What you will do
7 hour workshop
This is a great way to start learning how to make shoes. On this one-day shoe making course for beginners you will learn one of the most important elements of shoe making, hand lasting.
Hand lasting is the stage of pulling the leather shoe upper over the last (the forms that the shoes are made on) and securing it in place, first with nails and then contact cement. It is one of the most important, because a hand lasted shoe has a beautiful shape, exactly following the contours of the last.
During the day, we will guide you through:
- Shaping your insole (the leather footbed inside the shoes that the foot rests on)
- Inserting a stiffener at the heel and a toe puff at the toe to strengthen the shoe, give it shape and hold it on the foot
- Hand lasting your uppers over, nailing and then cementing them in place and hammering them to shape.
You will work with four specialist shoe making tools – a shoe making knife (your best friend or worst enemy depending on how sharp it is), lasting pliers, a leather hammer and nippers.
At the end of the day, your shoes will be sent off to our specialist cobbler to have a leather sole and heel attached before being carefully boxed up and delivered back to you ready to be worn!
Did you know?
We ensure quality. If your class doesn't reach your expectations, we'll give your money back.
This is a Flexitime class, which means the teacher can run this class around your schedule.
Time & Location
Select a date and location you want and your teacher will get back to you to confirm their availability.
About your host, Carréducker Shoe & Leather School
Carreducker are master handsewn shoemakers based in historic Clerkenwell, London who learned their craft the traditional way, as shoe making apprentices. Today, they make bespoke shoes for private customers and deliver the bespoke shoe service at Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row and at James Purdey & Son in Mayfair, London.
Passionate for the heritage, handsewn craft and keen to share their skills, Carreducker have been teaching shoe making since 2006. James Ducker originally taught shoe making at Cordwainers College and Deborah Carre was a visiting lecturer in shoe and accessory design at the London College of Fashion, so teaching has always been important to them.
Since they started teaching, the number and variety of courses has grown from one three-week course to a year-round syllabus of evening, short and longer classes and courses taught by industry experts. All subjects have handsewn shoemaking and craft at their heart from footwear pattern making, shoe care & polishing, 1-to-1 tuition and shoe making masterclasses to small leather accessory saddle stitch classes. Their 12-Day intensive shoe making course is the longest running and one-of-a-kind. In just 12 days students are guided through the 200 plus steps of hand sewing a pair of shoes; starting with a rough pack of leather, a pair of shoe uppers and a pair of lasts (the blocks the shoes are made on) and finishing up with a pair of handsewn shoes they have made themselves.
Courses are taught at the Carreducker Shoe & Leather School on the Islington, Shoreditch, Hoxton borders housed appropriately in a converted factory with metal Crittal windows and exposed brickwork hinting at the buildings heritage. It is a warm, friendly and relaxed space to work in - with shoe and leather work tools hung along a long peg wall in the main work space, next to the bespoke work table and leather hides hung from the rafters in the neighbouring work room - making for a creative and inspiring space in which to learn.
As soon as you've booked your place on the course, please visit the Introduction to Shoe Making Course - 1 Day on our website to choose the right UK size for you and the style, leather colour and details of the shoes you would like to make. Email us at email@example.com with you choices and we will order your uppers for you, especially for the class. (If the dates we have listed don't suit you, please do email us firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we can find a convenient date for you).
Flexible cancellation policy
Any class can be cancelled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.