Introduction: Lace-Up Sandals

Ever wanted to have footwear that you can use for any occasion? With this versatile pair, you can do just that by mixing and matching styles--without buying a new pair of shoes! Having numerous shoes can be a hassle, and the main reason is to match these with the outfit you wear. Just retaining the sandal base, and consequently replacing only the sandal straps can be more essential. This project was largely inspired by the Sseko sandal.

Here are the materials that I used in customizing my own pair:

  1. Pair of Sandals - it doesn't need to have fancy straps or embellishments; what's most essential is the sandal base. If it's more beneficial, getting separate sandal bases could also work. Mine was also made of thing rubber, so it's easy to punch holes with this one.
  2. Plantilla - this will serve as the template for your sandals' shape
  3. Garter (1/2 - 1 in) - serves as the loops where the laces will go through
  4. Leather Puncher
  5. Contact Cement- adhering the components of the sandals together
  6. Scarf/Shoelace

Step 1: Step 1: Taking Apart Your Sandals

The sandals I bought were relatively cheap and were easy to take apart the straps by hand. The first picture shows how it is comprised of three main components: the upper sole, a flexible metal, and the lower sole. Th second picture shoes the difference with and without the straps of the shoe. Remove the straps for both the left and the right shoe.

Step 2: Step 2: Making the Shoe Plantilla

The shoe plantilla is the template where we'll use as the basis for punching the holes in the upper sole. Trace the upper sole on a piece of paper (although it would be best if the paper used isn't flimsy). Cut out the outline of the shoe, and trace along a smaller rim about 1cm away from the edge of the cut-out.

Dot in the holes for the laces and position them along the traced inside-rim. Draw a pair of dots, with a 1-inch space, along the ball of the foot near your big toe, another pair near the ball of the foot near your pinky toe, and two pairs near your ankle. Place a pair of dots in the space between your big toe and second toe. Refer to the foot picture for parts of the foot.

Foot picture taken from:

Step 3: Step 3: Punching the Holes

Place the plantilla on top of your sandal's upper sole. Place the two on top of a board (for support). Using a punching fork, light mark the rubber as indicated in the second picture. Once marked, you can now use a leather puncher to puncture through the rubber sole. You now have your holed sole!

Step 4: Step 4: Inserting the Loops

(I apologize for not being able to take pictures huhu)

Cut about 1.25-inches of garter, and insert them through the holes made in the upper sole. Make sure these don't budge.

Step 5: Step 5: Sandwiching the Sandal

(Again, I apologize for not being able to take pictures huhu)

Sandwich the upper sole, the flexible metal and the lower sole using contact cement (the brand I used was Rugby). Place under a heavy book/object to help facilitate adhesion, and wait til dry.

Step 6: Step 6: Lacing Up

Now that you have your sandal with loops, you can loop in the laces or the scarf like in the picture! Hooray, you are done!

Extra note: It would be best for you to use a scarf that isn't so thick, os the result would not look so chunky :)