shoes from plaster foot casts

Posted on Feb 4, 2013 in Blog

Custom molded shoes from plaster casts: First attempt (in black) alongside second attempt (in wine)

First attempt: These shoes were waaay too big around the ankles and generally everywhere. In this photo the shoes are padded substantially to get them to fit. So, a second attempt is certainly in order.

side by side comparison of adapted and unadapted plaster casts

On the left is the raw plaster cast of my right foot; the right side is the plaster cast cleaned up and with toe room/shape added. Ankle/heel has been narrowed to more closely resemble a shoe last, which I did not do on the first (black) pair.

heel comparison

side-by-side comparison of the adapted and raw plaster casts.

sole view of adapted plaster cast showing original footprint

Second pair of custom molded shoes in vise grips. Otherwise I have to hire two brawny dudes to help get the lasts out.

plaster foot cast into shoe

I have not stabilized the plaster cast, so the process of making the shoes means the plaster inevitably breaks up in the shoe. One use only! Some people add armatures into the casts while pouring the plaster.

Buffalo calf leather Blucher-style custom molded shoes

They fit! Second attempt. Much less gapping at the heels, much less room all around. I plan on altering another set of molds and taking off a bit more at the ball joint, yielding a more “fashionable” shoe that still is very comfortable to wear. (UPDATE: here they are)


  1. david ulan
    August 11, 2016

    Hi Daphne.
    I am googling a set of shoe pics (molded veg art shoe) that are several years old now. The woman molds geometrical pieces of veg to the lasts, among other things.
    Anyway, I am happy to see your pictorial sequence in my search return, and of course had to look at all. You do understand the last making nuances, and their illusive nature. That is why I said, when we were all together at BKBespoke, that I always have a trusted similar last in the size in question to copy when I modify my plaster.
    You and Lauren may be done here in NYC, But I hope to stay in touch and see you again soon. If you are still here, I invite you to vist me – now or anytime!
    Warm regards,
    david Ulan
    914-434-7033 cell

  2. daphne
    April 4, 2017

    Hi David,

    This comment got bumped into my spam folder. I am only seeing it now! Thanks so much for the invite.