The growth of guilds in this period led to great advancement in the manufacture of footwear. Shoemaking as an industry was growing, and the guilds had set certain standards for their craftsmen. Consequently, quality and workmanship was high.

Leather was the most common material for footwear through the Renaissance. The skins of deer, goat, and sheep were common for light shoes for both men and women. White leather was common, especially for women. Shoes could also be made from thick cloth, wool felt, or tapestry. Most of these materials were not waterproof, which necessitated the wearing of pattens to protect the delicate footwear.

Expensive shoes were still cut in one piece until about 1570, but most other shoes can be seen to have other seams. The soles were separately made and were added to the upper by stitching to the finished shoe.

The shoes could be fastened with hooks, buttons or lacings. The eyelet holes were either punched into the leather, or in higher quality shoes could be stitched round with a button hole stitch.