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A Simple Pair Of Moccasins With Canvas Gaiters

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I've always wanted a pair of moccs that were more than just a pair of slippers. I was looking for comfortable footwear that I could wear in any weather condition and that would stand up to abuse, all the while allowing my feet to feel the ground underneath them. Since I work in leathercraft, which is the corner of my 'craft' triangle (the other two being metalwork and woodwork), I figured I could come up with a pair that were suitable to my needs.

For this I would have to research. I looked at my local leather shop for some patterns and found them very costly. Not only that, they were limited to a specific size and would take some serious modification to adjust for different sized feet. Next was a search online, where I found the resources, strangely, lacking. There were sites that offered patterns, however I ran into the same issues that plagued me at my leather supplier.

For the plans I was searching for, I had to go to the source. I planned a trip to the Canadian Museum of Civilization and decided to study many of the styles they had on display. After taking lots of pics, many of which were closer than the museum security were comfortable with, I started to read some of the descriptions. Instead of using a pattern for their mocs, natives would use the person's feet as a template, then draw the pattern directly on the leather as a way of creating a custom fit. A bit more research at the local library would confirm that and so I was able to design more of a technique than a pattern, that could be modified to fit any foot, and was based completely on traditional craft.
 
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Do you do anything to the sole?
antagonizer (author)  Sir_Thinks_Alot6 months ago

You don't really need to. Vegetable tan leather would wear down quickly because of it's stiffness, whereas something like a brain tan leather is elastic enough to give with stones and branches. Even deer hide, for as thin as it is, is pretty resilient. Think about some of the bramble and brush these animals walk through in life. Their skins are made to take a lot of punishment. The only caveat would be pavement where the wear would be constant, you may want to add an insole.

Soulthief6 months ago
Nice! For winter insulation buy the felt socks for cold weather boots, put them on and add 1/2 to 1 inch of felt on the bottom before measuring, this should keep you warm in extreme cold conditions.
dougbyte6 months ago
Fine lookin' moc's Another source for those looking for patterns may be buck skinning books from the library. I may have to give this one a try.

Thanks for the post
bhermance6 months ago
Very Interesting!! I may try this!!
Shadri6 months ago
Wonderful 'ible! My interest in shoe making has recently been reignited, so this is perfect. Tell me though - how warm do they actually keep your feet?
These look very similar to Steger Mukluks, which are some of the best and warmest snow footwear available - but a whole lot more expensive than these. Check them out on the net and you will see some gorgeous examples that may even give you more ideas if you plan to make these.
antagonizer (author)  inthedesert6 months ago
At $300 a pair for Steger, that's the very reason I made this 'abl, tho they are really nice looking footwear. With lining, these shouldn't cost more than $30 for the DIY crowd.
All of my inspiration comes from Museum and library sources since I wouldn't feel right about copying from a company, but thank you anyway.
I am not suggesting plagiarizing Stegers, but a lot of what we find on instructables have retail versions available, and we frequently generate ideas from seeing something and realizing as DIYers we can do pretty close to the same thing. Anyone looking at their website will see what a great job you have done - not to copy from them, just for a different visualization on what is available. Most people I talk to don't even know what mukluks are. You did great.
antagonizer (author)  Shadri6 months ago
With a lining, I wear mine in the snow. Better traction too. When you make your lining, follow the same process as the moc then you can either sew it in, or wear it like a sock.
Huh, ok. I didn't expect them to be that warm! I'll definitely have to try making a pair sometime... :)
Jobar0076 months ago
What thickness of leather did you end up using?
antagonizer (author)  Jobar0076 months ago
I have several pairs. One is deer hide, but as I mentioned, I had to line them because it's pretty thin. The pair I use most often are buffalo which is roughly 8-9oz.
Thanks!
dmartin496 months ago
awesome! where would a person find leather for this?
antagonizer (author)  dmartin496 months ago
Try Tandy, they have a good supply of different leathers. There are some sellers on ebay as well that can set you up.
Uncle Kudzu6 months ago
Very well done! Never had a pair of mocs, but this looks doable. I can (crudely) sew with an awl, so I'll have to study your method. Wonder if polyester upholstery thread would cut the leather when sewing? That stuff is strong.

Yeah, it's surprising how little info about shoemaking is online.
antagonizer (author)  Uncle Kudzu6 months ago
It would work just fine. If it's what you have, go ahead and use it. From what I've seen, there are no rules or special threads. They used whatever they had on hand.
wookiepants6 months ago
I would love to make mica for my kids who are 5 years old. Do you know how the hard measurements (ex 2 inches from side of foot) would be different? Thanks. Great instructable.
antagonizer (author)  wookiepants6 months ago
You can scale everything down pretty easily. Measure using the foot, then trace 1.5 - 2 inches around the toe. For the tongue, measure from the toe to the ankle and add an inch or two. The uppers should be as long as the ankle viewed from the side, plus the length of the tail, plus the 1.5 - 2 inches you allowed when you measured the toe. For the height, it's up to you. It should be easier to visualize as you're doing it since the pattern is pretty fluid.
solici6 months ago
Very nice. I am bumping this up a few notches to be my next project.
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