In my opinion, the heel section is about the hardest thing to do AND teach. What I’m hoping you’ll grasp is that without shaping the achilles area, your shoe would surely fall off. And you do not want to leave the back of your heel flat either. Follow these steps to the best of your ability. Remember, at this point we are only concerned with shape, not detail.
1. Draw a line at the highest point at the back of your shoe/boot as well as a center line down the middle.
2. All footwear has it’s own contour at the heel. Lay a square against your original to see what you’re up against here.
3. Draw a line from where you stopped your sole to the top.
Now, draw a second line 50% of the distance from your real sole top to where your achilles area angles to.
5. Now as best as you can, draw a line to connect the angle between those two lines.
6. Grind the top of the achilles area to the top of the heel line – this is your heel height.
7. Then grind the back of the wood to your angle line – in the case of boots etc, this may take a bit of drawing as the angle may be ripply or may go in and then out again. The top of your achilles area may even extend beyond your sole, use your powers of observation! Don’t round the sides of the heel area just yet.
8. Erase the sole part of the template off the top of the shoe so it doesn’t confuse you. Then eyeball a centre line that you wish to work with down the entire length of the top of the wood. You will see that one side of the toe area is wider than the arch side – that’s good!
9.All shoes define some type of heel pouch area. They generally start just behind the arch. Find yours and measure the best you can to rough draw it on both sides. Draw a line between them.
Note. that section does not generally go right to the top of your heel tabs.
10. Now refer to the shape of the back of your shoe body and freehand the contours. At this point your drawings will not be perfect and they don’t have to be. Just leave more boo-boo wood than less and you can always trim it once you see the general shape.
11. Measure the distance between the OUTSIDE of the hole of your shoe at the pouch lines you drew on the side, as well as a line that connects those pouch lines – they may not be parallel.
12. At strategic points, put your dashes on your wood and connect them to show what the OUTSIDE of the foot insert hole looks like – you already know where to draw to as you drew it on the back in the previous instruction.
13. Now you have marked all of the areas you want to trim to see how this shoe is shaping up. I am going to try taking a Nano video today of me carving this area if you wish to wait. I will also add photos for those who can’t get video…if the video turns out at all – I’ve never done that yet. If you cannot see the video, refresh your page.
Success! However, it was hard for Laura to get close enough without getting a lens full of sawdust – and I do not usually hold the tool like that, more like a pencil, but in order to tilt it her way, I had to do the potato peeling style – I know when to stop before it peels my thumb! Nevertheless, you see how I am always turning the shoe and rounding bit by bit to my drawn lines.
I hope you are able to see that my shoe back not only rounds but tapers as well. Later you will taper and fine sand even more but for now our shoe is shaped at the heel.
End of blog.