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How to Rubberize Moccasin Soles

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I have a pair of deerhide moccasins that I made from a kit I got for Christmas.  They're great - comfortable, lightweight, and they make me feel more in touch with the earth.

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.

 
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Step 1: Materials

You will need the following:
  • (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
You might want:
  • (4) pairs of socks
  • (4) soda/beer bottles (empty or not)
  • newpaper to lay down
I would like to note that the can of Plasti-Dip warns against using the product in an unventilated space.  The fumes that came from that can can't have been good for me.  I would suggest doing this outside.  Or even better, inside an industrial hood vent.

Step 2: Make the Tray

Picture of Make the Tray
From your roll of tin foil, tear off two sheets about 15" long.  Then stack them on top of each other and roll the edged over a couple times, making the rolls about 1/2".  Fold the edges up to form a tray a little bigger than your moccasin.

Step 3: Sand the Soles

Picture of Sand the Soles
Using the coarse-grit sandpaper, scuff up the bottoms of the moccasins a little.  There will be some leather dust, so make sure you clean it off.  The point of the scuffing is to give the rubberizer something to grip onto.

Thank you for sharing! Just what I was looking for!

Soozyk1 year ago
Wow - Just what I've been looking for! Great Job and Thanks!
discojen1 year ago
That is pretty cool. I wonder if you laid a bead of hot glue on the soles in some kind of tread pattern, then rubberized, would it work? I am going to try thison some felted wool slippers that I made.
frazeeg (author)  discojen1 year ago
I don't see why not. I would be a little worried about the glue coming unbonded from the sole though. Hot-melt glue isn't all that strong in that application, I don't think.
senchele3 years ago
Thanks for the instructable! I played around with using crushed walnuts for grip!! It works good on ice!!
rimar20003 years ago
Great work!

20 or 30 years ago I bought shoes with leather soles, because they were cheaper, then adhered them down one piece of car (or truck) innertube. Thus they lasted much longer and isolated the feet of the ground humidity. Today almost all shoes come whit rubber or synthetic material soles.
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