May 9, 2019

Steel Shanks In the Insoles Construction

Steel shanks in the insoles construction one of the most important and integral parts.

Steel shanks give needed support to your feet in the arch zone!

I want to say you even more, without steel shanks you can’t make shoes with high heels!

If you will not use steel shanks during insole construction your high heels shoes will collapse under the pressure of your body weight.

I had been asked a lot about steel shanks in making shoes with low heels if you still need to place them in the insoles. And my answer always was YES, you need to place steel shanks in the insoles construction even if you make shoes with low heels, like flat ballet shoes, for example.

So it doesn't matter if you are a beginner in shoemaking or you are a professional shoemaker, you should use the steel shanks in making of shoes. 

There are several shoe types you don’t need to place the steel shanks in the insoles construction, like in footwear with wedge heels or with the platform, sports shoe, etc.

Now, you know why you need to use the steel shanks in your shoemaking craft. The next your question, probably, is how to apply the steel shanks in the insole construction.

So at the top you can find the shoemaking tutorial where I show you how to apply your steel shanks during insole construction. Also, if you would like to learn about other shoemaking tools you nned to have in amking shoes, you can read this post: "Beginners in Shoemaking Tools and Materials Definitive Guide 2023"

How to finish insole construction in shoe making

To help you with your father work with the insoles construction I decided to explain to you shortly what your next steps are.

- After you will find the right place for you steel shanks and will shape them according to the shape of your bottom last, you need to attach all parts of the insoles together.

insole in the process of making

-Hit well all parts together with the shoemaking hammer. Cut extra of the second leather (second layer part of the insole and sand the edge).

-Skive the edge of the second layer of the insoles to get a smooth transaction between the first layer and second.

all p[arts of insole attached together

-Because the top side of the steel shanks will extend through the second layer of the insole you will need to skive it in order to have a flat surface as much as it possible. You need to have a flat surface to attach heels easy to the insoles.

finished insole in shoe making
insoles how it should be made
insoles with heel
perfect fitting heel

This is it. Do you have a question?

If so, comment here and share this shoemaking post, if you liked it!

Every Shoe Part

Every shoe part has it purpose, from inside part, that you don't see as insoles to top vamps, that is what shoes are made from.

Here you will find all of them.

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About the author 

Sveta Kletina

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  1. Hi Sveta,

    Does the glued shank remain in place over time or is it possible to fix it with stitches in the shank hole at the front and the fork at the bach (heel)?

    Thank you for your hard work

  2. Wow…Thank you for this tutorial
    I will like to ask, how do i hold or attach the insole down on the last before placing the shank?

    *Do i use the same method for the cardboard too? I mean when using cardboard for my insole and not that skin, should i follow the same process you used in the tutorial?

  3. Hi, Sveta I can’t uderstand, in the video, what you say about the thikness of the leather. You have to choose different thikness of leather if you want to make what kind of shoes? Can you write here what you say in that part of the video please? Thank you.

  4. Hello; luv ur work by the way.

    My question is: I would have thought the sole would be attached to the shoe before attaching the heel as the bottom portion of the sole on the photo does not look finished

  5. Respected madam,
    What is the function of Heel Nail Plate while attaching the shanks with Heels. I think Shanks should be between the Heel Nail Plate and Heel. So Through Heel Nails it can be attached compactly. Please guide me in this regard.
    Best Regards
    Bhasker Gupta

  6. Thank you ma for this explanation. But my question is if the length of the shank matter when different sizes of heel is produced. For example can the same length of shank used for a size 37/38 heel also be used for size 41/42 heel?

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