Walking Shoes


My new walking shoes.  Simple stitch-down design weighing in at about 14 oz (0.4 kg) each.  The leather is Hermann Oak 2/3 oz for the uppers and 12 oz (I think) for the mid-sole and out-sole.  There is also a double layer stacked heel that has a thin rubber layer on the bottom.

They have about 6 trail miles on them in this photo.  They are dyed “light tan” and coated in home-made dubbin.*

The goal was to create an extremely lightweight shoe that will protect from the gawd-aweful sand burrs, cacti, and other sharpies that get into the sandals.  They are loosely based on “desert boots” but provide a bit more protection.  They are re-soleable, environmentally friendly, and made without sweatshop labor.  Since I have little fashion sense, they can be worn with anything and in public.  My only change in design will be to make the toe portion of the upper in slightly heavier leather as they will hold their shape better.

*A waterproofing concoction, in this case made from beeswax, olive oil, and walnut oil.

A few more images:

The shoes are unlined.  Constructed with a double needle saddle-stitch.  I wasn’t even concerned with stitching on this pair so they aren’t perfectly straight or small.  The tongue is lined with brain-tanned deer hide and there is a band of brain-tan around the top edge for comfort.  The laces are also brain-tan deer from a heavier hide.

The out-sole stitch is trenched in about 1/8″ to protect the thread.

They may not be fashionable but I think they have style.



12 thoughts on “Walking Shoes

  1. I would wear those anywhere and if I had pants on roll the cuff up to show them off but since I have not had shoes on since March even cheap store bought last me a really long time. I don’t expect to need shoes until November and then only occasionally.
    Wool socks with sandals do me most of the time but a pair of those to go with my kilts would put me in high style.

  2. Beautiful shoes! I knit socks – so I can appreciate the finer qualities of wool on your feet in leather shoes. I would wear them – oh yes I would – I would wear those shoes with a thick pair of handknit wool socks.

    1. You are right, of course. I was hoping to avoid anything extraneous like that though. My next pair will likely be lasted brogues. The uppers will be a little thicker and the sewn toe cap will hold up well. The ultralight, minimalist shoe is still in an experimental stage.

      1. Where would you get a last? Would you make it or do you have a source? I would love a last but buying one would be difficult as I wear a size 15 (us) shoe.

      2. I found a small set on EBAY. They aren’t cheap, but I have failed to make one that exactly fits my foot (I’m a 13). Trouble has been that it is either a whole set for hundreds of dollars or just a single last here and there.

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