The soles finally attached.

9 thoughts on “Soles

  1. Nice. Do you have a machine that will sew that? When I made sandals in the past all sewing was by hand and very tedious. I started using brass rivets. The rivets would wear out before the other materials but were easily replaced.
    Thanks for the tip on bicycle tires. I may try that. Apparently there are polyester belted tires still made that will work too. I have to talk to my black market tire monger.

  2. Very cool. I love the construction, and the history behind it. I have been interested in making my own due to store bought sandals breaking on me. The only problem is I am not familiar with the leather. Is there different grades? Do you source it from an online retailer or local.

    Again very impressive.

    1. There are many different grades and a couple general types of leather. I use traditional oak tanned (generally Herman Oak) at about 16 oz. This is the stuff used for saddles, good shoes, harnesses, etc. I would NOT use chrome tanned (like cheap purses, wallets, some shoes). Use VERY sharp tools to cut as it will make a nicer product, make your work easier, and prevent you from cutting yourself. All you really need is a sharp exacto knife to get started but there are some better choices. If you have a Tandy Leather Factory near you, they are usually pretty helpful but there are often better choices. Panhandle Leather caters to shoemakers and saddlers and are very helpful. You can even buy compressed sole leather like that used on dress shoes or cowboy boots for less than $8 per pair. I buy a lot of leather at once which is usually cheaper. A half hide of great leather might cost you $130-180 but you will get a lot out of it. Most places also carry imported vegetable tan leather and this is a good option as well. It will probably have some brand marks and scars and may be a little less consistent on thickness but usually works just fine. I have made many fine things from it.
      Let me know how they turn out or if I can help with the plan.

    1. Yes, I’ve sold a few of these but I have mostly taught it as a leatherwork class at Rabbitstick and Winter Count ( There are a couple options and some small changes I recommend. I can put a rubber sole on them for longevity, especially if you will be on pavement or rock, instead of the leather outsole but either way works for me. I have also begun gluing the outsole on so that it is easier to replace when the time comes. Since I doubt we can meet in person I would need a good outline of your foot, preferably taken by someone else, being careful to keep the pencil very straight up and down. Cost with a solid brass or nickle buckle is $125. I can cover shipping if we do it through my Etsy shop. Let me know what you think.

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