A few months ago i had an abstract idea to make some sort of foot wear completely from scratch and using run of litter supplies.I have no experience with shoe making or leather working so i had no idea what to begin with.
My first idea involved using paracord but after days of effort, i could not get the paracord to work. So i shifted to leather. I started to make a boot style shoe but i soon realized i dont have the skill for that so i shifted to the simple sandal style. I also added led lights and the idea behind that was to illuminate the ground as you walk. Although they might not seem a whole lot practical but i felt like for once i should just dish out my abstract idea and not worry about the practicality of it. I wore them and used them and they are comfortable to wear. The lighting feature is pretty neat. I didn't work on adding a power source to each shoe so my experience was a bit inconvenient with wires running to the batter in my pocket. But i am sure you guys can improve on it.
I admit this is not a very neat looking pair of sandal but i think for a first attempt, its not too bad. I think i can improve in the future.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
Following are the materials i used
- An old tire (waste)
- Leather Strips (waste)
- Nylon Thread
- LED Strip
- Foam Inserts (waste)
And some of the tools i used
- Angle Grinder
- Metal Ruler
- Soldering Iron
- Drill Machine
- Screw Driver
- Staple Gun
Step 2: Cutting the Sole
So this is hardest part of all because the steel belted tire is no joke. Grab you power tools and safety gear because this will get messy
Begin by tracing out the shape of the sole you want to cut up. It would be better to draw on a paper and transfer it on the tire. Or print up a template. Drill a starting hole to start your jigsaw cut. Use wood cutting blades in the saw on the fastest speed. Wear all the safety gear as bits of hot rubber will fly and smoke will be produced. Dont do it indoors. Start making the cut and dont put too much force as to bog down the saw. Just enough to keep the cut going. Stop every minute to cool the blade using oil. Apply oil on the cut to prevent clogging. Dont cut all at once. Take a break to allow the saw motor to cool down.
Once you have the two pieces cut, pay special attention to the steel wires as they are very sharp and will cause a lot of pain if they pierce the skin.
Wash the cut piece with detergent thoroughly to remove all harmful substances. Wash yourself too.
Step 3: Cleaning Up the Sole
First cut all the protruding wires from the sides of the sole. Then use an angle grinder with a metal grinding wheel to sand down the edges. This is also a messy job so all safety gear should be in place. You might have to force the sole into the wheel for it to sand down properly. You will know when you are done when no loose wire catches when you run a cloth along the edge. At this point, make sure the two are a mirror image of each other and make adjustment accordingly.
Step 4: Sticking the Foam Upper
I found some foam inserts. They are low quality but they are free and they feel comfy so i went with them. Just use copious amounts of shoe glue to completely cover the surface. Stick the foam to sole and clamp it down for 12 hours. Cut the excess later. The foam piece was a bit smaller but i went with it.
The holes and lines you see are from my first attempt with paracord which failed pretty badly so just ignore them.
Step 5: Prepping the Leather Straps
I cut 4 cm of leather strips. You can use what ever works for you. The leather i found was very thin so i glued up two layers to make a stiffer piece. When gluing, make sure you wet up all the surface as leather absorbs the glue. After gluing, apply a good amount of pressure for a good bond.
Step 6: Adding the First Strap
I made the sandal dead simple so there are only two straps. For the first one, place your foot on the sole and use the strip to mark the length. Use a hole cutter to make a hole in the leather strip. You can also use a drill machine. Drill a hole in the sole and put the screw in. Just one at first. Then remeasure using your foot and secure it from the other end. Again with only one screw on the same complimentary location on both sides of the sole. Then put your foot in again and make the final marking. Drill and screw it securely.
This remeasuring is crucial to avoid slack on any end and make a secure fit which goes along the contours of your feet. In the image you can see that i tried to secure one side first and then the other but soon ran into fitting problems so i had to do i again. I used screws because i couldn't think of a better method. No needle would work due to the steel belts.
Step 7: Adding the Second Strap
The second strap is longer and will be a tilted so that it fits with the foot properly. The procedure in this step is the same as the previous. Just take note of the location of each strap relative to the foot.
Step 8: Sewing in the Back Strap
Now the final back strap is up next. Place your foot in the sandal and mark the length of the back strap. Sew on side of the back strap with the second strap using an awl and nylon thread. Take note of the upward angle to sew on so that it rests firmly with the back of the foot. The stitch i used is a traditional one used locally in my country. The awl is also a home made one but you can find many stitch methods on the internet.
On the other end, there are many methods of strapping. I used Velcro because its the simplest and i didn't have anything else on hand. But i would suggest a buckle or a button. Those would be much more secure. Right now the weakest link in my sandal is the Velcro. It pops opens when i run. So i would recommend against it.
I also stuck some duct tape on the sewed part so that it doesn't feel uncomfortable when it touches the foot.
Step 9: Sticking the LED Light Strip
I used white colored flexible LED strip because it would best serve my purpose. I used the adhesive backing to stick it to the side of the sandal. The surface was uneven so I had to use some my staple gun to secure it in place. The strip also hid the screws and the exposed steel wires. I soldered wires at the end each strip. Now at this point I had dragged on the project so long that I didn't have the stamina to work out the power system.
My advise would be to use 5 volt LED strip and power it with a single cell power bank. That way it will be rechargeable and you would be saved from all the circuitry hassles.
Step 10: Conclusion
All in all this was a fun project for me and a real adventure. That was because i set out to make something and i didn't have it all figured out at the start. I got into it and worked my way through. Usually I am very sure of what i will make and how i will make it but this time, I went where the project took me.
Thank you for viewing my instructable and my first rough and dirty attempt to make some sort of foot wear. I hope you appreciate the effort. As always i am open to suggestions and comments. P.S no need to go on about the dangers of using a tire because i already know and took all the precaution is could xD.
Please vote for me as I really need your support.
Runner Up in the
Participated in the
Outside Contest 2016
Participated in the
Tandy Leather Contest 2016