How To Customize Leather Shoes

How To Customize Leather Shoes

In fact, if it’s really hard for you to buy shoes, or if nothing looks good in size, then you can look for custom shoes. But to be clear, there are a lot of ways to make shoes. 

Bespoke shoe making, as it is known in the old capitalist countries, generally only makes men’s shoes. Because men’s demand is mainly for durability, which is worth consumers waiting for two or three months or even half a year for a pair of shoes.

Bespoke shoe making features: customers must have their feet measured on the spot. And each customer must have their own custom shoe last(a piece of wood very similar to the shape of your foot on which your shoe is built). You will be invited to try it on at least twice to ensure it fits perfectly.

The custom of women’s shoes is generally referred to as made to order shoes, or semi-custom.

Characteristics of made to order shoes: there is no exclusive custom shoe last, but a good made to order shoes will have a fine size system, and there will be dozens of samples of different sizes and widths for customers to try on. Will measure your feet on site, but only to choose the right last for the finished product. More importantly, the proportions of the last should be correct, the shape of the shoe can be beautiful, this is not a skill that most shoemakers can master, so can only give you fine tuning on the last. The advantage is that as long as you can find the right leather, any style can be made for you.

Talk about bespoke shoe making, believe that everyone who loves shoes will also find the wit and interest of similar work.

Each pair of shoes have to go through the accumulation of time and energy, each step has to be carefully crafted, each process will be strict details of the standard control. On the wall of the studio is a collection of all the tools needed to make a pair of handmade leather shoes. Each pair of custom-made shoes is made by hand from a shoemaker who has been in the business for decades, using the time-honored Goodyear process in Europe to complete the custom-made shoes by hand.

STEP1: make last, layout and skin painting

According to the foot mold data of the customer, the shoe last maker starts to produce a custom shoe last that is the same size as the wearer’s foot. A pair of handmade shoes can only be made by relying on a custom shoe last. The final line of the aesthetic feeling of the shoe and whether the foot is decided by the last. Then by the version of the last and the customer specified style leather layout design. And then make a plane for making shoes, for leather cutting technicians to cut leather.

STEP2: Cutting

Although it was only a piece of leather in the master’s hand, the three-dimensional representation of the shoes had already been shaped in the master’s ingenuity and brain. Cut leather on the part of the leather choice very fastidious ✂ , good craft shoe materials are strictly, to guarantee the quality of the every inch. Due to the very strict inspection of defects, usually only 40-50% of a piece of skin is used.

STEP3: Punch, suture, make shoes in the bottom, pull help

Punching: general upper elegant decoration is shoemaker according to the design of the version of the division. The use of punch tools with manual punching to create different patterns. This is a patient and careful technical work, as long as the slight deviation of the leather will be scrapped and replaced. Stitching: as long as there is a broken thread, the master will cut the leather to ensure the perfect quality of detail.


An important design of the Goodyear process. The sole is designed to stabilize the structure of the shoe, fit the foot, and keep the shoe breathable.

Pull molding:

It can be said to be a time-consuming and laborious step. But also a pair of shoes whether the important threshold. The shoemaker USES nails to wrap the sutured vamp on a last fitted with a mid-sole to create a three-dimensional shape. The uppers made in this way are fitted to the shape of the last. And the shoes after the finished products can be very close to the customer’s foot.

STEP4: Goodyear seam line

Edge craft is the craft that all fastidiously men shoe brand commonly adopts. The thick thread that sews sole is made with pure hemp, use when need to use beeswax special wax makes ability to be able to use. It is sole of sole sews only, want to spend a few hours above. Use double independent sutures, mid-sole upper edge sewn together, outsole and edge sewn together. This sewing method is very convenient for the replacement of outsole, sole wear can be directly removed after the second line of the entire seam removed and replaced, the follow-up maintenance is also quite convenient.

STEP5: Wipe color and care

Specially chooses the import primary color calfskin embryo, the vamp is finished manually by the artisan colorist.

In addition to the original color card, the colorist and maintenance division can also provide color according to customer demand, color and other services.

What distinction does the inside seam of manual leather shoes and outside seam have? What are their advantages and disadvantages?

First, the difference between the outer seam and the inner seam

  1. Sellier means the suture line is outside; Retourner, which means the suture is in.

     2. the inner seam, is the last buries the bag (pieced) line trace in the inside. The outer seam is the final stitch on the outside.

  1. The inner seam is shorter than the outer seam.
  2. In terms of style, the outer seam is more formal and straight, while the inner seam looks more gentle.
  3. In terms of price, the outer seam is more expensive for the inner seam because of the extra labor.

Second, most are made “from the inside out.” craftsmen use a metal tool called a “Griffe” to ensure that the edges of the leather are even when they are hand-stitched. 

All were made with saddle stitch, only the zipper and the inside pocket were machine-stitched.

The traditional leather shoes craft with high cost performance: the inner seam leather shoes.

A pair of leather shoes may encounter a variety of conditions during wearing. Such as upper scratches, worn soles, but this will not affect the wearing of the shoes, the real life can be used up, you lose face is: off the bottom. Some people say that the chance of leather shoes falling to the bottom is too small, never encountered. Indeed, with better and better glue-making techniques, this is unlikely to happen. Perhaps only one in 100 pairs of shoes has a problem. Just in case, you take a long trip with your leather shoes on, or you go to an important business appointment, and the shoes drop their soles. For since ancient times, gentlemen’s shoes have been made by hand by stitching. There were no machines to glue shoes, so if they were really well made. They were unlikely to fall off before the soles wore out.

One of our inner sewn shoe product display photos.

The advantage of suede craft shoe

The first is: life is long, its upper and sole depend on suede join, depend on glue not only, avoided above to say greatly drop bottom.

Second, the sewing shoes are of high grade.

So, up to now exquisite elite class still wears handwork to sew thread shoe only. This is not a kind of social culture only, the science that suture shoe has its in craft and practical go up, class is higher than glue stick shoe of course.

And a baked photo of a sewn shoe.

In these shoe making craft, interior seam (Blake) can say is the entrance craft of high-grade leather shoes.

In addition, there are Goodyear processes and two top techniques: hand-made seam and Norwegian seam for cold, wind, rain and moisture protection.

What is the interior seam (Blake) process?

The inner seam craft is lighter, the shoe after facing to turn in is sewn directly on the sole. Do not need to use the fringe and other accessory parts, the sole can be made relatively thin, and can stick to the vamp cut, achieve a more frivolous effect.

The inner seam technology is very easy to understand, connect the inner bottom with the outer bottom, and then sew. The inner seam is one of the traditional techniques. Which is less difficult than other methods of stitching, so it is regarded as the advanced technique of the basic level. Inseam shoes, because they conform to the concept of “traditional craft” in advanced consumption. Therefore, it is also the most common craft for the finished shoes of many luxury brands, such as Gucci and other luxury brands.

Gucci leather lace-up brogues, £620.

Why do luxury brands like to use the inner seam?

First, because it crossed the threshold of the craft of the gentleman’s shoe; Secondly, there is a feature of the inseam process of shoes that. Due to the structure of the process, makes the shoes light and slender (compared with the seam, Norway sewn shoes), better looking. Professional shoe brand or love to use seam, this should be emphasized.

Professional shoe brand or love to use seam, this should be emphasized.

The above only shows the grade of the seam characteristics and application range, is not used to compare the price. Inseam shoes are available in all levels. However, there are many fake inseam shoes on the market. Yes! Labeled “seam in” or “Blake,” the price is as low as a gumshoe, but you’ll find it’s a cheat.

How to identify true and false inner seam process?

Actually inside seam craft is very good differentiate, the two places that sees leather shoes can identify. First of all, the inner seam craft sole has groove, inside has the seam line. However, the false seam also has this thread, purely decorative.

Next, seam craft shoe, turn over or tear open shoe inside, the front of the midsole also has a loop of seam like the sole (the heel has thickness. So it is fixed by nails, which is also firm). Because the line runs through from sole to here. This is the structure that the false seam doesn’t have.

How to distinguish inner seam from edge seam process?

Simply put, the most direct way to distinguish between the inseam process and the seam process is to look at the sole of the shoe if you don’t cut it open. The stitching of leather shoes with inner sewing technology is generally closer to the middle of the sole. And the stitching density is relatively sparse. The seams of the seam (Goodyear) tend to be outward and more dense.

Left: inside seam right: hem seam

Note: I’m just showing you the simplest and most obvious way to tell the difference (it’s kind of lazy). The seam process is very complicated. The advanced seam simply hides the seam. In general, it is a common practice to use leather for stitched shoes, either seam or seam.

Just introduce a few big steps roughly, you can feel the ingenuity of the craftsman. Not to mention the step-by-step practical operation and patient waiting. I hope this article can let you know again the handmade custom shoe. Also as soon as possible to find the right pair.

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