Skip to content

Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

I received a phone call from an aspiring shoemaker, asking about what tools I’d suggest to get to make shoes. Although it is a really difficult question, however, there are some basic tools all shoemakers need. I am gonna list a few (not a comprehensive collection) and enclose a link to purchase it, if you want. Again: it is more for beginners, maybe for teachers to support students.

1. Hammer and pincers to last. (on sale 65 USD)

http://cordwainertools.com/lasting,pincers,shoemaking,hammers,shoemaker,tools

hammer pincer combo

Not needed to mention, the most essential tools, for everything.

2. Craft knives (12.50 – 24.50 USD)

craft knife advanced

You have two options:

affordable  http://cordwainertools.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=37&product_id=160

bit more expensive http://cordwainertools.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=37&product_id=161

I was referring these knives as “Japanese” earlier, but I must admit that was wrong – these were used in the European traditions for a long time.  You can skive, trim the insole/sole edges, cut channels (probably the best tool for that), and so on. One of the best investment into tools.

3. Apron (16.95 USD)

apron-800x800

http://cordwainertools.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=37&product_id=75

Against the popular belief, aprons are not only good for protecting your clothes (although that is still a case), but holding your shoes when you work on certain areas. Aprons are a must for beginners.

4. Measuring tape (9.50 USD)

measuring tape-800x800-2

Not only for custom shoemaking, but… checking the size of the lasts – please always start with that – do not believe to the numbers printed on a new last. That naiveté can cost you a lot. This one is specially made for shoemakers, showing: European (Paris Point), centimeters/millimeters and English units.

http://cordwainertools.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=37&product_id=70

5. Topline tape

topline tapes-800x800

There is no upper without top line tape. 12.50 USD, but enough for several pairs, securing the shape of top edge.

http://cordwainertools.com/topline%20tape%20reinforcement%20?product_id=84

%d bloggers like this: