Post-Apocalyptic Boots




Introduction: Post-Apocalyptic Boots

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

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

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

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"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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

Glue Challenge 2016

Runner Up in the
Glue Challenge 2016

Survival Ready Contest

Runner Up in the
Survival Ready Contest



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    47 Discussions

    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.

    2 replies

    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

    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.

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

    4 replies

    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!

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

    Hope you'll make a greate pair!

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

    Great Instructable!

    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 :-)

    1 reply

    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.

    1 reply

    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


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

    1 reply

    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 ;)

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

    1 reply

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

    1 reply