Sorry this is so long.
After much trial and error, I have made a pair of hiking shoes. Why? Because I wanted shoes without arch support, toe-spring or a raised heel and with the width I need for my foot. Something somewhat minimalist. I tested no cushioning as well, but that was just a little bit too minimalist.
I learned simple shoe-making from this site: http://www.simpleshoemaking.com/fishermans_sandals.htm. I bought patterns from her, but my pattern is pretty similar to if you were to assemble the fisherman sandal pattern pieces and then trace around the front portion for the front piece. Then the heel section is more of a long rectangle.
I cut two of each pattern piece with a seam allowance for each shoe. I cut one of each piece of fusable interfacing with no seam allowance.
I used fabric from a pair of mens polyester shorts from the thrift store.
I fused the interfacing, then sewed right along its edge. Turned the pieces right-side-out.
For top soling I used a pair of flip-flops. I have also experimented with cutting my own soles. It's the same foam so why not use something that already has clean edges? To ensure the width I needed, I bought XL flip-flops and cut the excess length from the heel.
First I pinned the pieces to the flip-flop and tried it on. I adjusted until the fit was right, then pinned the two pieces where they met and sewed them together.
I sewed a channel in the front piece for some webbing, thread the webbing through and sewed the webbing to the inside by my ankle bones.
Then I pinned the pieces to the flip-flops and with a stitching awl, stitched them to the sole.
Next I used barge cement to glue the foam soles to a real sole.
Here's the stitching.
Here is the sole. Vibram Kletter 148 is the type. Very grippy.
After gluing, I cut the excess soling off. This is difficult. Fortunately dirt eventually hides the rough edges.
I sewed on plastic buckles from the hardware store for the closure.
Here is the finished shoe.
Some things I have struggled with:
- I had a hard time with the patterns. I finally figured out that on my size 6 foot, a size 9 front piece with an extra half inch width overall and slight narrowing at my arch fits. Otherwise a size 6 would be long enough but very tight over my toes.
- I had a hard time with the heel piece. Turns out a curved shape like the pattern did not work as well as a straight shape. Then I would try on the shoe and pin the heel piece close to my ankle and sew it. Eventually I made a heel piece pattern that included this inward slant toward my ankle.
- Leather top soling is too slippery unless you put the rough side up.
- I tried zero cushioning but I think for faster hiking, cushioning is good. This is a lot of cushioning, but they are cheap flip-flops so will pack down quickly. I made similar sandals with no cushioning so I can go more minimalist if I want.