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Stacked heel – height calculation!

Stacked heel – height calculation!

I know that many of  you have the problem to find the  right heel for your shoes. If you like me, you will need your independence.
So what should you do? You should make them by yourself.


In this post I will explain you, how to calculate your heel height and why it’s important.


One of the easiest and accessible ways to make your heel, is to build stacked heel from veg tan leather.stacked-heel-parts

When making stack heel it’s super important to know  the right height of your shoes.


Know the height of your heel and you will know how many leather pieces you need to cut.

Importance of The Heel Height

Let me draw you a picture.

You made a perfect pattern of your shoes , you checked it thousand times and made many prototypes and you are sure that this pattern is perfect.

You lasted it correctly and made beautiful shoe sole.

But…. when you  wear your shoes, you noticed that there is a gap in the  back and the shoes obviously  slide down from your feet ,or the sides are loose regardless of your correct pattern ,or the shoe back  squeeze your

So what did you do wrong here? Why it happened?

Probably, you used wrong heel, meaning  wrong heel height  with wrong angle of the heel seatheel-seat.

Here is most common mistakes:

– Wrong heel height with low heel seat anglebody-weight-2

The body weight will press your shoe down and it will push the shoe forward . This will cause  pressure to  your heel and  your sides will open, horrible  loose sides.


– Wrong heel height with high heel seat anglebody-weight-1

The body weight will press the heel along the XY (see the image)  and will push the back of your shoe away from your heel. This will create the gap between your heel and the back of the shoe.

To avoid those most common mistakes, and they can happen when you create your stack heel as well ,you should calculate the height of the heel correctly and to create right angle of the heel seat.

There are two ways to make stacked heel.

You can make it  right away on the lasted shoe or create your  heel apart from the last.

The first one is a simple  way to do it and it suites for heels with simple shapes.

The second that I personally use and I teach it my courses is super practical when you understand the system. The amazing thing about this way is, by using technical drawing you can create more complex heel shapes fast and without special equipment.

The heel height calculation is important in both methods, but in this post I will talk about traditional way as it is easier to understand .


Height Calculation for Stacked Heel

Because you will make stacked heel from leather pieces, you should know how many layers of leather you need, to reach the right heel height. So :

  1. Place the pencil under the toe of the last  or lasted shoe to take into account the toe spring that every last has.pencil


  1. Take the ruler with 90 degrees angle and place it to the bottom of the heel . Measure the distance between ground and the  heel edge. This is your heel height.
  2. Formula for the right number of leather layers


A- Heel height

B- Veg tan leather thickness

N- The number of leather layers

For example,the heel height is 20mm, the leather thickness is 5mm, so you need to cut 4 pieces for you stacked heel.

The N includes the leather strap that should flat the curved surface of the shoe sole to which you will attach first leather layer.

Well, when you will be attaching, nailing and heating on your heel it may get squeezed and reduced, so cut one extra layer.

To create right angle of the stacked heel you should skive the edge of the leather layers until your heel will seat perfectly.

This is how it should look when you will do that.

There are different ways to create your heel and I am sure you have your own way to  do it, so I would love to see it. Meanwhile if you find it useful, share it with the world.


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