We depend a lot on our shoes. They protect us against the elements, against rough pavement, against cold or hot weather, and more. They also help us express who we are through the patterns, colors, and fabrics we love. A lot of time, effort, and attention goes into making our shoes, but how often do we think about that process? Whether it’s men’s designer dress shoes or simple tennis shoes, every pair goes through essentially the same steps. 

Simon’s Shoes is proud to offer shoes for every event and personality. Find men’s casual dress boots, ladies’ high heel shoes, or cozy slippers for anyone. Simon’s has been bringing high-quality shoes to great people for over a hundred years. Stop into our brick-and-mortar store in Brookline, Massachusetts or shop online today!

Cutting or “Clicking”

All shoes start with a pattern. The cutting or “clicking” department is charged with cutting these patterns out of whichever fabric the designer has chosen. The term “clicking” is said to come from the sound of the cutter’s knife clicking against the template as they trace the pattern. The workers in this department need to be highly skilled and very careful, because the fabrics they work with can be very expensive. They need to cut out all the pieces needed to make the shoe and waste as little of the fabric as possible.

Closing

Closing, despite what its name may imply, is nowhere near the end of the shoemaking process. This step is where the fabric pieces are stitched together. The upper – the piece that holds the shoe onto your foot – takes shape in this step. This is also where a lot of the details and decorations are added, like lace loops, reinforcements, or other hardware.

Lasting

A “last” is basically the mold they use to form the real shape of your shoe.The pointed toe of a finished high heel, for example, is created by the shape of the last. There needs to be one last each to represent your left foot and your right foot, and they are made for every single size and style of the shoe. The last is made of metal, plastic, or wood, so they can be reused, but big companies that make many different kinds of shoes can have hundreds or maybe thousands of lasts in their factory.

Before this step, the fabric pieces are floppy and nowhere near finished. The last helps form the shape of the final shoe, and then the bottom of the shoe is finally connected. There are many ways to attach these two pieces, from stitching to gluing to nailing the upper to the outsole. It all depends on the type of shoe.

Finishing

The last is removed and the shoe goes through the final phases before reaching stores. Depending on the fabric of the shoe, it may be buffed and polished, waterproofed and waxed, or stained. You can count every pair being cleaned, laced up, and packaged. Then, at last, it’s sent out to stores.

Our shoes today may be made of new-age materials and assembled with the help of machines, but the underlying process of making shoes has not changed much over the years. Fabric still needs to be cut and stitched together. Simon’s Shoes has been in business since 1892, when shoes were little more than pieces of leather and wood made to protect your feet from the cobblestone streets. We’re proud to now offer hundreds of different styles and colors of shoes for both men and women, designed to help you show the world your best self. Find the right pair for you and get free shipping today!

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