We get asked this question all the time ‘How much does it cost to make shoes?’ The cost of making shoes totally depends on the design of the shoe and how many pairs you are looking to make. When having shoes mass-produced, the more shoes you make, the cheaper the cost. This is because you can reduce your costs by purchasing supplies in bulk and streamlining the production process by creating a production line.

But for most of you who are starting out, you won't be working with factories to mass produce your shoes, you may only be making shoes as a hobby and are wondering how much it costs to make a shoe? Well its a good question but also a bit tricky to answer as there are a lot of factors which will affect the cost price. For example, leather can be very cheap or very expensive depending on what you choose. You may not even be using leather, you may be using fabric that you’ve had in your sewing room stash for years!

To try to make this article a bit more helpful I’ll give you a rough idea of the cost to make 1 pair of shoes below. It’s worth mentioning that when you sign up for our Online Footwear Masterclass we actually provide a free starter kit which covers most of the supplies you would need to make shoes from scratch. 

Ok, so lets start with the initial set-up cost for making a pair of shoes, these are one-off costs as you can reuse these things for many many pairs of shoes in the future.

- Sewing Machine £150+
- Pair of shoemaking lasts £60
- Tools and Glue £90
TOTAL: £300+

Ok, so now here is a rough list of cost of materials per pair of shoes:

- Upper and lining materials £5
- Insoles £7.50
- Heels £6
- Stiffeners £6.10
- Soling £3
TOTAL: £27+

If you want to make bespoke fitting sandals these can be made directly around your foot and don’t require a sewing machine, lasts and most of the components, so they can be made for as little as £15!

If you are planning on selling your shoes, there are a few other costs you need to consider, such as branding and packaging.

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point when understanding what it costs to make a pair of shoes. Once you learn more about the shoemaking process by following our shoemaking video lessons you will understand ways in which you can get your costs down even further by being smart with your material choices.  The simplest way to get started is to book yourself onto our Online Footwear Masterclass. This course is designed for complete beginners and comes with a free shoemaking starter kit delivered right to your door no matter where you are in the world. (free worldwide shipping included)!

The course covers various shoe styles, including high heels, stilettos, mid heels, derby and oxford style mens shoes as well as zip boots, lace up boots, pull on boots, chelsea boots, sneakers, sandals, patternmaking and a bonus course on how to start your own shoe brand.