Shoe Patternmaking Book Reviews:
I’ve read many books on shoe design and patternmaking, and I’d like to share my reviews of some currently available.
Here is a selection of shoe trade books on patternmaking that you can find on Amazon.com.
Shoes, Bags, Hats, Gloves, Ties, Buttons, and Dog Clothing
By Antonio Donnanno
What Amazon says: “This book is an essential and practical tool for designing and creating fashion accessories for men and women. Intended for fashion students and professionals, the book includes different pattern techniques for each accessory and explains production processes so that readers can incorporate them into their professional practice, in addition to identifying and providing the information needed to recreate a wide range of accessory models. ”
“It includes descriptions of materials, examples of patterns and designs and different possible finishes through illustrations, photographs, technical drawings and texts that clearly explain the production process of each artisanal and industrial piece. As items that provide personality and originality to one’s personal style, fashion accessories have become essential to completing the “look” for each occasion. With the help of this manual, having in-depth knowledge about the creation of different pieces, from a bag to a pair of shoes to hats, gloves, ties and buttons –even clothing for dogs–, is a great way to get started in this branch of the fashion field.”
What I have to say: I really like Fashion Patternmaking Techniques for Accessories. Chapter 1 is about leather, and Chapter 2 is about footwear. This book has just over 40 pages dedicated to footwear, densely packed with lots of great information. While the book does not detail pattern-making procedures, it does a great job explaining the more traditional European style of shoemaking. I only wish the photos were in color! For a fashion school student, I say “yes,” buy it. Well done, Antonio Donnanno.
By Wade Motawi $39.99 softcover
What Amazon says: “A beginner’s guide to the fundamental techniques of shoemaking. Do you want to learn how to make shoe patterns? Do you know how to design a last for a high heeled fashion shoe versus a sneaker or dress shoe? In Footwear Pattern Making and Last Design, we will teach you the shoe last design process and detail the basic techniques of footwear pattern making. Footwear Pattern Making and Last Design will show you how lasts are made, the shoe last design process, to the hidden geometry, special features, functions, and size grading principles. You will see many different last designs and shapes for sneakers, trainers, high heels, boots, and more.
This book covers the craft of footwear pattern making, including a step-by-step guide to pattern making for beginners. Hundreds of color photos illustrate the pattern making process. See and compare sample patterns for joggers, hi-top sneakers, high-heels, and many other shoes. Learn how to make a sneaker forme, pattern making procedures, computer-aided design software for pattern making, and shoe pattern grading.”
What I have to say: I really like Footwear Pattern Making and Last Design. This is book four of the Series How Shoes are Made, it’s a great book for beginners. The section on last design is very unique. I have not seen any book that describes why shoe lasts are shaped the way they are. For rookie pattern makers, I think this is a great place to start. Technical but not too technical. Anyone can pick this up and start learning the shoe trades. Tons of color photos that show the patternmaking process.
By Fashionary $44.00 hardcover
What Amazon says: “Differing from ordinary shoe design books, this is a complete handbook geared towards practical usage by footwear designers. It includes three main sections: Shoe Style Library, Shoe Encyclopaedia, and Shoe Templates for Tracing. The first section features more than 300 styles of shoes, ranging from historical archetypes to the most signature styles in todays footwear industry.
The second focuses on essential and practical information on shoe design, from materials and construction to labels and international fairs. The templates section includes both basic templates and templates for 60 styles of common footwear, from flats and boots to high heels.”
What I have to say: I think you will like this Shoe Design book. Plenty of cool stuff to keep you busy. Great templates for tracing and sketching. A good warm-up for basic shoe design but light on technical shoemaking information. Is it really useful for a shoe designer or patternmaker? …I would say not.
A behind the scenes look at a real shoe factory.
By Wade Motawi $39.99 softcover Newly updated 3rd edition
What Amazon says: “Do you want to learn about how modern athletic shoes are really made? This is the shoe design book for you. Now you can really see how the big shoe brands design and produce shoes.
More than just a guided tour through a sneaker factory, How Shoes are Made, will show you how modern sports shoes come to life from drawing designs to sample development and manufacturing. Footwear design and manufacturing are simply explained for sneakerheads, students, young professionals, or anyone interested in the shoe trades.
Written by a veteran shoe professional, How Shoes are Made will give you a look inside the real world of shoe production. 28 Chapters explain Shoe Design, Development, Materials, Stitching, Outsoles and Tooling, EVA Forming, Final Assembly, Shoe lasts, Shoe prices, Quality control, and much more! 250 Pages with over 400 color photos.
If you are a sneaker collector, design student, or just interested in shoes, read on. “
What I have to say: Overall, How Shoes Are Made is a great shoe book for beginners to get started. It explains the shoemaking process in detail. Not so much the handmade craft but the industrial mass production of sneakers. This book has one chapter on patternmaking and lots of other good stuff. Yes! This book belongs on your bookshelf!
By Aki Choklat $28.00 softcover
What Amazon says: “Footwear design has become the new dream career, and this book is the first guide to show the key skills and tips behind the trade, for both budding designers and anyone interested in shoes. Illustrated throughout with inspirational sketchbooks detailing the design process and specially commissioned images of cutting-edge shoe design, the book also contains case studies featuring an array of international shoe designers.”
What I have to say: Footwear Design (Portfolio Skills: Fashion & Textiles) is a well-written book that focuses on women’s fashion shoes and contains some very nice exploded views and shoe pattern part layouts. The book has just a few pages on patternmaking and is not technically oriented. I like the views of shoe patterns on lasts, but I’m not much of a fan of fashion designer interviews. I say it’s worth a look, and if fashion shoes are your interest, I recommend it.
I have to admit, I consider Aki Choklat a friend, and this was the book that inspired me to start working on my shoemaking books!
What Amazon says: “Pattern Cutting replaces the Pattern Cutter’s Handbook which since 1991 has become the standard textbook on many college and university courses covering footwear, all over the English speaking world. The new book covers everything in the earlier book plus much more. Not only are there whole new chapters covering further styles of footwear, there is a chapter on Bottom Patterns, an extended chapter on Grading, and a chapter on dealing with more advanced pattern problems such as a bellows-tongue.
In the past, books on pattern cutting have often reflected the mystique which tends to surround the subject. Pattern Cutting takes a completely different approach. The whole book is written as an easy to use, step-by-step guide to producing patterns for shoemaking.
Each major type of footwear has a complete chapter devoted to it. The twelve basic types covered include trainers, basketball boots and an aerobic shoe. Most pages have two or three diagrams, illustrating each step in the process.
With each footwear type there is a detailed description of the process with measurements given wherever appropriate. Points to watch for and pitfalls to avoid are spelled out, so as to ensure the reader will stand the best possible chance of producing a workable pattern first time.”
What I have to say: I own Pattern Cutting: Step by Step Patterns for Footwear, and I have found it very useful. It has 17 chapters covering the many types of footwear patterns. This edition is from 2008. The content is presented in clear, crisp, black and white line art—a little old fashioned but also very technical and detailed.
If you are going to cut your own patterns, I recommend Pattern Cutting: Step by Step Patterns for Footwear. The book can be hard to find online. It’s on Amazon.com, but the price is crazy high. I ordered directly from the UK, www.noblefootwear.com.
(Woodhead Publishing Series in Textiles)
By A Luximon (Editor) $237.00 Hard Cover
What Amazon says: “Understanding footwear design and manufacture is vital for improving the functionality, aesthetics and marketability of a product. The Handbook of footwear design and manufacture provides a comprehensive review of footwear production and design and explores how these processes are used across a variety of application areas.
Part one, an introductory section, reviews the fundamentals of footwear anatomy; chapters discuss the anatomy of the human foot, biomechanics and gait, foot models and measurements, the development of the foot in childhood and adolescence, and foot problems and their implications for footwear design. Part two examines footwear design including the development of shoe design, foot sketch templates, and footwear drawing templates. Aspects of footwear manufacture are highlighted in part three including the design, manufacture, and sizing and grading of shoe lasts. Further chapters focus on the footwear business, advertising, and the environmental impact of footwear manufacture. Part four explores the design and manufacture of footwear for specific applications and includes chapters on footwear for cold weather, textiles and other materials used in the production of protective military and orthopaedic footwear, and design issues in geriatric footwear.
The Handbook of footwear design and manufacture is a wide-ranging and technical resource for footwear designers, materials scientists and researchers involved in the production of footwear, and professionals in the footwear industry looking to expand their knowledge of design and manufacture processes. Discusses foot anatomy in detail and considers its implications for footwear design.”
What I have to say: The Handbook of footwear design and manufacture is very dense. It may belong in your bookcase, but it’s not a page-turner. Its massive price tag is a bummer and puts it well out of reach for anyone not in the trades. For a shoe designer or aspiring footwear patternmaker, I do not recommend this book.
By Ravindra S. Goonetilleke (Editor)
What Amazon says: “Although we now have sophisticated algorithms and techniques for determining the shapes and sizes and for matching the fit between shoes and feet, few, if any, of the books currently available cover these new technologies until now. Bringing together high-quality and state-of-the-art contributions from designers, biomechanists, ergonomists, engineers, podiatrists, and scientists from industry and academia, The Science of Footwear provides an in-depth understanding of the technology and techniques involved in the design and development of a popular and demanding consumer product.
This book introduces the design, development, manufacturing, and marketing of footwear. The chapters contain data from past research and the state-of-the art methodologies. They not only cover every aspect of the product design, but also how the footwear industry caters to the wide-ranging needs of sophisticated and demanding customers.
The footwear industry has rapidly changed over the last 10 years. Mass production has changed to personalization and mass customization, areas that are not well-understood. This book explores these different concepts in a coherent way, drawing on differing views that give a holistic view of the science behind footwear. Collating information from different disciplines, the book provides the tools to develop the next generation of footwear.”
What I have to say: When the softcover version finally came out on Amazon, I ordered this footwear book. The book is over 700 pages! It is a very dense collection of scientific articles. I suggest you review the table of contents before you buy it. Is this useful for shoe designers? I would say, you have better choices.