Friday, February 10

Making Bespoke High heels - Part 8 The Insole and Heel

Well, before lasting, one has to have an insole. Insole creates a spine on which the other components are fastened. By various methods I might add. My method is the cemented (glued) structure, which originates from around the middle part of the last century. It's quite modern, but one of the most common structures these days. The  gentleman with an keen eye on quality dress shoes despises this structure, but to my mind it's well fitting for ladies shoes. Although there's only the adhesive (another english word for glue ;) that keeps the structure together, it's a long lasting shoe construct that's quite easy to repair and faster to make too.

Back to business:

First to draw an approximate outline on a 3mm thick purely oak tanned insanely beautiful german traditional  leather.
Too much adjectives? ;)

After cutting, the pieces are scraped with... a piece of broken glass?
Many of you might not know about the great qualities of vegetable tanned leather: it might be quite stiff when dry like this type of leather I'm using, but after soaking them in water they turn into the mother of all elastics and completely formable. A beautiful traditional material. <Sorry for the blurry pic!>

The wet leather is fastened with nails to the last.

A carefully applied rubber band.

Voilá! All wrapped and left to dry to shape.

To add some modern high tech; I put the first supportive layer out of 0,8mm carbon fibre plate. Heat formable stuff.

And because with high heels the arch needs to be as stiff as possible, I'm going for the ultimate. I'll laminate this piece of steel between two layers of carbon fibre.
Sadly, I didn't have any more detailed images on the actual process of making these.
But here's one, all ready for action. You can see that right after the heel part the edge is trimmed almost to zero. But there's a heavier supportive ridge at the center, which you can see better in the picture below.
A bottom view. The steel shank is laminated within those layers of carbon fibre.
And the heel is what I actually worked on for a full day's worth of time... For nothing. I found a perfect match for these lasts from a box. At my work. Perfect. That was a bit annoying. All that work for nothing.

Another rub of salt on my broken nerves.

And these are the babies I found. I've done some grinding on the top parts only. To get them fitting perfectly to the insole.

Next, it's lasting for sure :) See you soon!


  1. voi kuinka kauniilta tuo korko näyttää.. tämähän käy jännäksi ;)

  2. Kiitos Unikuu :) Korko oli itseasiassa juuri sellainen kuin halusinkin. Outoa että sellanen löytyi varastosta.

    1. Se oli siellä ihan tätä projetia varten.. ;)

  3. Hello, can you plaese send my the supplier of Carbon plate? thanks Jan

    1. Sorry for the late reply! Ours is Centri from sweden: