Introduction: Post-Apocalyptic Boots

Picture of Post-Apocalyptic Boots

weapons and food stuff are great to know how to do. But what's gonna happen when your trusted boots start to break down, which will happen faster than you think when you walk around in all that muck and always being on the move.

Obviously you construct your own so they fit well and you know exactly how to repair them. It's a no brainier. what does Max do when he stumble across a dead guy? He checks out his footwear

Sadly something happened to my camera so there are gaps in the visual step by step.

Materials needed:

1.5 mm thick vegteble tanned leather, about 5 sqf

3 mm thick vegteble tanned leather, about 4 sqf

3 mm thick sheet cork, about 1 sqf

1 pair of full vibram soles

Contact cement/glue

Thread for leather stitching

Tools that can be good:

At least two saddlers needles, they are blunt

Flat headed hammer.

Sharp knife, box cutters will work fine

Leather scissor (optional)

Shoe last, or a positive form of heal and toecap

Hole punches, I manly used diamond shaped fork punches, a marking weel and awl will do fine.


Sandpaper or beltsander, I used a dremel which wasn't very good.

Strap cutter

Step 1: Form Toe Cap and Heel

Picture of Form Toe Cap and Heel

I used a 3mm vegetable tanned leather that I moistened, It's important is not to soak, and then formed over the desired the shape. I used a pre-existing shoe last I had, the this will also determine the shape of the front of the boot. I also did the heel this way.

Step 2: Sizing the Boot Strap

Picture of Sizing the Boot Strap

I knew the general form I wanted from my sketches but translating it to the real thing takes some trials.
I used the now dried and stiff toe and heel as reference and sized up roughly the height and circumference of my shin.

Cut the shaft out.

Step 3: Adding "eyelets"

Picture of Adding "eyelets"

This is where the gap started. I've attempted to illustrate the steps in other ways

Make stitch hole on both eyelet pieces and shaft pieces

for the lacing I used a folded piece of leather that I made half circular holes after stitching it to the shafts.

Step 4: Joining the Shaft Pieces

Picture of Joining the Shaft Pieces

I started aligning the shaft pieces made holes and cross-stitched them together.

Then I stitched a strap over the cross-stitching that ended in a loop.

I used a strap gutter for the strap

Step 5: Joining Toe-cap and Tounge

Picture of Joining Toe-cap and Tounge

Sizing out how long and wide the tongue should be. Made holes on both part and stitched them together.

When you've done this part the whole upper shoe can be stiched together

Step 6: Welt

Picture of Welt

Prepare the welt, I made a super simple one.

A strap that had two lines of holes for stitching, separated by a grove that would be where this welt would fold

Stitch one of the sides of the welt to the upper shoe.

Step 7: Attaching the Inner and Mid Sole

Picture of Attaching the Inner and Mid Sole

This is the most tricky part of the whole shoe, for me at-least.

Firstly make two inner soles for each foot with close resemblance to your foot but with a rounded toe section.

I used the 3mm vegetable tanned leather for this.

Add an extra 10mm offset and make holes for stitching on one set of the soles

Make a narrow and thick leather strap that can loop around the inside of the soles perimeter.

Make sure that all the parts have the right amount of holes.

Now stitch the welt, innersole and leather strip togeter

I dont recomend starting the strap in the heel, it might be hard to fiish it, as shown in the third image.

Step 8: Adding Midsole Material

Picture of Adding Midsole Material

You should now have a slim sole shape with in the innersole perimeter that should be filled with a soft material like sheet cork.

Glue this with contact glue.

Step 9: Attaching Outer Sole

Picture of Attaching Outer Sole

Now glue the second pair of the inner soles over the cork and leather strip.

You can now glue the outer sole, I used a ready made vibram sole bot would probably construct this out of leather and rubber in a true crises.

Step 10: Final Step!

Picture of Final Step!

Cut and sand down the edges of the soles if you want an even finish, dye if you wish.

Apply some leather fat to mage them water resistant.

You should now have an amazing boot to go with your bad Yass Postapocalyptic persona


Arnold Ziphle (author)2017-03-14

Nice build but, seems to be missing how you used the contact cement to attach the outer sole. Did you put the "glue" on both pieces, just one part? How did you clamp them together? How long? Any special tools, jigs to apply even pressure over the soles? How much pressure is needed? Thank you.

AdrianD3 (author)Arnold Ziphle2017-03-15

the way to use contact cement is to apply on both sides and let it dry up for about 10-30 mins. then smack them pieces together with as mutch pressure you can, if you don't have the special sort of sole press that cobblers have you use ha hammar and wack it all over as hard as you can and then let it set for 24 hrs... or you ask your local cobbler to do it for you, probebly cheaper and esier

Arnold Ziphle (author)AdrianD32017-03-15

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck with your studies, projects and this contest. I hope you can continue to do leather work out of love and not need it as a fall back trade. Something about making a living from doing a thing you love, usually ends up driving the love out of it.

TheKitMurkit. (author)2016-11-13

It is amazing! But, how much likely that man without experience in shoemaking would make a pair?

Kwolf12 (author)TheKitMurkit.2016-11-18

Like anything else you might build, this is something you work up to--but like many other things, as you start trying, you find you can do it. It takes time, yes; tools, yes, but it's not unapproachable. I've made a lot of things with leather at this point and have never had instruction beyond reading snippets here and there. I think I'm ready to make my own boots now--I need water-boots because I'm going out into the muck quite often. Won't be able to buy what I want, going to have to make it!

TheKitMurkit. (author)Kwolf122016-11-21

If you say so, than it is possible. I`ll definitely try!

AdrianD3 (author)Kwolf122016-11-20

Hope you'll make a greate pair!

AdrianD3 (author)TheKitMurkit.2016-11-13

well I didn't have any experience and I made them due to intrest.

offseidjr (author)2016-11-21

Great Instructable!

Chorophilia (author)2016-11-18

Wow, Thank you so much! I have been wanting to make a pair of boots for so long but always found explanations of how to assemble the sole a little confusing. I am going to try this. So excited :-)

AdrianD3 (author)Chorophilia2016-11-20

me two :)

lundosk (author)2016-11-18

Awesome project - thanks for taking the time to write it up! You mentioned the price of products in SEK, so I'm assuming you're in Sweden; would you mind sharing where you got the materials? I get most of my tools and hardware on eBay (where you also find lasts and forms, with a bit of patience) but struggle to find a decent leather/dye/glue supplier similar to US Tandy in Sweden.

AdrianD3 (author)lundosk2016-11-18

Thats correct! I thought it would be funny for someone els to do the curancy google-ing for a change ? i think i got most of my materials from for this prodject... and some things from

_diyMATT (author)2016-11-17


ppinigis (author)2016-11-15

I don't have the skills to make these myself; are you taking orders?

AdrianD3 (author)ppinigis2016-11-15

then you teach yourself ;P I did. sadly I'm knee deep in studies and other prodjects but I might have found a fallback trade ;)

kaitlynpepin (author)2016-11-15

Are you kidding me? You make it look at least attemptable. I love your instructions, and the photos. Collection, Favorited and Shared Four stars!

AdrianD3 (author)kaitlynpepin2016-11-15

Thanks! this makes it worth putting it up

czarnian (author)2016-11-15

amazing. please next do an instructable about how to make the required tools to work with leather. thank you.

AdrianD3 (author)czarnian2016-11-15

thanks for the input!

Antiundead (author)2016-11-15

Hey great build!
I was just wondering, is there any padding on the inside? I would be worried about getting blisters from the joint and stitches around the heel and where the toe cap is stiched.

AdrianD3 (author)Antiundead2016-11-15

no padding... and now when you mentioned it I didn't catch shiving those edges. and no blisters so far

MakinToys (author)2016-11-15

You make an intimidating project seem very approachable. Thumbs up! to get a shoe last? Interwebs, I guess?

AdrianD3 (author)MakinToys2016-11-15

Blood sweat and tears, if you catch my drift ;P

austin.hall.129794 (author)2016-11-15

Nice 'ible, but too advanced for the average joe, you are clearly adept and well versed in many of the techniques required, quite apart from owning all the other tools and associated paraphenalia. I have worked with leather before and frankly you are far too casual about the hand stitching which will take a heavy toll on peoples hands not used to it, as well as the significant time it would take. This is a good weeks worth of work several hours a night.

You also spectacularly fail to mention that finding a boot/shoe last (the techincal name for the base foot mould you build it around) similar to your foot is not a simple task; wide / narrow / high instep, all of these need to be taken into account to ensure they do not rub and that the shape does not compress or otherwise impede the "normal" shape of your foot while walking long distances.

No hostile intent made, they ARE nice boots, and if I ever need to I'll use this 'ible; I'm simply stating facts you have glaringly avoided that should have been mentioned for those who might think "hey that looks easy" and spend money on the required materials and end up with nothing worth wearing.

I would have been more thorough.. like how I made the last and more detailed documentation but I sort of rushed the instructable for the walking dead competition... hence the "post-apocalyptic boots" as I didn't know how it worked entering competitions

mike_chrest (author)2016-11-14

Nice Job!!!

After a collapse you could use cut up car tires for sole replacement, but you would need to carry contact cement. Could the soles be stiched to the boots?

nmorris7 (author)mike_chrest2016-11-15

Not without a machine that can sew through multiple layers of leather and the rubber sole. Tippman and Juki make machines that make easy work of the leather-on-leather sewing, but I'm not sure that they could handle welting the sole.

AdrianD3 (author)nmorris72016-11-15

wouldn't necessarily say that it would be needed. probably look better and be way easier. but you can do wonders with awls and pliers :P

AdrianD3 (author)mike_chrest2016-11-15

sure but then u need to restich it more often and it would be more prown to rot in the insole

chakra (author)2016-11-15

these are the kind of guys who make us actually to look forward for an apocalypse!
Good Instructable! But you make things look too easy! I know how pushing a needle through leather feels like!

AdrianD3 (author)chakra2016-11-15

thats why you pre punch the whole... and have massive callus on ya hands ?

AdrianD3 (author)AdrianD32016-11-15

but massive thanks

nmorris7 (author)2016-11-15

This is an excellent step by step lesson! I have seen several tutorials, but NONE of them have focused on the construction of the sole. Thank you for posting detailed pictures with your Instructable of that part of the process!

Any_Amy (author)2016-11-13

Very cool idea and seriously awesome-looking boots, but where would the average person find all of the equipment, molds/forms, tools, etc., needed to make this post-apocalypse, let alone the materials (tanned leather, leather fat)? Plus the electricity to operate the dremel tool or belt sander? Sounds like these would be great to make pre-apocalypse in preparation for the event.

Jaboyd2u (author)Any_Amy2016-11-15

A lot of the tools can be made. You can also hand sand the parts that need it as well. I make leather goods as well and being semi-poor I make a lot of my own tools. Bone can be used and a sock filled with sand or mud could work for the mold. Granted yes it would be immensely easier to make pre-apocalypse however it can still be done with out. Native Americans did something similar for centuries without electricity.

AdrianD3 (author)Any_Amy2016-11-14

I'd say that as all post-apocalyptic scenarios, you have to be resourceful. but if you survive long enough I'd say that you would need to learn how to use natural materials again, and you can always replace the leather with other materials.

Any_Amy (author)AdrianD32016-11-14

Good point... especially if you also had the experience of making these boots pre-apocalypse and were familiar with their design. I'm sure the leather could be patched or replaced with other materials, as you suggested. And even car/bicycle tires could be used to make replacement soles, as another person mentioned above.

And it really is surprisingly easy to repair your own shoes, up to a point. I've had a pair of decent leather tennis shoes, nothing high end -- just my favorites, that I have sewn by hand in places and used industrial-strength adhesive on (when the soles started to come off), that I've now had for over 10 years. These aren't for running or hiking, mind you, but general everyday use.

Thanks again for posting such a stunning project. The boots really are gorgeous! That's a great skill to have!

JWaltLayne (author)2016-11-15

this is an awesome project. super cool.

Ian Scheele (author)2016-11-13

Can you share your templates (In PDF preferable) with measurements so that they can be scaled? I would really appreciate it. Also, AWESOME work, I love these!

AdrianD3 (author)Ian Scheele2016-11-14

probably if I find it all, it might take a week or so, as I have a lot to do atm

Ian Scheele (author)AdrianD32016-11-14

Thank you and keep up the great work!

deke07 (author)2016-11-13

What was the aproximate cost to make these?

AdrianD3 (author)deke072016-11-14

I think the materials cost me 700-800 SEK not counting tools and spill/scrap

ProudImperialPatriot (author)2016-11-13

Absolutely FANTASTIC! I must surely try this!

RichardM107 (author)2016-11-13

That's really cool.

emilyvanleemput (author)2016-11-13

Wow, love them!

Mjtrinihobby (author)2016-11-13

You got my Votes!

About This Instructable




Bio: studying Industrial Design on Master level on my spare time I like to play with leather craft
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