Custom Shoemaker

Create custom fit shoes for clients.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $36,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Custom Shoemakers do?

Shoes are often designed to fit an average foot. Because of that, people who have not-so-average feet may struggle to find shoes that fit properly. When going barefoot is no longer an option, these people visit a Custom Shoemaker. Custom Shoemakers create special shoes for special feet.

If you’re a Custom Shoemaker, you take exact measurements to create precise shoes, but most people won’t want to stand in your shop for weeks while you build shoes around their feet. Instead, you trace their feet on paper, or create plaster replicas of their feet for your use. Sometimes, you have models of the shoes that you make; other times, you create shoes based on your client’s fantastical ideas.

Using the measurements, you cut out the sole of the shoes and the fabric that will make up the top. You glue these parts together first, and then reinforce that glue with stitches. You may also glam up the shoes with dyes and coatings, making them look as great as they feel.

If they have laces, you punch holes for those laces. If they have buckles or some other closure method, you attach those items. Lastly, you attach the heels.

When the client returns for the shoes, you fit the shoes on their feet and ask them to walk about. Sometimes, you make adjustments to the shoes based on these small walks. Other times, you simply accept payment and move on to the next customer.

Should I be a Custom Shoemaker?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Back Shoe Cutter, Shoe Cutter, Shoemaker Apprentice, Shoemaker, Custom, Upper Cutter

    How to become a Custom Shoemaker

    Most Custom Shoemakers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9sbaab&chl=no+college+%2874%25%29|certificate+%2822%25%29|associate%27s+%282%25%29|||doctorate+%282%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,74,74
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