, of shoemaking and you will avoid many mistakes in the way and even if you make them, you will know how to resolve them the next time.

You will make mistakes, for sure, because you just don’t have the proper skills, but you will understand where you failed because you will know how each step of the shoemaking process influences the next one. So:

  • Know each step of shoemaking
  • Follow it during the making of a shoe 
  • Be aware of your own mistakes
  • Correct yourself each time you make a new pair

This is exactly how I teach in my shoemaking courses online:

  • I explain everything step by step, don’t miss anything . That is why the duration of each lesson is between 45-90.
  • I show what mistakes you can make in each process and how to avoid them

3. You need only minimum shoemaking supplies to make beautiful shoes

To learn how to make shoes you don’t need to have all shoemaking tools and all shoemaking supplies. 

That is especially important to understand if you are a beginner in shoemaking craft.  

I already explained and shared what minimum shoemaking supplies you as beginners must have, so check this post ‘’Beginners In Shoemaking. Tools And Materials: The Definitive Guide’’


Smart Shoemaking: How To Turn From Being a Beginner To Making Your Own Shoes

What can you do to learn how to make a variety of shoes?

Right now, you are a total beginner in shoemaking, you don’t know how to create even the most basic footwear construction, so what can you do to not only learn how to create these basic shoe types, but how to make the shoes that you want to make?

The answer is – the Smart Shoemaking.

Here at Shoemaking Courses Online, I teach my students how to make 23 different footwear types, 17 different footwear designs but that is not the end, if you understand the concept and my practice of the Smart Shoemaking approach. 


There is many more footwear types and footwear designs that you can do by using classic and basic footwear construction.

In my courses, students learn how to construct footwear models according to the rules of construction and by using these rules properly you can create unlimited designs of these models.

You can see the example above, the classic Ballet shoes, that we make on my Ballet Shoe Course, but that is not the end.

Check more detailed explanation in this tutorial.

What you must understand is, that you must know how to use what you already made [ I am talking about the pattern you made ] to create any other Ballet shoes and you can see it in the example. You Must apply the Smart shoemaking approach in every footwear type to create a variety of other shoes.

Here is another example of Oxford shoes. This is what we make on Oxford Shoes Course, but you can do much more.

Oxford shoes variation

So when you will start learning shoemaking use this Smart Shoemaking Approach to multiply your possibilities and make your own shoes at the end, because this is the most important part!


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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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