DIY Sneaker Making: A Beginner-Friendly Guide

Are you ready to embark on the exciting journey of making your own sneakers? Whether you're a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a complete beginner, this guide will take you through the process step-by-step. By the end, you'll have a unique pair of sneakers made entirely by you. Let's dive into the world of shoemaking!

Beginner friendly tip: get our SNEAKER SHOEMAKING KIT which comes with all the materials and the full step-by-step video tutorial.

I Can Make Shoes Kit for making sneakers from home

This walk-through gives you an idea of what to expect when making your own sneakers:

 Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Measure Your Feet Before you start, make sure to measure your feet accurately. This ensures your sneakers will fit perfectly. Check our guide HERE.

2. Ensure Lasts Fit Inside Cup Soles Make sure the lasts (foot-shaped forms used in shoemaking) fit inside the cup soles (the rubber or synthetic sole that cups the bottom of the shoe). This is crucial for ensuring your sneaker components match up correctly. This won't be an issue if you are using our sneaker shoemaking kit as our sneaker cup soles directly match up with our flat shoemaking lasts.

3. Gather Materials Once you've confirmed your lasts and cup soles match, gather all your materials. This includes leather for the uppers, lining, reinforcement tape, eyelets, insole board, foam sheets, and leather for the insoles, toe puffs, and counter stiffeners. You'll also need your shoemaking tools and speedy stitcher.

4. Create or Download a Sneaker Pattern You can either create your own sneaker pattern or download our sneaker pattern. Ensure it matches your shoe size and style preferences. 

5. Trace Pattern Pieces Trace the pattern pieces onto your chosen leather and lining materials. 

6. Cut and Stitch Cut out all your pattern pieces carefully. Begin stitching them together, following the Online Course Tutorial instructions. Use a sewing machine for neat and durable stitches.

7. Add Reinforcement Tape Add reinforcement tape underneath the laces area. This helps prevent stretching when the shoes are worn, maintaining their shape and structure. 

8. Insert Eyelets Add eyelets to the lace-up area. This will make lacing easier and more durable. Use an eyelet tool to ensure they are securely fastened. 

9. Make Insoles Cut the insoles from texon board and add foam for comfort. Then cover them with leather. This combination provides support and comfort for your feet. 

10. Attach Insoles to Last Attach the insoles to the lasts. Stretch the uppers over the lasts and attach the lining to the insoles. Ensure the material is pulled tight to avoid any wrinkles or loose areas. 

11. Add Toe Puff and Counter Stiffeners Insert the toe puff (a piece of material to reinforce the toe area) and counter stiffeners (for the heel area). These elements provide additional support and structure to your sneakers. 

12. Last the Upper Layer Pull the upper layer tight around the last, making sure it is smooth and snug. This step ensures that the shape of your shoe is formed correctly. 

13. Remove Lasts and Place Shoes in Cup Soles Carefully remove the lasts from the shoes. Place the shoes inside the cup soles. While you could glue them, it's recommended to use a speedy stitcher to stitch the cup soles onto the shoes for a more durable finish. 

14. Finish and Lace Up Once the cup soles are securely attached, lace up your sneakers. Ensure all elements are securely fastened and check for any final adjustments needed.

Congratulations! You've made your own pair of sneakers from scratch. This DIY project not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also results in a unique pair of shoes tailored to your style and comfort. Happy shoemaking!

learn shoemaking for yourself

I created a FREE 40-minute online course called 'Introduction to Shoemaking' to show how easy home shoemaking can be and to give you a little taste of what I Can Make Shoes is all about. It also includes a full step-by-step tutorial 😉

SIGN UP HERE for instant access.

Learn to make shoes in this free introduction to shoemaking course

If you are wanting to dive a little deeper into the world of home shoemaking, my online Footwear Masterclass is one of the most popular shoemaking courses in the world!! 🌍 (Casual brag! lol)
The course covers how to make shoes from scratch including heels, flats, boots, sneakers, sandals, and more. The thing that really sets this course apart from others is that it's specifically designed for total beginners and requires very little in the way of tools & equipment, there's even a bonus module on how to start your own shoe brand. To make getting started even easier, the course comes with a FREE Shoemaking Starter Kit, delivered to your door, anywhere in the world! 🌍
Happy Shoemaking, Amanda xx

Pssssssst.... If you want to have a look at the shoes our students have been making, give us a follow on Instagram.