Consider the materials and process of creating a pair of leather shoes, especially handmade ones. It is precise and has little to no room for error. Shoemakers invest a lot of time and effort into coming up with a pair of leather shoes that are tailor-made for a particular customer. Even store-bought leather shoes make sure to have strict quality control so as to ensure clients a durable pair of footwear that will last them years.
Some of the basic materials for handmade shoes include lasts (or cobblers or shoe molds), shoemaker’s thread, shoemaker’s awl, quality leather, razor blades, beeswax, cobbler’s nails, hammers and pliers, and polish.
And then there’s the shoe-making process, which should go smoothly, otherwise the materials would be wasted. Preliminary measurements and special considerations (is the shoe going to have orthopedic purposes?) have to be taken into account. As they say, measuring the foot is best done in the afternoon, when your foot has expanded to their maximum length because of the heat. In the course of shoe-making, the shoemaker would have to keep testing the shoe on your feet to ensure the proper fit.
Lasts or shoe molds are needed for this purpose. A shoemaker may own just a pair of them because they can be very expensive to come by. Some shoemakers invest in left and right shoe lasts in different sizes for conveniences, but more experienced ones can do with a pair of “straight” lasts that accommodate shoe patterns for both left and right feet. Shoe molds can be made of wood, metal, or plastic, but they serve the same purpose of forming the shoes and supporting them during repairs.