So where to the hobby level shoe makers hang out online? I tried hanging out with a bunch of professionals, but they're getting pretty huffy about now about those of us that are not authentic true students of the one and only true way...
I wear minimalist shoes I've made myself all the time now. I don't have a picture of my current lace-up shoes, but here's a previous pair of moccasins:
I have made some shoes. I am working on a pair right now using a canvas upper and forms made from duct-taping a sock while it was on my foot. So far so good. Yeah, the pro shoe guys don't seem to look so kindly upon the non-traditional dabblers.
I was born [upon the prairie] where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew free breath. I want to die there and not within walls.
I've decided to work on a website for all shoe makers, minimalists, survivalists, earthers, re-enactors, etc... A couple minimalists are helping me get it started up. I might have something ready next week.
Yes, I'd be interested, too. I've made moccasins, dancing slippers and soft-soled boots. My kids are/were involved in Society for Creative Anachronism and I made their clothing.
Oh, and we made mukluks when I lived in Alaska. Dad made a form for the ugruk (untanned walrus) sole, we used felt liners and caribou on the inside for insulation and seal for the outside. Worked really well at -65*, but lousy for the wet weather here in Oregon.
I've been noticing free leather couches on CL and thinking of all that leather... Ugruk just isn't available down here.
where did you get your leather...I think I'd like to try some slipper-type to begin.
I get mine from Tandy, but lots of folks report the scrap bin at their local leather shop is the best place to start. The pros use veg tan, the native Americans use brain tanned, I've found upholstry leather to be rather cheap and fairly water resistant. I'll switch to veg tan when I think I've become more proficient at the stitching and have a pattern I think is worth doing with better materials. In the mean time I don't want to waste good materials.
I can probably have something up in a few days. I have a prototype running on my home server, I need to get a domain name registered and professional space to host it.
Thanks for the leads - for such a nice style that all the local girls wore it's hard to believe they've just dropped off the earth. They were the go-to if you didn't need your boots on - just the thing for bare-back riding.
You can definitely check out the Society for Creative Anachronisms. I know a few folks who have made their own period-correct shoes for costumes(and they usually end up wearing them more out of the costume than in!).
There's local chapters all over the country and most have online groups that you could talk to people about a specific interest.
This is such a valuable thread, even for us who aren't making shoes yet!
Having a natural foot is antithetical to commercial shoes. I used to be able to get ankle moccasins with an outer side lap that tied to a concho - haven't found anything like in years of searching.
I can't help but think shoes crafted with the "minimalist" thought would find a ready market.
I agree on both points. I have the exact moccasins you described---they were my husbands mom's. (She passed about 25 years ago). Ive worn through the soles and am too afraid to attempt a re-sole in my own. And so they sit in our closet...
We have a shoemaker out here that does amazing work with elk hide.
If you don't care about historical accuracy, resoling leather is easy. Put the shoe on and trace a pattern of the sole. For round bottom moccasins, you might make the pattern a little longer than the shoe if the toe or heel area is wearing above the ground. Use "Barge Cement" as directed on the package to apply the new sole. I leave mine between a couple of cinder blocks overnight since I don't have a proper shoe press. I'll resole shoes a couple of times this way.
A even less historically accurate version is to make the new sole of rubber. Even very thin rubber will wear slower than leather, and give a better grip on wet floors. http://www.ebay.com/itm/VIBRAM-7373-...E:L:OC:US:3160 Rubber does not flex as well as leather, so the more curved your sole, the more likely rubber soles will pull away from the shoe in use. The rubber will take on some of the shape over time, you might re-glue edges once or twice before deciding to trim off what won't stick.