With months of self-isolation getting to him, YouTuber The Q thought it would be a good idea to buy a pair of Nike Air Force shoes. He must not have thought too far ahead however, because now he has a new pair of shoes with nowhere to run. What’s one to do? Recreate the same shoe using blocks of wood, of course.

YouTube video

After finding three suitable blocks of wood in his workshop and gluing them together, The Q starts work on recreating his Nike Air Force shoes in wood form:

1. Cut The Shoe Outline

wooden nike air force

The Q starts off by tracing both the bottom and the sides of the shoe onto the wooden block. He then cuts this outline out, first with a handsaw and then with his wood cutter. He also makes some deep cuts on the top of the shoe where you would slip your foot in.

2. Chisel Out The Top

wooden nike air force

Using the deep cuts he made earlier, The Q chisels out the excess wood on top to make the upper part of the Nike Air Force. Once it has some grooves, he makes a simple stencil of the top and chisels out more wood until the block resembles the rough outline of a shoe.

3.  Draw In The Simple Details

wooden nike air force

Now the hard part begins. Using a ruler, The Q measures the defining details of the real Air Force shoe and draws it onto the wooden shoe. Linings and even the Nike logo are painstakingly drawn onto the wood using a pencil before he even begins cutting the more intricate details into the wood.

4. Time To Chisel Away

wooden nike air force

With the details drawn in place, The Q can finally start chiseling in the features of the shoe into the wood. He uses a wooden platform held by clamps to hold the shoe in place as he works. Indents and grooves are added onto the wooden shoe as he spends hours chiseling and cutting away at it.

5. Sand and Dust

wooden nike air force

Though far from finished, the wooden shoe actually looks very close to a shoe now. Before moving on to the next part, however, The Q does a quick sanding and cleaning just to make it easier to work with.

6. Trace On Even More Details

wooden nike air force

Using a measuring compass, a ruler, and his own eyes as guides, The Q traces on more details to make the shoe look as close to the original as it can be. Shoelaces, the holes on the front top of the shoe, even the groove pattern on the shoe’s bottom are added to give it that extra layer of authenticity.

7. Add The Finer Details

wooden nike air force

Since these are very small details, a chisel just won’t cut it (pun unintended). Instead, The Q uses a dremel and a variety of detail carving bits to add in the finer features of the wooden shoe. He also uses a small metal bit to add the “holes” for the stitching, as well as a tip of a screwdriver for the grooves on the bottom of the shoe.

wooden nike air force

After a bit of cleaning to remove excess wood dust, the shoe looks exactly like its mass-manufactured counterpart. Of course, you’ll never be able to wear this shoe, but it makes for a really cool paperweight and a memento of a time when you were unable to get out and break in your new kicks.

As always, you can find more of The Q’s DIY projects on his YouTube channel.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.