From start to completion the practise of crafting a heel from a variety of leathers, rubbers or recycled materials to its final form on average includes about twenty-six unique processes. These processes have been developed and mastered over years of industry experience to improve efficiency and level of workmanship. Within the manufacturing process a mixture of both old and new methods and techniques are blended to ensure the customer is always receiving the finest quality product.

The below section details the general life cycle of all of the stages the heel will go through.


This is the start of the process for every one of the products produced at E.A. Tailby. Using a mixture of both traditional beam presses and the latest CAD flash cutters, the customer’s unique designs will take their initial shape into a leather form.

& Grading

This second stage of the process is where the cut out shapes start to get graded for quality and sorted into correct thicknesses. At this stage all of the different layers needed to make a particular pair of heels will be arranged and grouped together before being passed on to the assembly stage.


This third stage of the process is where the heel starts to take shape, going from layers of leather to a complete heel. At this stage the layers that have been previously arranged at the last step will start to be glued together. This is done both traditionally by hand and also through the use of automated gluing machines.


This fourth stage of the process is where the heel will be compressed under immense pressure to ensure the previously glued together layers will not separate and split. This is done through the use of both a traditional mechanical 1957 compressing machine and also more modern hydraulic machines.


This fifth stage of the process is where the heel will be decorated with brass or steel wire nailed into the top piece of the heel, typically in a horseshoe pattern. This is done through both the use of slugging machines, hand operated by one of our trained craftsman as well as through the use of modern automated nailing machines.

& Cupping

The sixth and final stage of the process is where the heel will be trimmed to its final size and the cupping and pitching will be cut in. This is one of the most essential stages in the process, allowing the heel to sit correctly on the shoe and meet the customers desired specifications. This is created using hand finishing sandpaper scouring wheels and specialist modern trimming and cupping machines.