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Shoemaking advice?
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Robert Devereux
(robdev) - F

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Shoemaking advice? on 12/22/2008 08:56:52 MST Print View

I recently took a class on making shoes. With supervision and help, I made a very comfortable pair of casual leather shoes.

leather shoes

The glue used was pretty foul stuff, so I'm trying to find ways to use less toxic glue for as much of the shoes as possible. Does anyone have suggestions or the least bad smelling glue that can work temporarily on leather and cloth after the glue sets, I'd stitch it to hold it together).

Besides the glue, I'd like to make some non-leather shoes. I'd need a stretchy fabric, preferably with some resistance to wind and rain. I'd like it to dry quickly as well. This sounds a lot like picking a stretch-woven softshell fabric. Perhaps a Schoeller fabric could work.

Would a softshell shoe be a bad idea for hiking? I don't remember seeing any, it seems like mesh or waterproof are the primary options.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Shoemaking advice? on 12/22/2008 14:31:47 MST Print View

I am impressed!

I think the main requirement for a non-leather upper might be that it is indestructable!


Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
beautiful cobblery on 12/22/2008 17:20:10 MST Print View

the last frontier of MYOG?

For glue, if you are avoiding contact cement, including the 3M spray, instead maybe try Instant Krazy Glue® Wood and Leather

Salomon made some softshell shoes. Indestructability is way relative, seen by the number of people who use trail runners off the trail. They may not last for me, or Roger, but if you are talking about decent trails, careful travel, kayaking, or Hawaii, could be perfect.

I found the Paramo-Nikwax system interesting. Many people prefer no Gore-Tex in their boots, because it is such a barrier to drying! Plain leather has alot going for it, with the right water repellent. So you may not need industrial tech to make a desirable product.

Edited by Paul_Tree on 12/22/2008 19:02:31 MST.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Shoemaking advice? on 12/23/2008 05:27:40 MST Print View

A friend of mine wears a pair of Salomon soft shell shoes. I think they might be new to the market. She's happy with them. Doesn't hike but wears them daily. They look like these. Also make them in clogs.

Edited by leadfoot on 12/23/2008 05:30:37 MST.

Robert Devereux
(robdev) - F

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Shoemaking advice on 12/23/2008 07:18:35 MST Print View


Indestructibility isn't a big criteria for me, I don't think my trail runners are especially durable. They just do their job well.

I've been unhappy with the performance of Goretex or eVent shoes (they keep water out well, but also keep it in), so I've been looking at alternate ideas. Soft shell sounded interesting, but I wonder how quickly it would wet out and just keep my feet wet. Perhaps adapting the Paramo system would be good for winter.

I suppose leather could work with the right repellent and drainage holes.

Paul Tree
(Paul_Tree) - F

Locale: Wowwww
re leather boots on 12/23/2008 16:22:47 MST Print View

It's great in some ways, but still quite a barrier to drying, especially when wearing thick or double socks. I am thinking winter, with snow. Footwear is so specific.

Carol Crooker wrote in a review of trail-shoe dry times, that for the most part, drying time correlates with the overall mass of the shoe.

I just got my first trail runners, La Sportiva Rajas. They have side mesh vents that let my thick synthetic socks get wet, but on packed trails I only get cold when I stop or the wind comes up. There is a recent good article about wearing trail runners in the snow for 10 days.

Happy Solstice!