Menu Close

DIY barefoot shoes

DIY barefoot shoes are not at all impossible to make!


Imagine going out with your friends & sporting a pair of handmade shoes that you have created from scratch! Would you feel super proud? I certainly did when I appeared at Balkan dancing wearing these beauties.

DIY barefoot shoes in bordo colour and bare feet

I customised them to my length, width and volume. They are fully barefoot: wide, zero drop, light and flexible, with a thin sole. The model is a given, but you get to choose:

– the colour(s)

– the sole

– optional decoration (by acrylic stamps or felt tip pens).

📌 📌 📌 Video review: My DIY barefoot shoes

Veronika Pavlisova’s online course

📌 📌 📌

Veronika Pavlisova offers her shoemaking courses live in her village in Ireland. Thanks to covid, they are now also available online, accessible from all over the world. The online course consists of 6 occasions of different lengths (usually between 20 & 45 minutes). If you cannot attend, you can easily catch up by watching the video recording of the missed lesson. Be prepared to spend much more time than this before you are finished! The video contains full instructions, but demonstrations only within a reasonable limit. Repeated actions are not recorded at full length. Veronika is available via the dedicated FB group to answer questions, give advice and follow through with any difficulties/confusion. 

Kit of tools & raw materials

barefoot shoemaking tool kit

On top of the course itself, she also offers kits with the raw materials and tools necessary for the job. No big deal though! Nothing expensive, no last, you don’t even need a sewing machine, as it is all done by hand.

I made the mistake of trying to save on shipping costs, buying local tools such as a hole punch and needles. I ended up having trouble with their quality, so I advise everybody to go with the kits Veronika prepares. It will save you nerves, time, and most probably also money. I actually had to replace some useless items and thus even paid for the shipping twice).

Choose the sole that your feet will like most! The original kit contains 4 mm zero drop soles. I went for 3 mm ones as my feet love extreme barefoot, and they are absolutely great!

DIY barefoot shoes and sole rubber remnants

And the fun begins

Let your creative self play freely! You can choose to combine colours and/or make your shoes even more special by adding personalized décor. The bordo I used draws a lot of attention, helping me start conversations on barefoot shoes. Love that! 

This experience also made me understand much better why quality leather barefoot shoes are quite pricey. Getting the designs right is trickier than in the standard shoe industry. This is a pioneer stage, in need of inventions and new solutions. The raw materials are not cheap in the first place; then there is all the equipment necessary for serial production; and the time factor is also important if you want to pay all the manufacturers a fair fee for their work.

All in all, if you are looking for cheap alternatives to shopping shoes in shops, take this path only if you plan to make several pairs. For those with a big family and lots of free time at their hands, this is an opportunity to save money – otherwise, it is not the savings that make this a worthwhile experience, but honing your skills in a playful yet productive way, and parading in the result of your very special craft. If you are anything like me, it will fill your heart with great joy.

Also, this is a great option if your feet are very special in size/shape and you find it difficult to get a good fit. Somebody in my group said these were the first truly fitting, comfortable shoes in her life! I would say that the design is more likely to fit you well if your feet/heels are not specifically narrow, but there is also a possibility to adjust the heel at the end if necessary. I am contemplating it after a friend who took the course together with me successfully did it on her shoes.

Go do it, you won’t be sorry! Have fun!

P.S.: Veronika now also offers a sandal making course ❗️❗️

If you have made your own barefoot shoes and/or participated in Veronika’s course, if you have questions, please comment, I would love to hear from you!

📌 📌 📌 Further shoe reviews: Barefoot shoe reviews  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *