Since jazz dancing requires a lot of movement, it is essential that you wear a flexible and comfortable pair of shoes designed just for this purpose. Making your own gives you more freedom in choosing the kind of materials you want for your shoes, and more control over the cost, too. In choosing the leather, look for one with soft but durable quality with a little flexibility when you stretch it. This will not only ease the process of making the shoes, but will guarantee that the shoes will also be comfortable to wear. The other materials can be out of scrap or recycled, and many can be found around your home.

Things You'll Need

Wrap one shoe mold with thin fabric. Then wrap around the masking tape starting from the toe tip.

Measure a 5.6 cm height at back of the heel and around 18 cm center line on the front of the shoe mold. Then draw a curved line below the ankle on the sides of the shoe mold connecting the both lines. The curved line is called the shoe collar, while the shoe front is called the vamp.

Sketch where the shoe laces will be placed. It will be around 8 to 10 cm in length with equal interval for the eyelets.

Draw the sole on the toe area called the forepart sole with around 80 mm length and the heel with approximately 70 mm length. Draw a vertical line on the center of the back heel to the sole.

Using the cutter cut out the heel and forepart patterns from the shoe mold. Also cut the rest following the collar line and the straight line on the bottom of the mold.

Draw the pattern for the shoe tongue with at least 3.30 cm width and around 9 cm length. The tongue will be stitched beneath the vamp later on.

Fold the vamp to check if the collar and the facing are even for both sides. Trim to even if needed. Punch the eyelet holes.

Trace the vamp pattern on the leather and the lining material with around an inch allowance along the edges. Trace the eyelet holes then cut out the pattern.

Trace the tongue pattern twice on the leather and cut. Do the same for the tongue’s lining.

Transfer the pattern of the heel on the rubber and the forepart sole on the suede. You may also buy rubber heel and split sole suede pre cut for your foot size or a sheet of each whichever is cheaper in your area.

Stand the shoe mold on the insole board and trace it to make shoe shaped the insole board. Do the same for the EVA socklining material and socklining leather. Cut the patterns out.

Sew the leather and lining together to make the jazz shoe upper. Take one vamp and sew the heel back together with the allowance folded in. Do the same with the lining. Fit the lining inside the vamp. Fold and sew the collar allowance in between the leather and the lining. Sew the edges of the facing.

Punch the holes and install the eyelets. Sew the leather tongue and its lining together and stitch it inside the vamp. Sew the bottom sole leather.

Tack the insole board on the shoe last. Apply adhesive on the center, the sides of the insole board, on the insides of the upper’s allowance and bottom enclosure.

Insert the upper on the shoe last. Press the upper’s allowance against the board and pleat on the toe area. Remove the nails.

Use the abrasive paper and flatten the soles. This is called buffing. Do this until the surface of the leather is no longer visible.

Apply primer on the heel and upper then let it dry. Apply adhesive on the forepart sole, heel and suede then let them sundried for around 10 minutes and do this twice.

Attach the heel and the forepart soles and pound with hammer. Remove the shoe mold and stitch the forepart suede.

Adhere the socklining leather to the socklining latex and let it dry. Shine the finished jazz shoes. Insert the socklining and tie the shoe laces. Repeat from step 8 to do the other pair of shoe. Remember to flip the patterns over.


  • Use leather paint to cover raw edges for better appearance.