Sandals From an Old Auto Tire, Pt. 2





Introduction: Sandals From an Old Auto Tire, Pt. 2

About: I'm an incurable tinkerer and builder and will often spend way too much time and money on whatever project is on the radar today.

Improve the comfort and look of the straps for your tire sandals.

Step 1: Make the Basic Sandal

Follow cthoyes fine step-by-step to get the basic sandal from a tire, but skip the tabs on the sides and back of the sole. You won't be needing them. You'll find it is much easier to cut out the sandal without the tabs for straps.

Step 2: Chisel the Slits for Your Rubber Strips and Feed the Strips Through

I originally made a sandal with rubber tabs but I wasn't happy with how they wrapped around. Uncomfortable and unwieldy, at least on mine. Once you have the basic shape cut out, keep using your chisel to cut slits right through the sandal top to bottom where you want the straps to be. You'll have to cut some 1" wide and 4" long strips of rubber from the tire sidewall at the thinnest point, four per shoe. Feed the strips through the shoe and bend them around as shown.

Step 3: Wire the Rubber Strips to the Nylon Straps

I used thin steel wire as 'stitching' for the straps. Strong thread or monofilament could be used, I suppose. Because I fed the wire through by hand, I predrilled the holes through the rubber strips for the wires using a very small drill bit. The hole closes up but the wire can still be easily threaded through. Poke it through the nylon and pull the whole thing tight with needlenose pliers. Be sure to run the wires from the inside out. Even though you crimp the wires down into the rubber, no point in taking a chance on a painful wire poke in the side of the foot. This solution makes clean, nonbinding straps that look professional and hold on surprisingly well. I've been test driving mine for a couple of weeks and am really satisfied. Last pair of sandals I plan on owning. Have fun.



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    37 Discussions

    Angle grinder, chisel, hacksaw, whatever gets it done. I cut a long piece of the tire and clamped it down on a board to cut as needed with other tools. Smelly and smoky work with power tools. This was ten years ago - I barely remember.

    I like your side strap attachment idea, great job!

    You can 'harvest' great sandal soles from the side of major highways.....where 18 wheel trucks have blown out a tire that was recapped.This sometimes as much as an inch thick rubber tread was glued onto the tire casing and has no steel at all to contend with! As for attaching straps............make the sole 1/2 in wider than your foot then cut a leather or foam(like flip flops) top.Cut slots /holes in the top and lay straps UNDER it then contact glue down to the tire sole.Use the extra half inch to pound in domed carpet tacks for both decorative and structural purposes...........for real fun make them 2in. to long and with a sharp knife cut out toes for a bigfoot/barefoot sole ^_^

    how did you cut the tire?? Is it A steel radial tubeless? or a nylon bias tire?? This sandals are great!!!

    2 replies

    It's steel belted and I cut it with an angle grinder. Wear your safety glasses. I'm serious.

    Forget the chisel if you have a reciprocating saw (a.k.a. Sawzall) or a medium duty jigsaw. Steel belted radials cut easily with either, using a metal cutting blade.


    2 replies

    I used cheap equipment nylon straps, like you use for securing equipment on a truck or pallet. Should be able to get them from those discount bins at a hardware store. You can pick up the buckles from sewing supply stores for cheap if you haven't salvaged them from elsewhere.

    I have access to old non-steel belted tires if anyone is interested. Shoot me a message....

    Hi, great instructable. I grew up in South Africa and the blacks over there make these sandals (guaranteed for 10,000km) they used inner tube as the straps fitted the same way as thongs (Australia) or flip flops or slip slops. My father over there will find out how they are fastened and I will let you know. BTW inner tube is good because it has an elastic quality.

    I was wondering if your tire had steel radials.  I've been looking around and pretty much all modern tires use them.  I found some riding lawn mowers that didn't have steel radials but they are thinner and not as rigid as car tires.

    Anyway, if they did how did you cut through them?  Does the chisel method you describe work for steel radials?

    1 reply

    Read over the comments - much input about that topic. This Instructable uses steel radials. You can chisel through the steel wires and pass either rubber or nylon through the slits. It's no fun, but you can do it. 
    Seriously, wear eye protection. Those wires will get you. 

    them soles r v tuff cut in 2 sole half way down below nylon thread .then up cinch

    With the rubber straps going through the bottom like that, do they tend to wear first? Would it be too hard to angle the holes out the side so you don't walk on the bottoms of your straps? Or would that cause the sole to separate? After a few more "miles" on your test drive, please let me know!

    2 replies

    The rubber going through does wear a bit but not much. I doubt it would work to angle the straps through the side. In any case it is a fifteen minute job to replace the rubber straps if they get seriously thin or break.

    Pop rivets work great too on the nylon webbing. Your wire stitches would be much easier to replace though...and cheaper.

    My feet swell a lot in hot weather. We could also put velcro strips on the straps instead of buckles for fast, easy adjustments and less rubbing on the skin while walking. Just an idea! Thanks for all the great info!