Jean is the brains behind her fashion label. She's a whiz with a needle and thread, and has been sewing since she was old enough to hold a pair of scissors. Jean has always loved working with textiles, and has turned her passion into a successful business.
Jean runs her own sewing studio, where she oversees all the work that goes into creating her beautiful garments. She also shares her knowledge and expertise in a popular blog, which helps aspiring sewers learn the ropes. Jean's team of talented sewers are some of the best in the business, and regularly produce stunning pieces that exceed expectations.
Last updated: July 04, 2022
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Whether you’re trying to repair your favorite—not willing to part with—pair of shoes or if you’re an advanced sewer and want to begin to test your hand in tackling a shoe-sewing project, there are various reasons why you would be in the shoe sewing market. In this article, we’re going to highlight why it’s worth it to get the best shoe sewing machine and how we can help.
After reviewing the best 18 products in this genre, we’ve come up with our top 5 machines that we love the most—and that make shoe sewing a breeze (and sometimes quite fun)! From our Editor’s Choice, the Yamata FY335A, with its automatic function, lock-stitch, and maximum 2,500 SPM sewing speed, to our Budget Pick, we hope that our research can help you pick out the best of the best.
After hours and hours of researching and comparing the best shoe sewing machines, we feel absolutely, one hundred percent confident that we’re bringing you the best of the best—the ultimate list of sewing machines to choose from. In this article, from the individual, in-detail reviews of each product to our buying guide down below, we’ve put together an all-encompassing guide on how to choose the best shoe sewing machine. So even though you may consider yourself an advanced sewer, we believe you’re never too much of an expert to ask for help. So, we’ve presented you with a comparison table, in-detail reviews, and buying guide to help you choose!
Other features: walking foot; 10-inch arm; servo motor; sews up to 7/16-inch thick materials
The Yamata FY335A is our Editor’s Choice for the best sewing machine for advanced sewers—especially when you’re taking a project on as complicated as the shoe.
With its automatic function and lock-stitch feature, you can rest assured that this machine will be able to crank out the completion of any project, fast. It also has a speed of 2,500 SPM, which is one of the faster speeds on the market and definitely the fastest one on our guide today.
With its compound feed “unison,” the Yamata FY335A’s walking foot mechanism can also work with bigger and longer projects, able to be fed several feet long of material without tripping up at all!
The Yamata FY335A also has a narrow cylinder arm, measured around 2 inches diameter, which makes it quite easy to work with and flexible when it comes to moving it about to complete a project. The Yamata FY335A also has a semi-automatic lubrication system, which helps you ease up that necessity while working and sewing.
The ability to raise and lower the center foot can help you with shoe sewing, since it can adjust easily to different thicknesses of the material—all through the simple tweak of a wing nut adjustment.
The Yamata FY335A is capable of sewing up to 7/16 inches of thread, with a size up to 207. It can also be fed in reverse! Perfect for hemming shoes, purses, belts, for sewing bags, and even sofas, this machine is not only efficient, it’s highly versatile!
Why are we impressed?
Can be fed very thick and long materials
The sewing machine is perfect for leather and various materials
Other features: 360° rotating presser foot; sews leather, rubber, plastic, canvas and other thick materials
The YEQIN MS-2972 is a great pick if you’re looking for a manual sewing machine with a bit of oomph.
With a sewing speed of 500 SPM, this leather stitch sewing machine is fast but also easy to use—all one must do is move the smaller handle—this triggers the needle’s direction, making it possible to sew together projects that need 360-degree rotation. The needle itself will move back and forth, as well as side-to-side.
However, the YEQIN might have a bit more up its sleeve. Since you’ll need to be able to move the shoe around to be flexible for your project, the YEQIN MS-2972 comes as a leather patch machine with a cylindrical bed and a 360-degree rotating presser foot—which makes the machine capable of sewing in any direction.
If you’re planning on repairing thick materials—which, if you’re working with shoes, you will be—you’ll need the power of the YEQIN MS-2972 to sew through leather, rubber, plastic, and even canvas.
Looking for the proper material to work with when powering through leather, this sewing machine works with threads of nylon polyester, and cotton. You can also choose between the two types of shuttles—either large or small, making it suitable for any-sized project.
Rated as an industrial show sewing machine, the speed reaches up to 500 SPM and has an arm length of 11.8 inches.
Why did it make our list?
Rated as an industrial show sewing machine
Speed reaches up to 500 SPM
Arm length of 30 cm
Rotating presser foot
What is not ideal about it?
Might be a bit more work if you’re used to automatic
Other features: easy stitch selection; adjustable presser foot pressure
The Janome HD3000 is rated as our best sewing machine for decorative sewing—which might be necessary when working with shoes!
Known for its high-quality sewing machines, Janome has presented the sewing world with a perfect hybrid between a domestic and industrial leather sewing machine.
With its easy-to-use function, the Janome HD3000 has an automatic needle threader and jam-proof top-loading bobbin system, which is great when you’re working with thicker material (which you often are when working with shoes).
Designed with industrial grade in mind, this machine can easily tackle your heaviest of shoe sewing assignments. The powerful motor, which reaches speeds of 860 SPM is quite high for its price range and market value. This makes it a great choice no matter what your budget is and the size of your project.
Although you might have to compromise on weight, the workspace size is a bonus—you don’t have to worry about the design of the machine and if you’ll be able to tackle those big projects.
The Janome HD3000 also is designed with a heavy-duty metal frame, making it a perfect choice for heavier materials, like the ones found on shoes.
What do we love it for?
Pretty easy to use no matter what project you’re undertaking with automatic needle threader and jam-proof bobbin
The machine has 18 in-built stitches with simple stitch selection
Has a free arm and adjustable presser foot pressure
Capable of sewing through multiple layers
What were we disappointed with?
The machine isn’t very portable due to its heavy weight
Other features: 360° rotating pressure foot; sews leather and other thick materials
The ECO-WORTHY Manual Shoe Mending Machine is rated as our Best Budget machine if you’re looking to tackle projects but still don’t want to go over your budget.
As an expertly-designed manual machine, you’ll be delighted to know that every time you work with an ECO-WORTHY product, you’ll be working with a combination of both versatility and convenience.
The ECO-WORTHY Manual Shoe Mending Machine can tackle multiple types of material, as well, from cotton to nylon, which makes it a perfect choice when taking on a project for different kinds of shoes, like sneakers, leather shoes, cloth shoes, and other leather products.
The ECO-WORTHY Manual Shoe Mending Machine is also a breeze to set up. Even though you’re a more advanced sewer, no one will ever turn down a more convenient choice. The ECO-WORTHY Manual Shoe Mending Machine also works pretty reliably for any type of project—with a rotatable walking foot that works with your and makes it easy to sew in any direction—which often is the case with shoe projects.
The ECO-WORTHY Manual Shoe Mending Machine is designed with a metal construction that is highly wear-resistant, making it durable and likely to last not only through your toughest projects but over years of work.
The ECO-WORTHY Manual Shoe Mending Machine also works with a free arm which helps improve flexibility and uses standard sewing machine needles. Not bad for a budget option!
What makes it stand out?
Has a flexible arm and is able to sew in multiple directions
Easy setup and capable of tackling multiple materials
Uses standard sewing machine needles with a durable, metallic construction
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Might be a bit more work if you’re used to automatic
Beginners will probably struggle with this machine
Other features: sews leather, nylon, canvas, urethane, plastic, sheepskin and more; adjustable stitch length
If you want to keep it old school, the Tippmann Boss Leather Sewing Machine is our best manual sewing machine to tackle all your different shoe projects.
The Tippmann Boss Leather Sewing Machine gives you the ability to sew through various types of material, like leather up to 3/4 inches thick. You can also tackle nylon, canvas, urethane, plastic, and even sheepskin.
If you’re looking for a machine that eliminates the need for outlets, hookups or even cords, this manual machine is the easy-to-use alternative.
To be able to use the Tippmann Boss Leather Sewing Machine, all you need to do is simply pull the handle, set the precise lock stitch, and fully adjust the settings according to the stitch lengths, thread sizes, needles, and tension.
Especially if you’re working with a very detailed pattern on your shoe, you’ll be fully equipped with the Tippmann Boss Leather Sewing Machine. This machine gives you not only consistency, but also accuracy in every stitch.
Designed with rugged cast-aluminum housing, the Tippmann Boss Leather Sewing Machine is also quite durable in its design, with a one-year warranty on all parts and labor and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The purchase of the machine also comes with various additional features, like the assortment of 10 needles, one spool of thread, two bobbins, an Allen Wrenches and Screwdriver, a spool thread stand, an instruction manual, an instructional DVD (if you’re a visual learner), and a Bobbin Winder.
What stands out?
Comes with a package designed to fulfill needs for various projects
Simple, easy-to-use function and setup
Gives you consistency and accuracy
What cons did we manage to find?
Might be a bit more work if you’re used to automatic
Requires some getting used to
Things to Consider
If you’ve ever had a favorite work or dress shoe that you simply can’t part with, then you might have that better understanding why a person would take the extra time to learn how to sew, invest in a machine, and rather sew or repair their broken shoe rather than part with it and buy a new one! In this buying guide, we’re going to go through some of the finer details when it comes to choosing the right sewing machine and why you should pay attention to them!
A shoe sewing machine: What it should be like?
Even though you might be an advanced sewer—who could be perfecting their stitch for years— you might not fully know every single factor or detail which can make a difference in a sewing project or a seemingly simple repair.
Before you pick a sewing machine for advanced sewers above, let’s take a look at the various factors that can make a whole world of difference.
Type: Manual or automatic?
This might fully depend on your preference—whether you’re old-school and like to keep it traditional or if you really don’t have the time to dedicate to learning (or actually) sewing by hand.
When working with a shoe, having a manual machine might actually be in your best interest since you’ll have a bit more flexibility when it comes to rotation and manually moving around the shoe.
Materials it can stitch and their maximum thickness
The type of shoe you’re working with can have a huge influence on the type of machine you need.
Before you purchase a sewing machine, you need to make sure the machine you choose will be able to work with the material of your shoe.
To review, the different materials can have a major effect on the thickness of it. You may have a shoe in the thickest of all materials—leather—or be working rubber, foam, cotton, nylon, polyester, wool or even synthetics.
Check the manufacturer’s manual—of the machine and of the shoe—to see the type of material you’ll be working with (and if your machine can handle it).
In your best interest, you should look into investing in a machine that can tackle multiple types of material.
Since you’re more of an advanced sewer, you might have a bit more experience with using a machine and can handle higher speeds.
However, to first get adjusted to the material of the shoe as well as the motion of moving the shoe around while sewing, it’s definitely recommended to go slow.
So, before you buy a sewing machine, you’ll definitely want to pay attention to the stitching speed of a shoe repair machine—since that will also play a role in how fast you can get a project done.
If you take on shoe repair as a new hobby of yours—having a long list of repairs and a slow machine might not be in your best benefit—even if you’re not doing it for profit! A slower speed machine can simply lead to frustration.
A higher speed sewing machine, like the 2,500 SPM Yamata FY335A can help you tackle repair projects quickly and to eliminate the risk of destroying your shoe (even more)
Ease of use
Although you may consider yourself a seasoned veteran in sewing, the last thing you would want would be a machine that you have a hard time using.
The ease of use and operation is an extremely important factor in any machinery—no matter if you’re investing in a manual or automatic machine. Taking a look at the manufacturer’s manual or detailed YouTube videos to help you quickly learn (or review) how to operate a sewing machine can make a huge difference in your sewing projects.
The ease of use also covers how well your machine is in actually working with the types of projects you’re going to normally confront.
For example, when working with a shoe, you’ll need to have not only a normal consistency in your stitching but a machine that will help work with the mobility and flexibility of the sew. If a machine allows for mobility and movement—allowing you to turn and sew in all directions like the 360-degree rotating pressure foot of the ECO-WORTHY Manual Shoe Mending Machine and the YEQIN MS-2972, then that will work best! This eliminates the necessity of you having to turn the fabric yourself, which can make the project much easier to sew.
Dimensions and weight
Depending on where you’re going to be sewing, storing, and moving your sewing machine around—you’ll need to take a look at the physical properties of the thing.
Bottom line, if you’re planning on transporting the machine or continually taking it out of storage and to your table, you’ll want a lighter machine. However, if you’re planning on setting up a sewing corner, the weight of the machine might not make much of a difference at all.
The dimensions of the machine can also play a part in whether or not the sewing machine will be able to actually fit on your table or desk to work with! To avoid purchase and return, make sure you check out the finer details and measurements to make sure you’ll be able to fit your machine right on your working space.
The last thing you would want is to do all this research, purchase a machine, have it delivered, set it up, and begin learning how to work with it—and then it breaks! You’ll have to start the entire process all over again!
To help avoid this entire fiasco, check out the durability reviews of the machine—which can come backed by an assurance of the brand itself (and the warranty).
Although they aren’t mentioned in the individual reviews, you can generally find the warranty information on the brand’s website.
Before finalizing that purchase on the sewing machine of your dreams, you need to double-check that you are well-informed about all the different types of curiosities of a sewing machine.
To help cover any inquiries you may have, check out the answers to these most frequently asked questions:
Although the answer to this question can boil down to personal preference, there have been various types of feedback when it comes to using a manual sewing machine for shoes.
As you can see in our review today, we’ve featured three different manual sewing machines, which generally have a wider application, as well as the ability to use different kinds of material, which can come in handy when working with different shoes.
If your manual machine is able to work with nylon, cotton wire, leather, and cloth, you most likely will have a better experience.
The manual machines are also generally lower maintenance than the automatic ones—they also weigh lighter and can be less likely to rust.
Even though you might consider yourself an advanced sewer, knowing every single detail about sewing shoes might be a bit out of your compiled (yet still very expertise) knowledge range.
The types of threads and needles that you can use with your shoe sewing machine will have a very direct connection with the type of material the shoe is.
If you’re working with leather, you’ll want to opt for bonded nylon thread—which can be found in various weights and thicknesses.
If you’ve decided to skip over our entire guide, here’s a quick verdict to sum up our thoughts:
The Yamata FY335A is our Editor’s Choice because of its quick, 2,500 SPM speed potential as well as being able to handle various thicknesses of materials, which can be an essential factor when taking on the repair of shoes!
The YEQIN MS-2972 is our next choice of favorite sewing machines for shoes and for advanced sewers. This manual machine reaches a sewing speed of 500 SPM and also includes a 360-degree rotating presser foot, which is really great for shoe projects!
The Tippmann Boss Leather Sewing Machine is our Runner-Up and Best Manual sewing machine on the market. With a lock-stitch capability and ability to reach up to 100 SPM, the 3/4-inch thickness capability and various other features make this sewing machine a great choice.
We hope that this article has helped you pick out the best sewing machine for advanced sewers and for your shoe projects!