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