Hard Shoes – How they are made!!

I found this great article from a brilliant Irish Dance photographer about the art of creating Irish Dance Hard Shoes!

Check this out – the photos are great!!

Once I was in Dublin with nothing to do, so I came to the Fays shoes shop and asked about the possibility of making a report at how do they make their shoes. And they kindly allowed me.

Eamon was not there at the moment, so his worker made me a tour around.


The whole process starts with a leather upper. It comes from another factory.

It needs to be fit onto a boottree of needed size and then put into a scary machine.

The boottree is being stretch-wrapped by the upper.


When the boottree was stretch-wrapped by the upper and the shoe got it initial form, all the edges need to be smoothed. It’s called “beating” and is done with hot metal plates.

Then we need to sew the outer sole.
First, soft paddings are added under the future tip and heel. They are made by special press machine.

The sole is cut from one large leather piece with the same press machine.

Sew it then:

And cut:


Now we can start making the tip and the heel.

The tip is made from fiberglass. The man fills the form with melted resin and constantly adds fiber to it with the knife, like a butter =)

When it’s done, some more fiberglass is put on top, then the shoe is put on top also and the future heel is placed to balance the shoe correctly.

The weight is put inside to keep them together. And I thought before that the tip is made separately and is glued or screwed….


And here’s the result:

The heels are made at some another factory also, and here they are only shaped correctly. Then the heel tips are attached. They can be plastic or from some other material that looks like wood.

This is the shoe with the heel and tip not shaped yet:



Here’s where that golden “Made in Dublin” sign is made:

Now the only things left are the straps and the shoe is finished!

That’s it!

Thank you Feisphotos.wordpress.com for the great article!


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