60,000 Mile Shoes DIY
Okay, before we get started, first a bit of history. Shoes made from old car tires are not new and not an invention of the modern prepper. These DIY shoes have been around for almost as long as the tire has. The reason for their use in the past has always centered on poverty. While we in most modern richer countries don't think much about buying another pair of shoes repeatedly. Some from around the world do not have the money to do so or maybe have not had the availability even had they had the money to waste on such a fragile perishable object such as modern shoes.
This need is where the tire shoe comes in. They filled a huge need and somehow managed to fill that need better than the store bought shoes could ever dream of doing.
Tire shoes are not something you will be able to make from scratch but instead from scavenging modern materials. It is included in this manual simply because tires, the raw material, will be around for much longer than this actual paper manual will! I don't know how long tires will last but it is safe to say it will be much longer than you are I will be here on this earth.
Enough of that, let's get to work!
First step (hehe), is to simply trace your left OR right foot in the center of a piece of paper or hide. Trace around the outside of your foot while keeping the writing instrument straight up and down. Now draw another outline 1/4 inch further out, that fits around the outline of your foot except leave the back half of your heel the same... Do Not add extra width to the back half of your heal. This second pattern is for the sole of your shoes.
The reason you don't add the extra on the back part of the pattern is so the heel tab when in use will hold your foot in the proper position with the rest of the pattern.
Next step is to draw a square about 2 inches square in 5 different places. The first is on the back side of the pattern near the heal. So the heal of the pattern you will add this two inch by two inch tab that sticks out from the heel of the tab.
Add two more tabs just forward of the heel. One on the inside and one on the outside of the foot.
Draw the last two tabs towards the front of the pattern connected near the balls of your feet. One inside and the other outside again. The front edge of the tab could be drawn where the crease is that starts you big and small toe. So the center point of that tab will be a little further back than that crease.
This pattern will serve as the pattern for both feet. If you traced your left foot then flipping the pattern over will allow it to serve as the pattern for the right foot. This is better than having two patterns and guarantees the patterns are always identical.
Next step is to hunt up some old tires. And any old tire won't do! For use as shoes you will need a tire that does not contain steel wires in the side walls. Cut from the donut hole part of the tire outward towards the tread. If metal is encountered then that tire will not work. Find one without the metal bands.
Of course all tires are going to have metal in the tread... the part that touches the road. That is not the part of the tire we are interested in. That part can be discarded.
So you have found a suitable tire. Cut away pieces of the sidewall that are larger than your pattern. The inner part is what we are most interested in as it will be the thinnest and most flexible but yet still incredibly durable.
You should at this point have roughly rectangular pieces of tire sidewall that are a little larger than your entire pattern. The next step is to mark the outline of the pattern on the tire and cut the pattern out. Easier said than done of course! You can used a knife, various saws, razor knife, power saws, a hammer and chisel or any combination to cut your shoes from the tire sidewall.
Great so now you have the sandal part of the shoe. Next step is the strapping. Take a nail and drive it through each strap tab. Then connect these holes with a knife. The material is strong but I think it is best to punch a hole through the tire and connect holes with a knife rather than just cutting a slit for the strap to go through. Cuts are more likely to grow in length than a hole punched by a round nail or hammered punch.
What you use for strapping material can be leather straps. Simply cut them from leather but if you have modern strap material then by all means use that!
Now, to make the tabs more flexible simply take a knife and slice straight into the tread of the tire at the joint where the tab attaches. Slice in all the way until the plies inside are exposed. But do not cut into those fibers. Clarification: You are not cutting from front to back but instead from top downward just a little.
You have basically made a tire sandal. But you wanted shoes!!! Simply wear this around your delicate moccasins to combine them into a shoe. But it is perfectly fine to wear them as sandals as well.
Test out your new SHOE! Be sure that it works satisfactory before starting on the other foots shoe.