Making a shoe insole cover is very important, why you ask? When making a shoe, the insole is the hidden component that you usually don't see. Insole is yet very important part of our shoes if you are making closed or opened footwear.
If in closed shoes customer usually don’t even see it, in opened shoes like peep toe pumps, sandals, D'Orsay shoes etc, we must consider an insole as a part of our design when we make shoes.
In this post I want to show you why you need to cover your insoles and how to do it.We will focus on the materials, different types of covers and insoles in shoemaking, techniques and, as always, I will show you how to make cover in insoles for opened shoes in my video shoe making tutorial.
Why do we need to make an insole cover in shoes with opened parts?
Because in the shoes with opened details we have opened parts in the upper, we need to cover the insole to not show the cardboard edge of the insoles.
If you will not cover the edge in making your shoes, you will see the non finished cardboard edge of the insoles in your finished shoes, and it will look very ugly ( very DIY shoes).
Making shoes with elegant cover: materials to use
Leather mostly used in bespoke shoes and quality footwear making, in the making of elegant shoes. You can learn in this post ‘’Best Leather Types To Work With For Beginners In Shoemaking’’ to know what leather type you need to start making shoes.
Fabric is a great substitution in making a shoe insole covers. Usually it is used to cover insoles to support the design of the shoe. The big bonus of using fabric in shoe making is that this material is Eco friendly.
Semi leather is a cheaper solution that usually used in mass shoe production to lower the costs.
Thin strap of cork is used as insole cover mostly in sandals.
We use cork a lot in shoe making and if you want to know more about it, check this post ‘’Cork in shoe making’’.
Using same approach in making closed shoes
The fact is that you can make closed shoes also with the insole cover. It will upgrade the look of your shoes, they will look more elegant by adding such a small detail as insole cover.
Many footwear brands like Sergio Rossi, Jimmy Choo and many others use it in their closed footwear to add more design value to the footwear.
The only difference between insole cover in closed shoes and opened is that you need to cover almost the entire edge of the insole.
You can do it in making your shoes using the same approach that I will teach you in the video tutorial.
Different insole covers for opened shoes
Here let’s focus on making one type of shoes, sandals.
In making sandals, which are opened shoes, we can have 2 types of the insole covers.
- Round strap
This kind of strap will cover the edge of the insole making it look like one piece, an insole border.
On top of this will be attached the sock lining.
2. Toe cover & a strap
The strap will cover only ⅔ of the insole edge and in the toe area there will be full toe cover.
This is used in sandals and peep toe pumps.
Making shoes with this type of the insole cover will give your shoes great look!
This is a mule sandal that we made in my Mule Wedge Cork Sandals Course and here the insole cover is a part of the design of these shoes.
When I made this sandals we didn't cover only the insole, but we covered the cork wedge as well.
This gives the complete look of your shoes and this is something very important that you need to pay attention to in making shoes.
Shoemaking trick for making extra comfortable insoles
In making shoes you also can create extra comfort by adding cushion to the insoles.
You can attach to your insole some pad or thin sponge and make comfortable shoes.
This is one of the easiest shoemaking tricks you can use in making your shoes.
It is easy to do things, because doesn't require some complicated shoe making techniques.
The only thing that you need to do to make these type of the insoles beautiful as well is to cover them with some material: leather, fabric,semi leather or cork.
You need to cover not the edge of the insole as I explained previously, but to cover the entire top surface of the insole where you will attach the pad. You actually will cover this pad to hide it.
So if you want to make shoes with extra comfort use this shoe making trick.
Cardboard insoles VS vegetable tanned insoles
If you would like to make bespoke shoes , you should use vegetable tanned leather to make your insoles from.
There are few advantages and disadvantages in making insoles from both materials and to know more about it, check my ‘’Why You need Bespoke Shoes and Working With Veg Tanned Leather’’ post.
What is important right now is that you can use the same shoemaking approach in the work with leather insoles to make them look elegant and complete the entire design of your shoes.
So all the types of the insole cover that I explained before you can apply in the making of the vegetable tanned leather insoles.
More than this, working with leather insoles you can create additional comfort for your arch zone by adding extra support to this place on your feet.
It is impossible in the making of the cardboard insoles but super easy to do working with leather insoles.
Although it will requer a little bit different shoe making approach in the making of the cover for this type of leather insole, but it worth it. You will get very comfortable and beautiful insoles for your shoes.
You just need to cover this extra support apart from the main part of the insole and then you will attach or strap to cover the edge of the insole, or you will attach just sock lining. It depends on the design of your footwear, of course!
Now,to make it clear for you, in making shoes with the vegetable -tanned leather insoles you don’t have to make a welted construction as we do in English Welted shoes, but to make shoes with cemented sole.
It is also a good option for you in the making of shoes with comfortable vegetable tanned leather insoles.
So, you have learned different types of insole cover and why it is important in making of shoe with opened parts! If you want to learn more about the entire process of making shoes, read this article: "How to make shoes".
It is a time to learn the entire shoe making technique to make a cover in your insoles. Learn it step by step in the shoemaking tututorial at the top and use it making shoes with open details or in closed shoes.