“a step in the right direction” women’s shoemaking kit with pre-punched vegetable-tanned leather soles



The shoes made from this kit are ecological and minimalist (of course you can add your own cushioning and arch supports inside the shoe). The soles that are a part of this kit are available in whole women’s sizes, 5-11, in medium and “wide-ball” width. Please indicate the whole size you want to order, as well as width in the “comment” section.

The soles have holes punched around their edge to which the upper will be stitched. The sole consists of two layers of vegetable-tanned leather.

Imagine – they aren’t made 10,000 miles away by exploited workers, from materials that are toxic and will never biodegrade. Instead they’ll be locally made by you!

Make a mock-up to make sure the fit is right before ordering the kit, using the directions and patterns for making center-seam shoes in the The Simple Shoemaking Handbook.


Use thin corrugated cardboard from a USPS box for  the sole, and inexpensive felt for the uppers. if you can make the felt double-layered w/ spay adhesive in-between layers, it’s easier to work with. Customize the mock-up as needed before cutting into your leather. Then you will need to neatly cut out the leather upper, punch holes, and stitch the shoe upper parts together. The final step is to stitch the uppers to the soles, and you need some strength to pull the stitches tight.

You can see from the following materials list that you can re-create this shoemaking kit so you can continue making shoes  for your family and friends – and even as a business venture.

leather for making the shoe uppers – in the “comments” space, please let me know which color you would like (color 2 is no longer available).

Materials in the kit:

a pair of vegetable-tanned soles in women’s sizes 5,6,7,8,9, 10 or 11 Choose natural or Havana brown leather soles

leather for lining the topline of the uppers

waxed, braided thread

non-toxic contact cement

felt for making mock-up uppers

Tools in the kit:

cement brush

2 blunt-tipped needles

Additional things you need:

leather-cutting scissors

00 drive punch or spring punch

if you choose the 00 drive punch, you will also need a rubber or other mallet to hit it with, and a wood end-cut board, thick plastic cutting board or end of log to place under piece you are punching holes in

silver gel pen

pliers – for pulling thread through the small holes