Blown Tire Shoes




About: Dad and hubby, good food enthusiast, solar energy, boating, making stuff, melting stuff, and raising chickens.

I see blown truck tires along the road every few miles on my daily drive to work; I thought it would be cool to make some shoes out of them. So I finally pulled over an grabbed a tread (Watch out for stabbing steel cords at the edges of the tire scraps.) These things are a little tough and messy to make, but they use all recycled materials except for the glue.

I used:
Scrap tire from highway shoulder.
Scrap carpet from a dumpster.
Old plastic shopping bags.
and some shoe glue.

Angle grinder with cut off wheel.
Something to cut rubber and carpet, I used tin snips and medical scissors.
A Candle

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Step 1: Mark and Cut

Draw a nice shoe pattern around you foot or trace another shoe onto the tire with a marker.

Then use a cut-off wheel on a grinder to cut through the steel cords in the tire. (very smoky.)

Once through the cords, cut out the tread with some tin snips or something.

This is messy with black stuff everywhere; put down some cardboard or something. This also smells like the county fair demo derby.

Step 2: Drill Holes

Use other flip-flops as a guide, or guess where you need the holes for the straps; then drill through the tread with a big bit (I used 3/8".)

Step 3: Cut Carpet to Fit

Take the tread cut-outs and cut the carpet scrap to fit. I left a little extra carpet to protect my feet from the steel cords on the edges.

Make holes in the carpet to match the tread holes drilled earlier.

Glue the carpet to the tread with some shoe glue.

Step 4: Make Straps

-Cut the plastic shopping bags in half from top to bottom. Then take three of the bags and hang them on a door handle and braid them; do this 4 times.
-Take the ends of the braided bags and use the candle to melt the ends into hard tips. Leave 2 straps with an unhardened end.
-Route these straps into the holes as shown in the pictures; tie the forward strap to the back cross strap and trim off the extra plastic.
-Under the shoe, melt the plastic strap tips with the candle and smush 'em flat, this will harden and hold the straps on the shoe.

Step 5: Let the Glue Dry

Let the glue dry and enjoy these new kicks.

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    55 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Awesome idea!


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I'd prefer a natural fiber too. Could use bamboo for the sole as well, the tire should be durable enough.

    kcolburn sr

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea! Can you get 50k miles out of them? 40? How often do you rotate them?
    We call the retreads 'gators' out here and was thinking of making some for poor countries....

    1 reply
    a-liaskcolburn sr

    Reply 4 years ago

    Because you're using the shoes the poor countries make?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I found out how the mexicans do it, that is to say cut tire tread for sandals. They use a long handled pair of pliers and a box knife. The tire tread is cut at the place where the tread meets the tire body on the side wall. The pliers grip the cut away tread as it is skinned from the tire body, just like you do a cow. The steel plies are never touched. :)

    one more thing i did different, was to protect me from the ouchiness of the metal in the tire, was wrap some duct tape round the edges.

    That's too funny. I never thought of the way I presented that statement. I meant scrap carpet from a new installation, not the obviously nasty stuff in the dumpster. You should read about the people who dig food out of dumpsters. LOL

    haha hey dumpster diving is a way of life man, and the food is usually pretty clean and great after a wash. anyway the shoes rock, comfy as anything and with all the walking i do, they aint wearing out yet. thanks for the step by step buddy


    9 years ago on Introduction

    if you use off road motorcycle tires you get real good dirt traction, ;)

    I tried using my angle grinder today and my garage was filled with smoke. Tough on the lungs. I pulled out my jig saw with a metal cutting blade and it worked like a charm with out all the smoke.