Category Archives: Shoes

Homemade Leather Sandals – Round Two

Homemade Leather Sandals – Round Two

I wore out my last pair of homemade leather sandals in about 5 weeks.
Homemade Leather Sandals

Homemade Leather Sandals 

I decided to make another pair of homemade leather sandals, this time from a little thicker leather. The trick was to not use leather that’s too thick, but just right for a combination of durability and suppleness. Where I used a very old scrap of 4-5 oz leather the first time, this time I used 6-7 oz recently tanned and very nice leather – it’s actually the same leather my wife uses to make her camera straps for sale on Etsy.

Homemade Leather Sandals

Homemade Leather Sandals

I’ve played around with the lacing a little more, and there’s too many variables to really settle on one tying method. I just try to wrap it up so it stays tied and doesn’t blister my foot under the knot. With the thicker leather I noticed I had to tie the laces tighter to get the leather to flex and mold to my foot. Despite spraying them with a little water, it was a good 5-6 days before they really broke in to my liking. Next time I think I’ll just soak them in water and wear them until they dry out right off the bat.
Homemade Leather Sandals

Homemade Leather Sandals

They’re breaking in nicely though, and I think I’ll get substantially more use out of what seems to be only a slightly thicker leather. I’m still trying to think of a method of having a more traditional flip-flop style strap, while not having a knot under my toes made from a double strand of leather.

Thanks for looking. _____________________________________________________________________

I’ve written and illustrated two children’s books that are now available in print and digital versions; Coyote Life, and The Cat’s Glasses. If you’ve got kids, check them out. If you enjoy them, please leave a review, tell your friends, etc. Thanks.

The Cat's Glasses

Kid’s Books: The Cat’s Glasses

Does your cat need glasses? How do you know? Follow one little boy as he tries to find out in The Cat’s Glasses by Quinn Hall

Find out more on MagCloud

Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Kid’s Books: Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Coyote Life is a short, rhyming children’s book about coyotes in the Southwest.

Find out more on MagCloud

 

Don’t forget to check out some of the fine art prints for sale in my Etsy shop.

Ancient-ViewSalt_Flats_Hot_Rod_One

My wife Leah also makes and sells some pretty cool leather stuff like minimalist wallets and camera straps. Check out her Etsy store for some cool gear. minimalist leather handstitched walletCamera Strap by Aestus Gear

Photography T Shirts and Stickers at Redbubble:

Buy my work

 

DIY Sandals – A follow-up

DIY Sandals – A follow-up two weeks and dozens of miles later…

DIY Sandals 

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about how to make your own shoes (sandals). At first I didn’t think much of mine. I had to wear them for a few days and then trim a little excess off the outside edge. After I did that they fit much better, and were more comfortable. I took them on a river trip through Cataract Canyon (I guide for Tour West in the summer) and wore them most of the trip – at least when I wasn’t in the water.

DIY Sandals

I don’t think they’re very well-suited for a lot of wet-water use, but that’s okay. I used them on a fairly long and rugged hike to the Doll’s House in Canyonlands, about 3 miles of rugged trail with a steep climb and some sandy sections. They performed better than I’d hoped. By the time we started the hike on day 2 of the trip I’d been wearing them for almost two weeks and they’d broken in quite well.

strayfoto

DIY Sandals

I worked on the original lacing method a few times and modified it slightly. I ended up making them too tight a couple times and realized that suffering through the tightness was key – once they loosened up they were perfect.

DIY Sandals 

Even after being told by me buddy that “Jesus called – he wants his shoes back” these have turned out to be very comfortable, and they’ve become real easy to slip on and run around in. I kind of made this as a test pair, thinking the next pair would have thicker leather for the sole. After hiking a couple miles over rough terrain my feet were slightly tender. I think a thicker leather sole would help prevent that to some degree. I hesitate to make another pair too soon though – these have become comfortable enough I think I’ll wear them until they get a hole – despite the jokes. I worried about traction a little, but the only time I slipped at all was on a smooth, sand-covered rock. It takes a little adjustment to your gait – more like walking barefoot. Luckily I’m pretty used to that.
Thanks for looking. _____________________________________________________________________

I’ve written and illustrated two children’s books that are now available in print and digital versions; Coyote Life, and The Cat’s Glasses. If you’ve got kids, check them out. If you enjoy them, please leave a review, tell your friends, etc. Thanks.

The Cat's Glasses

Kid’s Books: The Cat’s Glasses

Does your cat need glasses? How do you know? Follow one little boy as he tries to find out in The Cat’s Glasses by Quinn Hall

Find out more on MagCloud

Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Kid’s Books: Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Coyote Life is a short, rhyming children’s book about coyotes in the Southwest.

Find out more on MagCloud

 

Don’t forget to check out some of the fine art prints for sale in my Etsy shop.

Ancient-ViewSalt_Flats_Hot_Rod_One

My wife Leah also makes and sells some pretty cool leather stuff like minimalist wallets and camera straps. Check out her Etsy store for some cool gear. minimalist leather handstitched walletCamera Strap by Aestus Gear

Photography T Shirts and Stickers at Redbubble:

Buy my work

 

Make Your Own Shoes – Leather Sandals

Make Your Own Shoes – Leather Sandals Make your own shoes

I read sometime you should make your own shoes at least once in your life. I was at artist DeGrazia’s home and gallery in Tuscon recently, and I noticed a photo of the artist wearing some badass sandals (above). I like minimalist shoes, and I like making things out of leather.
Making my own version of leather soled sandals was a no-brainer. I decided to make my own similar to his, but with the addition of a toe strap. Here’s some shots of the process and the finished product.
Make your own shoes
strayfoto 

Tracing my foot on the leather that will be both sole and footbed.

Make your own sandals
minimalist sandal 

Rounding/smoothing out the tracing.

home made shoes
strayfoto
Make your own shoes
strayfoto Flip over the right foot pattern to make an identical left foot sandal.

leather sandals 

Trying out different lacing methods.

minimalist sandals

strayfoto

minimalist shoe

strayfoto 

The sole – I used some old, water-stained leather I had lying around. The knot should flatten out with use.

Make your own shoes

strayfoto Pounding the holes for the laces.

leather sandal

Make your own shoes

 

I think everyone should try to make their own shoes at some point. Making shoes should be a personal thing or a right of passage or something. It was fun, and I’ve already thought of a few ways to improve this model a little, and I think this is far from the last pair of shoes I’ll make myself.

I’ve written a follow-up to this post where I discuss my homemade DIY leather sandals and how well they work in the real world. And I’ve now made a second pair of do-it-yourself, homemade sandals, and they’re fantastic. My favorite shoes…

Thanks for looking. _____________________________________________________________________

I’ve written and illustrated two children’s books that are now available in print and digital versions; Coyote Life, and The Cat’s Glasses. If you’ve got kids, check them out. If you enjoy them, please leave a review, tell your friends, etc. Thanks.

The Cat's Glasses

Kid’s Books: The Cat’s Glasses

Does your cat need glasses? How do you know? Follow one little boy as he tries to find out in The Cat’s Glasses by Quinn Hall

Find out more on MagCloud

Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Kid’s Books: Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Coyote Life is a short, rhyming children’s book about coyotes in the Southwest.

Find out more on MagCloud

 

Don’t forget to check out some of the fine art prints for sale in my Etsy shop.

Ancient-ViewSalt_Flats_Hot_Rod_One

My wife Leah also makes and sells some pretty cool leather stuff like minimalist wallets and camera straps. Check out her Etsy store for some cool gear. minimalist leather handstitched walletCamera Strap by Aestus Gear

Photography T Shirts and Stickers at Redbubble:

Buy my work

 

Arrow Moccasin Two Eye Tie Moc

Arrow Moccasin Long Term Review Arrow Moccasin

I bought the two-eye tie moc by Arrow Moccasin in the fall of 2011. I opted for the double sole version, and it’s lasted over a year with almost no real perceptible wear. I have a feeling these will last a very long time. They’re great shoes. Continue reading

Soft Star Moc3 Minimalist Running Shoe Review

Soft Star Moc3 Minimalist Running Shoe Review.

Minimalist Running Shoe

I hate the term “barefoot shoe”. At any rate, a couple years ago I was having a little knee pain while running. One thing led to another and, for better or worse, I now mostly run barefoot. Not “barefoot”, but real barefoot. Not Five Fingers “barefoot”, not Nike Free “barefoot”, but real barefoot. I like the feeling. I like the freedom. Some claim there might be better connection to the planet – some magical hippie-dippy fairy dust that lines the road in front of you as you run barefoot. While I can’t necessarily confirm that, I might not quite deny it either. I dream in barefoot now. Weird.

Here’s a short video review of this shoe – the reading / photo version continues below.

Minimalist Running Shoe

As much as I like being barefoot, I do live in rural Utah. It’s bitter cold in the winter (14 below zero this morning) and last summer a company did a shoddy and very rough job of chipsealing the roads around my house. While I can usually run several miles barefoot on trails, concrete, or even decent asphalt, the roads nearest my home are now rough and miserable after only a mile or two.

I needed a minimalist shoe that was easy to carry so after I’d hamburgered my feet around the neighborhood I could slip them on and make my way home. I tried the Merrell Trail Glove and found it too shoe-like. I tried some neoprene booties from a local store, but they wore out quickly and were too hot. I finally found Soft Star. I  started out with the Original RunAmoc LIte, and found it to be decent but a little floppy. It was difficult to put on because it has to be tied. I kept watching the SoftStar website waiting for another option and in late summer 2011 they announced the Moc3 RunAmoc. I ordered a pair immediately.

Minimalist Running Shoe

I love these shoes. They’re light, flexible, breathable. The sole is so thin it’s as close as I’ve come to being barefoot while in a shoe. They slip on in seconds. I’ve had them 18 months and they’ve lasted me over 500 miles of trails and asphalt and they show almost no wear. I can slip them in the wasitband of my shorts or hold them in my hands for the first few miles of rough road and then slip them on quickly and keep running. While nothing can replace the comfort of being truly barefoot, these are close. They don’t get in the way of barefoot form, and they let my toes spread out and do their job.

Minimalist Running Shoe

I’ve run to the Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon and done the Upheaval Dome trail. I’ve been to the Confluence Overlook and back. They don’t fill up with sand as much as I thought they would.

Minimalist Running Shoe

Minimalist Running Shoe

 

Minimalist Running Shoe

I’ve added a little dab of shoe-goo in a spot on outside of the sole where they were beginning to show a little wear, but this was largely preventative; there was no hole at all. The inner footbed is leather and has broken-in very nice.

Minimalist Running Shoe

Although the Soft Star website claims they’re more well-suited to mild trail running, I’ve run some pretty rugged trails in them and never had a complaint. In fact they’ve held up better than I thought they would from the outset. It’s a shoe I’m glad to have purchased. On top of that they’re made in the USA.

Minimalist Running Shoe

Minimalist Running Shoe

If there’s a downside, they look like slippers. I’m pretty conservative, and while I don’t think they’re as ugly as the Five Fingers, I’m a little hesitant to wear them in public. Luckily, I have the Arrow Moccasin Lace Boot and I have the Arrow Two-Eye Tie Moc, which I love. They look a little more normal, and I’ll review them sometime soon and maybe I’ll compare them to the Soft Star Rogues I got a couple months ago…

Minimalist Running Shoe

Minimalist Running Shoe

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________

I’ve written and illustrated two children’s books that are now available in print and digital versions; Coyote Life, and The Cat’s Glasses. If you’ve got kids, check them out. If you enjoy them, please leave a review, tell your friends, etc. Thanks.

The Cat's Glasses

Kid’s Books: The Cat’s Glasses

Does your cat need glasses? How do you know? Follow one little boy as he tries to find out in The Cat’s Glasses by Quinn Hall

Find out more on MagCloud

Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Kid’s Books: Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Coyote Life is a short, rhyming children’s book about coyotes in the Southwest.

Find out more on MagCloud

 

Don’t forget to check out some of the fine art prints for sale in my Etsy shop.

Ancient-ViewSalt_Flats_Hot_Rod_One

My wife Leah also makes and sells some pretty cool leather stuff like minimalist wallets and camera straps. Check out her Etsy store for some cool gear. minimalist leather handstitched walletCamera Strap by Aestus Gear

Photography T Shirts and Stickers at Redbubble:

Buy my work

Arrow Moccasins Lace Boot

Arrow MoccasinI’ve owned a pair of the Arrow Moccasins Two Eye Tie Moc for a little over a year now, and they’ve become my favorite pair of shoes for almost any occasion. I have the double sole model and the foot bed has molded to my feet and it’s pliable and protective at the same time. They’re easy to care for – almost maintenance-free. I get them dirty and dusty when hiking but every month or so I wipe them down with a wet rag and apply some mink oil and they look brand new again.

I’ve created a video comparing the different types of Arrow Moccasins I have here:

While I think the leather sole is plenty tough for almost anything, it lacks traction in snow. I wanted to get a pair with a sole for the winter months, and decided to get the taller Arrow Moccasin Lace Boot.

I waited a moderate three weeks and they showed up. Very cool shoes. While the leather sole mocs can be resoled by Arrow, the crepe sole shoes can’t. Hopefully they last several seasons. I’m sure with mainly winter use they’ll last a while.

While any shoe made with leather this thick will take some breaking in, I’m impressed by how comfortable they are right out of the box. The sole is thinner and more flexible than I’d imagined and it allows for decent ground feel. The other benefit to leather this thick is the warmth. So far they’re very warm, even with no socks.

So my first impressions are all positive; a solid shoe, pliable but protective sole, and made in the U.S.A. I also think they look great.

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________

I’ve written and illustrated two children’s books that are now available in print and digital versions; Coyote Life, and The Cat’s Glasses. If you’ve got kids, check them out. If you enjoy them, please leave a review, tell your friends, etc. Thanks.

The Cat's Glasses

Kid’s Books: The Cat’s Glasses

Does your cat need glasses? How do you know? Follow one little boy as he tries to find out in The Cat’s Glasses by Quinn Hall

Find out more on MagCloud

Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Kid’s Books: Coyote Life by Quinn Hall

Coyote Life is a short, rhyming children’s book about coyotes in the Southwest.

Find out more on MagCloud

 

Don’t forget to check out some of the fine art prints for sale in my Etsy shop.

Ancient-ViewSalt_Flats_Hot_Rod_One

My wife Leah also makes and sells some pretty cool leather stuff like minimalist wallets and camera straps. Check out her Etsy store for some cool gear. minimalist leather handstitched walletCamera Strap by Aestus Gear

Photography T Shirts and Stickers at Redbubble:

Buy my work