How Do You Make Your Own Shoes?


I was wondering if you do any tutoring on show making? Or know anyone who does? Since I’m trying to make a mean forme for my shoe.





I thought about your question on how to make shoes a lot.  So much that I thought I’d responded.

I don’t do this tutoring.  Nor, I believe, does
HOWEVER!  There are some very useful videos on YouTube.  Do a search for “how to make shoes” or ‘how to make a last for shoes”.  Take a look at the choices.  Please do report back and let us know your favorite videos on this topic!
Anyone else have suggestions on where to learn how to make your own shoes?
The Shoe Lady



What Size Shoes Should I Order?


Dear Shoe Lady,

What size should I order? My width is 4.6 and length is 11.2?



Dear B.H.,

An excellent, practical question.  I assume that you have read how to measure your feet correctly and understand that if you make a little slip and don’t keep the pencil straight up and down, and tight to the edge of your foot, you could end up with a very wrong size.
You should be shopping for a women’s 14M, 14 medium.  A size 13 is only 1/5th of an inch shorter, 11 inches.  If a shoe has an open toe, like a sandal, you may find that 13’s work for you too.  After you have asked such a nice simple question, I am loathe to make it more complicated.  But much depends on whether you have extra short or extra long toes.  A shoe’s size is really determined by the length between the heel and the ball of the foot.  So if your toes are disproportionately long, you’ll be buying a shoe that doesn’t quite hit in the right places around the ball of your foot.   Ah.  TMI.  Too much information.
Take a look at these styles.  Size 14 shoes that look like women’s shoes are infernally hard to find.  There are 154 styles today from 13 different brands.
Walk in peace,
The Shoe Lady

She HATES Her Size 12 Feet – Can’t Find Shoes

Dear Shoe Lady,


I’m a size 12 and I HATE my feet. Everytime I see a shoe that I LOVE, they obviously don’t carry my size. So where can I purchase cute shoes online? Also what would be my size when it came to wanting to wear heels?



Dear Chevonne,

I’m not asking you to love your feet.  But you can at least be kind to them.  If you are going to be angry, then be angry at the folks who don’t make shoes in your size.  It is not the fault of your feet that you can’t find size 12 shoes!  Not that I’m not sympathetic.  As a size 11.5 myself, I wear size 12’s a lot.  If you think size 12’s are hard to find, try looking for an 11.5.
But let’s get right to your question.  You can purchase size 12’s on line here:  You can probably find them other places too.  But does not annoy you by carrying all those styles that stop at size 10.  The size 12’s sell out fast, but the site is filled with, as of today, 1.705 choices.  Since it is the very beginning of Fall, new styles are arriving all the time.
But I have to ask.  What makes you think you are a size 12?   Just because a size 11 was too small?   You didn’t mention the width.  If you get the wrong width, the shoes will look strange on your feet, and they will be uncomfortable.  Please read about how to measure your feet.  If your feet are 10.8 inches long, then you ARE a size 12 (USA).  But if they are less than half an inch shorter or longer then you are a size 11 or a size 13.  Learn how to measure your feet accurately here:
Please do not make the all-to-common mistake of buying a shoe that is too long for you just because you need more space to squeeze in a wide foot!  Look for a smaller size and a wider width.  If you are a size 12 medium, then the bottom of your foot, at the widest part, should be about 4.1 inches across.  If your foot is only a third of an inch narrower or wider, you could need a size 12 narrow or size 12 wide instead of a medium.  Read about shoe widths here:
Developing your personal style will make you a fashion leader.  Decide what shape and style of shoe looks best on your feet.  What styles go best with your lifestyle.  You mentioned high heels.  If they are properly sized, you would wear a size 12 in heels too.  But for heels, knowing your correct size and width is more important.  There is less, shall we say, “wiggle room” if you get the measurements wrong.  You may decide that a flat mary jane style in a bright color with striped opaque tights makes the perfect fashion statement for you.  Or you may prefer a stiletto ankle boot with a platform sole and blue jeans.

Whatever your style, treat your feet well and they will make you happy.

Best to you,
The Shoe Lady

Ros Hommerson Sandal Fits the Bill for 10WW With Bunions

Finding has been like winning the lottery for me.  I wear size 10 WW shoes and can never find a sandal that will hide the large bunions I have.  It has been almost impossible to find that extra wide shoes size in almost any style shoe.

After shopping in your store, I came across the Scottsdale sandal by Ros Hommerson*, which fits the bill.  How exciting to be able to wear a sandal for the first time.  I cannot tell you how many sandals I have wanted to purchase, and when trying them on they would either hurt or call attention to the bunions. The Scottsdale sandal certainly works for me.

 B L


*note:  Ros Hommerson had been one of the most popular brands at  The brand has not been producing new styles for awhile so it is great to announce that as of Fall 2013 their styles in sizes from 4 to 13 and widths from AAAA (extra slim) to EE (extra wide).  And they have size 11.5 too!  A special interest for The Shoe Lady!

Size 12 Competition for Women’s Shoes Is Fierce, Includes Competing With Cross Dressers

I was shopping at Nordstrom Rack with my then 16 year old 6’0” daughter who wears a size 12 shoe. Nordstrom has the best selection around for that size. So there I am looking through the racks trying to find something at which my teenager won’t turn up her nose and I feel the presence of another woman next to me.

It can be a pretty aggressive experience hunting down a cute pair of size 12’s! So I turn and look her in the eye, as if to say, ” back off this is my rack!!” Well to my surprise and shock, this woman is actually a man; a transvestite wearing a white mini skirt and tasteful blouse while searching for a strappy sandal! I had to laugh because it’s hard enough to find size 12’s without having to include the transsexual crowd! My teenager was of course mortified and won’t step back into that store. So thank goodness we found you!


Size 13 Teen Makes Holy Bargain for New Brown Boots

I have 4 pair of shoes in my trunk. 2 flat mules (black patent and woven black) and 2 flip flops (metallic and leather)
When I was a freshman in high school back in 1984 I was already a size 13M.  Like most women, there was not a shoe that I didn’t like.  Unfortunately my size was very hard if not impossible to find.  When we did find a store that carried shoes in my size the selection was usually only one of two shoes in black, blue or brown. (Nothing like, where were you 20 years ago???)   It was constantly disappointing to go new shoe shopping.

My freshman year, my parents really wanted to send me to Catholic school.  I had my own ideas and was really set on going to the local public school because I had been in parochial schools since I was 8.  This was to be my first chance at freedom in a public school.

My parents took me shoe shopping for the upcoming school year.  We came into Boston to the only shoe store at the time that carried size 13.  When we were there, I found these beautiful brown, soft leather boots that I absolutely fell in love with.  The problem was that they were over $100 and my parents did not want to spend that kind of money (in 1984 that was even more than today) But, they relented if I would change my mind and go to Catholic school.  I thought, “I’ll agree to go, wear them the first day, then go back on my side of the deal and continue to go to the public school I was already enrolled in. Since I will have worn the boots, there would be no way my parents could return worn boots.

My plan backfired.  My parents sent me to Catholic school in my new boots and 4 years later I was still there wearing them.  Is there nothing a girl won’t do for her favorite pair of shoes or boots?

 M F


When Shoes Are Hard To Find – We Keep Them A Long Time

A few weeks ago my daughter and her friend were playing dress-up when I heard the inevitable clunk, clunk, clonk on the stairs, and was greeted by the sight of two ten-year-olds wearing an amazing assortment of dresses, scarves, jewelry, makeup and high heels. My eyes were drawn to my lovely pale pink pumps, and the memories came rushing back.  These were the beautiful shoes I bought years ago (20?) when my only options were black pumps.  A size 10 by high school, I am used to being disappointed by the latest styles.  Yes, they are adorable/cool/hot – but they won’t be in my size.  These pink shoes are the most amazing color – soft and warm and sexy.  I remember wearing them in 1989 in Tokyo with a beige silk suit and a rose quartz necklace as I ate sashimi while seated on a totomi mat in a private dining room. I remember feeling like a princess…

But in 1992 I was back in the states and faced with a more challenging situation – finding shoes to wear on my wedding day.  My feet were now barely a 10, and the white shoes I sought were elusive. Satin would not be right, and I wanted comfort.  I looked up until the day before the wedding and then reached for my pink shoes.  They were perfect.  Comfortable.  Something old! And so well made that they still looked new.  If anyone noticed they were pink instead of white, they were having too much fun to mention it.

Fourteen years and two children later, I now wear a size 12, and many years have passed since I added my precious shoes to the dress-up closet. I laughed with the girls, and then asked to try on the shoes myself.  I can squeeze into them for a moment, if I hold my breath, just as I can into my wedding dress! But unlike the dress, no amount of dieting will make them fit again.  While my wedding dress hangs, lonely, in my closet, my shoes have a second life.  My daughter loves them too. So far, she takes for granted that the shoe she wants will fit her.  I know, however, how special it is to find that certain shoe, in my size, that makes my heart beat quickly.  And I am so glad that my pink shoes are still looking fabulous!



Challenges Face Size 10 Teen

Although I have reached the half-century mark with my size 11 ego intact, my plight began in grade school. Despite the fact that I attended parochial school and wore oxfords every school day with my uniform, my mother would take me shoe shopping for Sunday and special occasions – which always ended in tears for me and my mother’s “nerves” would be worn thin.

I wore a size 10 and invariably the shoes she picked for me never resembled the shoes my classmates or friends wore.  I cried, I complained, and ultimately refused to wear what she picked for me.  Eventually she stopped taking me shoe shopping. Thus, I began saving my allowances to buy the shoes of my choice.

At the age of twelve, I worked the entire summer on an ice cream truck with a relative, just so I would have enough money to buy a specific pair of shoes to wear on the first day of school – one of the only days we were not required to wear uniforms.  Unfortunately, I stopped at the record shop first to buy my favorite 45, walked out leaving my wallet on the counter.  Needless to say, it was not there when I rushed back in.

It was only $50.00. But it meant the world to me.  I stood on the downtown street corner and cried as if someone had died.  People stopped to inquire what was the matter and I just could not explain.  Eventually I returned home bereft and forever jaded about the world. I discovered soon thereafter that my mother wore the same size (ten) when playing in her closet one afternoon.

I secretly began wearing her shoes.  Her shoes were beautiful and fit perfectly, the heels were a little high, however.  Whenever I asked her to let me wear her shoes, she told me they were “too grown” for me. Needless to say I continued to “shop” in my mother’s shoe closet for the rest of her life, even after my foot continued to grow to size 10 1/2.

Today I wear a size 11 and love your website! No longer do I have to endure the subtle sneers of shoe store clerks when I ask for a particular style in my size.  Funny, no one ever mentioned that your feet continue to grow long after everything else stops growing.
C. M


Shoe Size Goes Up Giving Birth to Baby Boys

I wore a size 7 at the age of 7 and each year my foot would grow another size until I reached a size 10 at the age of 10.  I thought that was it until I was pregnant with my first son at the age of 26 and my feet grew to a size 11.  Then at the age of 29 I had another son and my feet grew to a size 12.  There’s something about those boys, because this didn’t happen with my daughter who is my first-born. (Smile)
I notice that in retail shoe stores sizes 10 and 11 are more available, but it’s difficult to find a 12.  Thank you for making larger sizes available in a wide variety of shoes.

T 4.11.06

Size 12 Woman’s Shoes are Envy of Her Roommate

My long skinny feet have been a problem since I was in middle school.  Shoes to wear to work or school were ugly boring things.  Living with a roommate who had 30 pairs of shoes was torment in college.

Luckily these days I’m able to solve my shoe dilemma by shopping at  The best part is that my former roommate loves my shoes and wants to borrow them!  Of course my shoes don’t fit her 8B feet.

For her the shoes on the other foot now!