Updated on: July 16, 2022
Shoes, by far, are the most challenging part to draw in any character—well, at least for me… so in this tutorial, why not tag along with me for a breakdown of how to draw anime shoes step by step. Most of them are relatively easy and easy to get references for, so you don’t have to worry!
Drawing shoes would imply that we would have to draw the feet. This is essential because knowing the foot can be a base, it helps in shaping the shoes and would come easily. But, don’t worry! We don’t have to draw the details of the foot unless we’re drawing a pair of sandals. Which we don’t have to do yet, by the way!
Anyway, don’t stress yourself out because we’ll get there together. For now, why don’t you go ahead and collect some references on shoes—to get a visual feel before heading to the tutorial portion. Remember to always be kind to yourself and don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time.
I’d like to think that shoes usually tie up the whole character design together, so it has its importance. Don’t worry if you take a little more time than usual because details on shoes would require a lot, and I mean a lot of patience. So get yourself ready and we can begin with the tutorials.
P.S: Since we’re talking about shoes, of course we also have How to Draw Anime Hands. You should check it out!
BEGINNER-FRIENDLY TUTORIAL OF HOW TO DRAW ANIME SHOES
Now we start with sneakers. Most characters are usually drawn in casual attire so their shoes would reflect that, a pair of sneakers are very casual and very common. For this one, you are welcome to draw your own shoe design if what I’ve drawn isn’t up to your tastes.
We are going to draw two perspectives of the foot so you can explore how the shoes would look from a certain perspective. Drawing the base of the foot is simple since we don’t have to include the toes. Think of it like you’re drawing a sock. Only focusing on the outline and the shape of the foot.
After the base is drawn, go ahead and draw the outline or the shape of the shoe. If you’re using the traditional pencil and paper, remember to use light strokes. Once you’re happy with the shape of the shoe, you can go ahead and draw the other shoe. Having both feet visually present can help you picture what the details would look like on the opposite foot.
Next, you can add more details to the shape of the shoe to get a better feel of where the details will go. You can sketch laces, the sole of the shoe, and some creases if you want. After the details you’ve added, you can go over the overall sketch and outline the entirety–including the details!
Remember to keep your lines clean and in one stroke. This will make sure your drawing is neat and easy to understand. You can fix the laces to make them more clearer, you can also add changes to the shoes if you feel like it. In the drawing, I think I adjusted the rectangle shapes on the side because they felt compacted and weird. Also, you can also have the option to color your drawing to tie up the whole drawing.
Now, for the other perspective of the foot. Drawing the shoe side-ways is easier than drawing them facing the front. Well, at least for me hehe… Drawing the foot in this perspective is easy as you only get to draw the shape. Once you’re finished with the base, you can start drawing the shape or outline of the shoe onto your sketch.
After the shape, similar to the previous steps mentioned, add some details to make it look more like a shoe. The laces, the design, and some creases if needed. The details on the side are more clearer than the previous position of it facing the front. The rectangles on the side are easier to draw and place, as well as drawing the laces.
Now, after the details go over the drawing with a pen and clean up the sketch. You can also choose to color your drawing if you feel like it. We didn’t need to draw another foot for this one as this side of the shoe would definitely be the same on the other side.
After the sneakers, we hop on to the school shoes that we usually see on female anime characters. Their school shoes look a lot like loafers and are usually either brown or black in color.
So, with the first step, we start with the base of the foot facing the front. You’re just gonna have to get used to drawing a sock for this tutorial. Now, after the base, draw the shape of the shoe, the area where you slip your foot in is just about below the ankle of the foot.
After the general shape, you can add the details needed for the shoes. There is a curved point right at the top of the shoe that helps in shaping it. If you’ve seen the actual loafers, you’ll know what I mean but if you’re confused… Well, look up Harutas and you’ll get a better picture.
Don’t forget to add the small heel at the bottom of the loafers and you’re good to go! Moving on to the next perspective of the shoe, you start with similar steps until you’re ready to add the details. For this one, you can pull up a reference so you can get a better picture of it. Add the heel and the area that shapes the shoe on top of it. Remember that the opening of the shoe is nestled just below the ankle.
After wrapping up the sketch, you can go ahead and color your drawing. You can also try drawing it from other angles if you like drawing loafers. These shoes would always remind me of Kagome from Inuyasha, drawing it now reminded me of how classic this pair of shoes is.
Drawing the heels is really easy—when they’re drawn side-ways. However, the front is a whole other story as you’ll have to find an angle that makes it look like a foot and not a random blob with a leg.
So the foot is elevated slightly when wearing heels. Using the same base, just remember that the back of the foot is higher than the toes, basically having different levels of where the foot rests.
Drawing the shape of the shoe is easy here as you’ll only be drawing the tip where it covers the toes and the strap on top of the ankle. You can also draw the heel at the back if the angle of your foot can show a part of it. In the drawing, the heels can’t be seen as they are behind the foot—so I didn’t draw them… no it’s not being lazy it’s just, well the angle didn’t call for it so…
Now, moving on to the perspective that makes shoe drawing relatively easy. Here, the foot’s shape is easier to see and visualize where the heel will be drawn. The shape of the foot and how it rests unevenly depend on the height of the heels.
Going back to the tutorial, you start with your base. You can draw it in any way that you want if you have a different vision for your heels. After the base, you can start shaping the outline of the shoe and add the base of the heel. The height depends on you, you can draw it extra tall in stiletto heels or shorter for standard pumps.
Once you’re satisfied with the shape and the base of your drawing, you can go ahead and add the details to your drawing or just add placement details until you can go over them on the final outline. When you’re happy with the details or if you kept it simple, you can start outlining your drawing and clean it up. And if you’re really feeling it, you can color your drawing and go crazy with it!
Now, I know there are specific names for specific sneakers… but we’re going to settle with fancy sneakers—because they are hecking fancy and EXPENSIVE!!! Sometimes, certain anime characters wear really pretty sneakers so, why not try drawing some.
The steps are essentially similar to drawing the sneakers. So you can go over those steps with the base of the foot and the general shape. BUT, this is a big but, you can go big and cool with the details of the sneakers. So, if you’ve gone through the initial steps, let’s go ahead and add some cool details about the sneakers.
You can make the shoes chunky and big, by adding rectangles on the sole. Having rectangles that break each section of the sole makes the chunky look pop out more. Adding the three stripes on the side to make it look like it’s from a designer’s collection, you can also put something else there if you feel like it. Flower shapes or maybe different stripe designs that you can pull from other references.
Next, you can add the laces that overlap each other. You can also choose how you want the laces arranged or if the ribbon is shown or not. The design for this pair of sneakers is entirely up to you! You can include other details that tie up the whole design and why not try to color it! Coloring your drawings can help practice your understanding of the base colors, the shading colors, and the color theory itself!
Right, so after that let’s try drawing the fancy sneakers sideways. Just start with the similar steps to the sneakers portion and draw similar details on the fancy sneakers on the side. Remember that the details here are clearer and easier to draw since the perspective isn’t a bit distorted like the front of the sneakers.
After the details, you can go over them again and outline everything else for a cleaner piece, and color it! Don’t be scared to add some color, working on your coloring skills will pay off soon I swear! But, if you really don’t feel like coloring it, you can also try greyscale, basically using black, gray, and white colors to create depth. You can also do this to the other shoes you tried drawing, applying, and reapplying whatever would work on your art helps you find your own art style.
Drawing boots are really fun because there are different variations. We have sleek ones, cowboy boots, platform boots, snow boots, and even some rubber boots. So you can go crazy with whatever decision you make when drawing your own pair of boots!
For this one, I decided to make platform chunky boots because they’re cool and a bit hard to draw with the details. Well, we gotta challenge ourselves at some point right? So, we start with the regular base of the foot, nothing crazy or hard yet about this part okay? Rights, so after the base of the foot you can start sketching the shape of the boot. Remember for this one, the boots go higher than regular sneakers or the heels.
You can also sketch the chunky sole ahead so you’d be able to fully visualize how high you might want the platforms. Next, you can add the necessary details to your boot—the details I drew are quite simple yet tedious. You can start sketching where the laces would go and how you want them to look. After that, you can carve out details of the sole by adding gaps between certain parts of the sole, or you can leave them as is.
The details don’t stop there as now at this point we’re going to outline the sketch and add more details as we go. The tedious part is the laces… because I drew them overlapping each other… ah, regrets. BUT, we must push forth! So we start with the individual noodles and make them overlap each other one by one until we reach the end.
So once we get the laces down, we can outline everything else that we can see. Like the soles, the front part of the boot, and adding the laces that wrap around the boot is a nice touch. Next, I added more details around the boot like short lines that look like traceable lines, I added them there to make it look like the boot was sewn together like how leather boots are made. Well, probably how some boots are generally made. Adding that cute detail helped make the boot look cooler.
Next, let’s do all of what I just said but from a different perspective. Are ya you still with me on this? Hopefully, you are, so again we start with the base of the foot and then add the outline of the boot. Following the similar steps of the first perspective, you’ll end up with a longer and chunkier sock than the usual one.
Now onto the details! By following everything we just did on this side of the boot, we’ll be a-okay! So, just add the details in the same place where they would be when viewed from the side. You can also add your own details if you like, and explore your creativity! Right after all those tedious details, you can go ahead and outline everything else and add other details as you go.
Now that you’ve finished your drawing. CONGRATULATIONS! You survived! You’re also welcome to go over the steps again and experiment whether it is easier to draw shoes if you use a different method. Either way, just make sure to have fun.
Important in Character Design
Drawing the shoes of your character is important. It’s not just for show or to complete a look, but it is incredibly important for character design. You’ve seen how anime characters are complete with their looks, and sometimes their shoes are enough to tell you exactly where they are, and what they’re doing, and it’s just really fun to see.
For example, if you would look at the sandals that are used in Demon Slayer, most of them use these sandals. And some would have different colors or designs that help differentiate the character. But most of them were sandals similar to this one.
Also, there are characters who have magical transformations or transformations in general, and change their shoes too; For instance Kurosaki Ichigo in Bleach, when his soul gets forced out he’s seen in full Shinigami attire with sandals and all.
You can also take this pair of shoes I drew. I made a simple design for this one because I planned on having Katsu (my own character) wear it as part of her ninja/assassin aesthetic. I made it slim in a way that it doesn’t snag in any terrain when she’s on the job.
So, we’ve drawn about a lot of shoes for this one. Hopefully, you were able to take a break in between so you wouldn’t get too tired or burnt out from the drawing. Taking some breaks is okay so remember to take care of yourself. Drawing shoes may have been difficult at first, I mean I’m still struggling now because I rarely get to draw shoes.
But, don’t worry much because there are a lot of references that we can pull from the internet, from anime, manga, or even games. Character design is an important aspect of character creation and shoes are a part of that. So, there is absolutely no absence of references for shoes!
You can also try out different designs and create your own ones while you’re at them. My favorite designs come from the games like Dislyte and Honkai Impact because their character design is so put together that the shoes there are to die for! So I take my inspiration from there and experiment with whatever to draw shoes with ease. You can also do that too if you’re coming up with your own character! Speaking of, if you’re really into creating your own character, you can check the How to Draw Your Own Manga or Anime Character blog, if you want it waaaay easier, we have an 8 Step Anime Boy’s Head and Face Drawing Tutorial. What can I say? I told you, we got you! Aaaaand of course, last but not the least, if you’ve got something on your mind about art, leave a comment down below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!