Modern Geta - Wooden Sandals




Introduction: Modern Geta - Wooden Sandals

Geta are a form of traditional Japanese footwear or sandal with an elevated wooden base held onto the foot with a fabric thong to keep the foot well above the ground.

This version of Wooden Sandals has a rubber feet, so it doesn't make a lot of noise, I added some laser engraved Katsushika Hokusai print onto the Sandals so I can tell which one is right or left.

This project came about when I was at the Haystack Mountain school of craft. I realized that I left my sandal at home but luckily, I was living in the FabLab and have the access to a shopbot and some casting materials. I decided to make my own sandal out of my need.

Step 1: Measurement / Sizing

I traced my feet onto a piece of paper and figured out where to drill the wholes for the straps (the hole right next to the big thumb) After taking the measurement, I model the sandal in SolidWorks. It starts out as a 3D design, but is was taking way to long, so I did the cut out in 2D for faster cut time. For this, you can use Illustrator or any other vector drawing software.

Step 2: Cut Outs / Milling

I used the shopbot to cut out the shape of the shoes and the strap cut outs.

Step 3: Make It Wearable / Adding the Strap

I used a piece of burlap as the strap, but you can make this out of plastic sting or anything that feels comfortable on your feet. I started from the center hole pulling the burlap down below the shoes, them apply hot glue to secure them in position. I made sure that as I am pulling up, some of the hot glue carries to the top of the hole for better hold. I then measure the length of the strap to make sure that my feet fits comfortably.

Step 4: Customized / Laser Engrave

I used Katsushika Hokusai as pattern for my shoes, I made the drawing into vector for laser cutting. The engraving added extra grip but it might feel a little uncomfortable. I guess we can use clear resign to make the surface flat for not etching it too deep with the laser.

I vectorized the Katsushika Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa drawing with Illustrator, I then mirror the pattern for the right and left shoes.

Step 5: Casting the Rubber Feet

The wooden sandal makes a lot of noise around the studio, so I decided to add rubber to the feet. I used MOLD MAX 60 part A and part B to make the rubber. They take about 24 hours to cure.

I hot glued temporary fences to contain the rubber casting material, so I can pour the rubber without leaks.

Once it’s cured, it’s ready to perform, without loud walking noises.

Step 6: Thoughts

The down side of the sandal is that it’s a bit heavy but does the trick.

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    7 years ago

    Very nice pair of geta sandals! I love how the straps are placed quite far to the front.

    I've made several pairs of sandals myself (not geta but more a platform kind of Scholl style). In case you are interested:

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    This sounds like a good instructable because it might be a good torture weapon to walk in. Might have some bloody feet from all those splinters. Not to mention how uncomfortable it is, and how loud it is to walk...


    7 years ago

    Iḿ excited to try these but do you think the kind of wood used is important?


    7 years ago

    Just making clogs and wondering whether to make leather soles so think I may now do rubber like yours. Thanks for instruct able.


    7 years ago

    Very cool sandals! I made some not to long ago as well. Thanks for sharing