How To Sew Shoes By Hand

Shoes are a basic clothing piece that we wear every day. After wearing shoes for a while, it may break. This means that the stitches that keep the various parts of the shoe together leave a gaping space. This makes your shoes unwearable and non-functional. Instead of throwing away your shoe to buy a new one, you can sew it yourself. You can do it by hand if you have the right tools and skills.

How To Sew Shoes By Hand?

how to sew shoes by hand

You will need an awl as your needle and strong wax thread to fix your leather shoes when they gape. Push in your awl into the shoe a few inches before the hole in the shoe. Your first stitch leaves a long thread inside your shoe. Make your next stitch from inside your shoe with the awl, leave a loop through which you pass your thread. Pull tightly to close the stitch and repeat until you have sewn the gapes completely.

Sewing shoes by hand is a rarely found skill. There aren’t many people who can do this unless they are professionals or have learned the skills in another way. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sew your shoes by hand.

Steps To Sew Your Shoes By Hand

steps to sew your shoes by hand

  1. You will need an awl to pierce the leather and strong thread to hold it together.
  2. Thread your awl, ready to start sewing your shoes. Threading your awl is easy and straightforward. Make sure to select the sharp-pointed needle.
  3. Make your first stitch from the inside of the shoe a few inches from the gape you want to sew.
  4. Push the awl out through the front of the shoe and pull the thread a few inches. Pull back your awl, leaving a few inches of thread hanging.
  5. From the inside of your shoe, make your next stitch closer to the hole you are mending on the shoe. When your awl comes out through the front, make a loop with the thread.
  6. Pass your hanging thread through the loop, pull back the awl, and pull tightly to close the loop and make the second stitch.
  7. Repeat this stitch as you work your way across the hole on your shoe. This will sew together the parts of your shoe that had become undone to make the hole. You can also pass your thread across your whole shoe to reinforce the original stitching.
  8. Your shoe is now back to normal and can be worn comfortably.

How To Fix The Soles Of Shoes With Glue?

how to fix the soles of shoes with glue

  1. Start by cleaning the shoe entirely. This removes any dirt between the sole and the rest of the shoe.
  2. Apply your shoe sole glue on the sole and the part of the shoe above the sole.
  3. Hold the two parts of the shoe together tightly. You can place a heavy item on the shoe as the glue settles. Or, fix together the two parts of your shoe with tape for a while.
  4. After the glue has settled and has held the shoe parts tightly, remove the heavy item or tape from the shoe.
  5. Your shoe is now ready to wear comfortably.

How To Make Shoes By Hand?

  1. You will need to assemble all the materials you need to make your shoe. These materials include enough shoe leather for the shoe size you want to make, thread, shoelaces, fabric for the inner part of the shoe, and inner soles. You can get most of the materials from shoes that you don’t use to save on costs.
  2. You will also need tools such as scissors, markers, pliers, needles, awl, and a cutting mat.
  3. Decide what kind of shoe you need or want to make and make a design for the shoe. Sketch how the shoe will look like when it is finished. This will be your guide on how to make the shoe.
  4. Make a foot cast. A cast is a block, often the wood of a human foot. You can consider it a mold of your foot for the shoe you are making. You can make a cast by filling a carton box with alginate then putting your foot in it. The alginate gel will harden around your foot, then remove your foot slowly from the box.
  5. Pour casting material into the space your foot left in the alginate solution. Leave the casting solution to solidify as you work on other parts of the shoe.
  6. Remove your foot molding from the alginate solution once it has fully solidified. Tie it up with masking tape.
  7. With this molding, bring your design to life. Cut your leather soles and other parts of the shoe according to the size of the mold.
  8. Stitch together the different parts of the shoe you have designed and measured against the foot mold.
  9. Glue your upper part and soles together. Let it wait a while for the glue to hold.
  10. Waterproof your shoes with sealant spray. This is important to make sure that it is not destroyed by water.
  11. You can add decoration to your shoe if you like.
  12. Let it rest a few hours for all the new additions to take shape.
  13. Your shoe is now done and ready to be tested.

Tips When Sewing Shoes By Hand


tools of sewing shoes by hand

Do you have the right tools for the job? To sew through the tough leather shoes, you will need an awl. It is sharper and stronger than an ordinary needle. It can pierce and sew through leather or tough materials that make shoes.

You also need to have the right type of thread to sew the tough fabric of shoes whether it’s leather or canvas.

Working Area

When sewing shoes by hand, you need to have a working area. Have a firm working bench that will ensure that accidents do not happen. Don’t sew shoes on your lap, you may end up injuring yourself. Make a good working area for efficient and safe work.


Before you start sewing your shoes at home, try and learn how to do it on another waste shoe. This is to make sure that you will not spoil your shoes in an attempt to sew them. Learn and practice severally to perfect your shoe sewing skills before you sew your shoes.

Type Of Shoe You Are Working On

The type of shoe you are sewing is an important factor to consider. How you sew leather shoes is different from how you sew canvas and rubber shoes. Some shoes may only need glue to fix, while others may need both glue and sewing.

Materials To Make Shoes

As someone interested or who sews shoes at home by hand, it is important to know which materials you will be working on. This helps you to have the right tools for each shoe fabric that you may end up sewing. It also helps you to get the right skills needed to work on different materials.

materials to make shoes

The commonly used materials for shoemaking include;


It makes most of the dress shoes that men wear. Leather makes durable and comfortable shoes. It is easy to sew at home provided you have the right tools for the job.


Rubber is the most common material used to make sports and running shoes. It is also used to make soles for different types of shoes. You need to know how to sew rubber soles or shoes if you will sew at home.


Textile fabrics are also used in shoemaking. They come in different colors and textures. Cotton and polyester are the most common textiles in shoemaking. You should also know how to sew textile shoes by hand.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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