Cork for Making Shoes

Cork is a natural, renewable material harvested from the bark of cork oak trees. It's known for its unique combination of softness, durability, and flexibility.

Cork's Key Qualities

Soft yet Durable: Cork's cellular structure allows it to be compressible and flexible, yet it retains its shape, making it long-lasting.

Lightweight: Its low density makes it an ideal material for footwear, ensuring comfort without adding weight.

Shock Absorbing: Its ability to absorb vibrations provides added comfort and reduces impact on the feet.

Anti-static & Flexible: These properties make it comfortable and adaptable to various shoe designs.

Easy to Work With: Its malleability allows for diverse applications in shoemaking.

Learn more about cork in this shoemaking article "Cork in Shoe making".

Applications in Shoemaking

cork plate

Foundation Creation

T strap pumps cork bottom

This picture is taken from my T-strap Pump Shoes Course. I use layer of cork in all my shoe making courses because cork is must have shoe detail to make shoes like professionals.

Post shoe-lasting, cork is used to fill the shoe's bottom, ensuring a flat foundation. This enhances the shoe sole's quality and provides cushioning to minimize foot impact. Here's a shoemaking article "How to make shoes with Bad supplies" you should read if you don't have access to cork and want to substitute it in order to create attractive and high-quality shoe soles.

Insoles & Footbeds

insole cork sandals

This image is from Wedge Cork Mule Sandals. It is a leather-covered insole that complements the elegant design of the mules sandals and adds extra comfort - a layer of cork.

Especially in orthopedic and comfort shoes, cork is the material of choice for insoles and footbeds. It offers shock absorption and cushioning, adding extra comfort. Notable brands like Birkenstock and Teva Naot have specialized in crafting cork insoles.

Cork Wedges 


While modern mass production often uses plastic for wedges, genuine cork wedges offer unparalleled support and comfort. 

Notable Mention 

Salvatore Ferragamo, a legendary shoemaker, innovated the first cork wedge heel during material shortages in World War II. His creation, both lightweight and solid, set the stage for the cork wedge's prominence in footwear.

For those keen on blending style with comfort, crafting a cork wedge sandal offers both. The genuine cork wedge provides essential arch support and protects bones and joints from impact.

Online stores to by cork for making shoes

Here are some online stores where you can purchase various types of cork for shoemaking: