With Summer in full swing, the Littles were in dire need of some sandals! But our preference for minimalist footwear (or "barefoot" shoes) makes selection limited and generally pricey. The solution is to make shoes, but I procrastinated for ages because I was afraid my first attempt would be a failure. But eventually I had to do *something,* so I set to work.
In the end, it was success rather than failure. Not perfection, but success.
I've made my share of leather children's shoes in the past, but most of the styles I'd done were soft-sole baby shoes. I wanted something more durable for the sole, and I definitely wanted more traction. I used a thin rubber soling for the bottoms, which so far is working super well. It was also super inexpensive, which is a plus. I think the one sheet I bought will provide enough for four pairs of shoe soles.
I hemmed and hawed over just how to make the shoes -- I love the simplicity of the huarache style for boys, and laced five-loop sandals that I made a while back. But both of those involve relatively complicated tying, and that's just not something I want to have to do when we're on our way out the door! So I improvised, and fortunately my experiments are wearable.
|I used paracord for the straps in front -- inexpensive and effective!|
I've definitely learned some things for next time -- and I have a feeling I didn't use enough Barge Cement, which means I'll have to do some repairs in the future. I'll have to see how long the rubber soles last. Also, I'd love to improve my construction skills so that I can try other styles. But these are working quite well, and at roughly 1-2 mm thick, they're certainly minimalist!
As for cost -- all of the leather was in my stash, as well as the elastic and the paracord (well, that was Pablo's!). So the only cost was the soling. Using half a sheet at $7.25 shipped brings the grand total to $1.81 a pair. Not bad for a summer's worth of fun!