There's only one problem: the soles get torn up walking on anything but grass and they get soaking wet and tear even easier when it rains. Not to mention they slide on rocks and road paint when they're wet. Now, store-bought mocs sometimes have a rubber sole sewn onto them. Then again, store-bought mocs cost upwards of five times what my kit cost.
I present to you now a low cost alternative that should prolong the life of your moccasins and hopefully keep your feet dryer and add some traction.
Step 1: Materials
- (1) pair of clean moccasins (my kit was ~$14)
- (1) can of Plasti-Dip (or similar) rubberized tool dip ($11 at Ace Hardware)
- rough-grit sandpaper
- 30" or more aluminum foil
- (4) pairs of socks
- (4) soda/beer bottles (empty or not)
- newpaper to lay down
Step 2: Make the Tray
Step 3: Sand the Soles
Step 4: Stuff the Moc
Step 5: Load the Tray
You should by no means have to use the entire can, or even half of it. I think I used maybe 1/5 or 1/6 of it for the two mocs.
Step 6: Apply Rubberizer to Moccasin
If you have spots you just can't get with the smushing, use a stick or brush to apply more rubberizer to the tough-to-reach spots. Also, the rubberizer will probably be uneven and appear drippy so use the stick to smooth it out. You might want to leave more rubber where your foot would contact the ground (see the third pic to get an idea of what I mean). I couldn't get any pictures of this step since I was doing this myself.
The can says that the rubberizer needs a good 4 hours to dry. However, mine were dry to the touch after about a half hour, possibly due to the fact that I'm applying it to porous leather instead of nonporous steel.
Step 7: Finished!
Hopefully everything went well and you got even coverage over the moc. If not, you can always add a second coat of the rubberizer.
As I just finished this, I haven't had a chance to try them out in inclement weather but I'll update when I do.
Step 8: Update: Two Months Later
The moccasins have held up pretty well I'd have to say. I took them many places, including a long hunting excursion where I had to drag a deer out of the bottom of a valley at night and just general walking through the city. The rubber did a good job of keeping my feet dry from ground moisture out in the woods. I would say more moisture got absorbed from my feet than the ground itself when I was wearing these.
For how thin the rubberized sole actually is I'm plenty happy with the results. The second two pictures show part of the sole pulling off, probably because the bottom wasn't completely clean when I applied the rubberizer. It doesn't seem to be coming off much more though so I'll probably cut that off. The fourth pic shows where I scuffed through the rubber on the big toe area of the moc. I must have dragged it on the cement or something.
All in all, I think it was worth the time and effort.