Kick Up your Heels!

Knowing how to add heels to your keg shoes is a useful and profitable skill



If your customers or climate require even the occasional use of calks, it makes sense to stock a variety of heeled shoes in your shoeing rig. But if it’s only something you’re asked to provide once in a while, it’s beneficial to be able to turn your own. It also helps to keep up your skills in the forge.

General Tips On Turning Heels

1. When turning heels on a keg shoe, using a shoe one size larger than normally needed works in most cases.

2. Concentrate heat on the end of the shoe. Quench the branch of the shoe in water if this is needed. This helps reduce distortion and the effort needed to rework other parts of the shoe.

3. Take several heats until each step is perfected.

4. Practice on used shoes.

How It’s Done

Figure 1. On the first heat, turn one branch approximately 1 inch, as if it were an extended heel.


Figures 2 and 3. Square the shoe on your anvil and mark the foot side. This helps in forging and makes a nice corner on the foot side when completed.

Figures 4 and 5. Turn the heel down on a rounded edge of the anvil to a 90-degree angle. It’s very important to stop hitting when the folded area touches the anvil. Otherwise, you will displace too much metal the wrong way and add more work.


Figure 6. Turn the shoe over and fold to approximately 45 degrees.

Figures 7 and 8. Form…

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