Specializing in designing and manufacturing tailor-made shoes for the creative industry and private individuals, René van den Berg carries on a family tradition of shoemaking which dates back to 1902.

Building on his thorough background as orthopedic shoe technician, René set up his workshop for tailor-made shoes in 1992. It is here where he combines his creativity and designer skills with extensive knowledge on feet, materials and shoemaking techniques to create the shoes you need.

Among others René has collaborated with Walter van Beirendonck, Thierry Mugler, JANTAMINIAU, Ilja Visser, Chris Donovan, Klavers van Engelen, Anouk Wipprecht, Heineken, Leanie van der Vyver and Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties.

In 2019 René has founded his own Academy where he fulltime teaches a course in traditional shoemaking. René has given masterclasses in Tokyo in 2020 and in 2022 as part of his solo-exhibition at the Museu do Calçado in Portugal.

Cursus Ambachtelijk Schoenmaken van start!

Sinds september 2019 wordt de cursus Ambachtelijk Schoenmaken (voorheen gegeven op de Dutch Shoe Academy) op een nieuwe locatie gegeven. Heb je altijd al je eigen schoenen willen maken? Meld je dan vrijblijvend aan. De cursus wordt gegeven door René van den Berg in zijn studio in Hoofddorp.

Meer informatie vind je op René van den Berg Academy.



No two feet are identical.

Retail shoes are made on average lasts that may come close, but never really match your feet.

Based upon my knowledge on Orthopedic shoemaking I can create the lasts and the shoes that fit your needs. Whether it’s a pump, a boot or anything in between.

If you need a pair of well fitted shoes, please feel free to contact me on the possibilities.



Lasts are essential when it comes to shoemaking.

A last is a mechanical form that respects the foot and it’s properties. Though a last is made approximately in the shape of a human foot, the precise shape is tailored to the kind of footwear being made. For example, a pump last would be designed tight to the actual foot for a close fit.

In my atelier I mostly use wooden lasts that will be modyfied to the clients needs and measurements.

In some cases it’s necessary to make a plaster casting of the feet and create the lasts from scratch.



Finding harmony within the design is probably the most important and challenging element of pattern making.

Especially when feet are not identical, the challenge lies in dividing the shape of every part in such a way that the shoes are in balance.

It’s also very important that the mean form and the detailed patterns are very precisely made. A last has a relatively small surface and the difference between a good fit and a poor fit pattern can be a matter of millimeters.

Patterns and uppers are my speciality. In the past 30 years I have made up to 9,000 pairs of complex patterns and uppers for the Orthopedic Shoe Industry.



Building a heel, a platform shoe or wedges can be quite a challenge.

It takes a lot of skill to create the right height and shape, combined with the required stability and light weight to make them wearable.

And if this isn’t difficult enough, shoes come in pairs and must be mirror images of themselves.



An important part of my work is creating molds for heels, platform shoes and wedges.

Molds are essential when I need to reproduce small series of an original design.

All molds are made in the atelier. I make them myself, because the heels and platforms that need to be reproduced, must be suited for their purpose. Every single design has specific individual demands on strength and weight.



The lasts and the uppers are the first two steps needed to make a pair of shoes. In the third step the soles, the heels and the reinforcement materials are applied.

It’s the stage where the shoes get their final appearance.

Removing the last is the final step in the shoemaking process.

Although I have made many pairs of Orthopedic shoes and regular shoes, my expertise lies in creating the extravagant.
Check out the work page and be amazed by the infinite possibilities.


René van den Berg

All shoes are figureoutable



René van den Berg