Shoe models

Hey guys, this message is in regards to any of you that are in show design or have ever made a model of a shoe.
I have a project at school where I need to make a model of a shoe. Since I have never done this I was wondering if you guys could offer some tips or tell me how the pros do it. So far I was thinking of making afoam sole and then stiching the upper from material.

ANy help would be appretiated.


In the industry, we usually only make models of the bottom part, or the tooling. we usually make sewn samples of the upper part, cas the tooling in urethane and then glue it together.

I wouldn’t recomend doing that as a student. I think if I where to make a model as a studne I would make the upper out of low densite yellow foam leave it uncoated and spray paint it (it will have a textile like texture), and then make the bottom out of something harder like ren.

here are some other student shoe models I was able to dig up

Above, concepts from RISD students in a Timberland sponsered Studio

2002 IDES gold winner in student category- honestly, one of the best student models I ever saw, by Henry Law of San Jose State

thanks yo you were a big help. My prof said the same thing about using foam for the upper. I will definetly be following our advise. As for the sole you mentioned using ren. What is that or was it a typo? Not sure.

But thanks again, you sure know your shoes!

And yes that is one sick student model


no problem man.

ren: renshape, it is a urathane product that somes in sheets of various thicknesses, and in several densities. Red ren is about he density of wood. Blue ren is a little softer. It is epensive but it has several advantages. It finishes beautifully, you can crazy glue and bondo parts. You can primer directlly on it unlike insulation foam, you can get a smooth surface unlike yellow structural foams, it takes paint evenly unlike MDF, it has the durability of wood but doesn’t have a grain to worry about and dosen’t move ot warp. Use it only for your final model though. It is pricy and time consuming to shape. A much softer foam would be better for your initial study models (which I recomend making a few of, shoes have tricky forms).