Making Process of Steel Toe Shoes : A Brief Guide

You have seen steel toe shoes online, and you’re maybe thinking of getting a pair. But did you know that it’s easy to make them? In this guide we will show you how to make steel toe shoes that will provide you with some degree of protection.

Making Process of Steel Toe Shoes A Brief Guide
  • Wedge sewing needle
  • Tape measure
  • Leather glue
  • Hard leather
  • Tap shoe toe taps
  • Soft leather shoes
  • Thick thread
  • Cutting tool

Step by Step Guidelines

  1. Use a tape measure to determine the length of your shoe (if you don’t already know). The measurement should be from the toe’s tip to the middle of the top of your foot.
  2. Measure the shoe’s widest part.
  3. Cut a piece of paper that matches the width and length measurements you just took. Round the corners so it will fit around your boot. Ensure the toe tap fits snugly in the middle.
  4. Turn the tap, glue the corners and create a cross diagonally set.
  5. Put the tap in the middle where you will position the scrap leather.
  6. Secure the toe taps. Put glue around the edges of the scrap leather. Prepare another diagonal cross and put it over the shoe.
  7. Use your fingertips to press the edges down firmly.
  8. Use cotton swabs to remove the excess glue. Let the glue dry. It should take around 4 hours.
  9. Get the sharp wedge needle. Use thick thread to make an overcast stitch along the leather.
  10. Check the shoes to ensure the toe tap is properly installed. Wear the shoes and walk around them.

Tips on How to Make Your Steel Toe Shoes More Comfortable

  • The right fit: most people buy steel toe shoes that are too wide and too short. If your toes make contact with the steel toes, it means you need a longer – not wider – shoe. There is nothing wrong with wanting a wider shoe. But if the shoes you’re buying - or going to use to make a steel toe – are short, your feet will cramp up. Get a longer shoe so your feet have enough breathing room and you’re more comfortable.
  • Wear Proper Fitting Socks: ill-fitting socks will be very uncomfortable, and you end up thinking there is something wrong with the shoes. It’s nice to have comfortable shoes, but you won’t get much from it unless you’re wearing the right pair of socks.
  • If your feet still don’t feel comfortable, you may need new insoles. There are a lot of these insoles, so look for a pair that will fit with your shoes.


  • Wear gloves when working with glue to keep your hands from getting sticky.
  • New or well-maintained leather boots are the best choice for steel toe shoes.
  • Take your time when working on this project. You have to be patient with glue as it may take several hours to dry.
  • Keep in mind that DIY steel toe shoes cannot match the commercially available ones in terms of protection. If your company mandates wearing steel toe shoes, you have to wear those that meet the company’s standards.
  • Be cautious when making your own steel toe shoes. Make certain the shoes you’re using are high quality and can withstand day to day use.
  • Be careful when handling the wedge needle as it is sharp.

​Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I need to wear steel toe shoes?

A: Steel toe shoes provide extra protection for your feet. If you work involves moving heavy objects, a steel toe reduces the possibility of foot injury.

Q: How many types of steel toe shoes are there?

A:  Steel toe shoes are the most widely used and made of steel. Composite toes are a combination of steel and other metals so it is more comfortable, but not as durable. Alloy toes also combine steel with other elements.

Q: Which is stronger, steel toe shoes or steel toe boots?

A: They are both strong and made to last a long time.

Q: What type of maintenance is needed for steel toe shoes?

A: Steel toe shoes and boots need the same conditioning, oil, polish, etc. that regular shoes do.

Q: Can I wear DIY steel toe shoes to work?

A: Most workplaces that require steel toe shoes require them to meet certain specs, so you’re better off buying a pair.

Q: How much impact can steel toe shoes handle?

A: At the very least, a steel toe shoe can provide protection for up to 77 lbs. of direct impact.


The importance of steel toe shoes can’t be emphasized enough. If you work anywhere near heavy equipment, it can mean the difference between going home healthy or with a broken foot. Fortunately it isn’t that hard to find one or make one. With a little creativity, you can have DIY steel toe shoes.