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Hand Made Shoes

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  • endorphinz
    • Jun 2009
    • 1215

    WOW.... really nice job. both with the shoes and the thread.

    posts like this always make me feel so inadequate.


    • Chinorlz
      Senior Member
      • Sep 2006
      • 6422

      This is one of the best threads in this category on SZ. Really really awesome!!!!!!!!!!! - Digital Portfolio Of Projects & Designs

      Merz (5/22/09):"i'm a firm believer that the ultimate prevailing logic in design is 'does shit look sick as fuck' "


      • docus
        Senior Member
        • Dec 2010
        • 509

        Just to echo what others have said, this is a truly amazing and inspiring thread! Stunning work.

        I would be interested to know more about the distressing phase, and how you got the shoes to look so sumptuously wrinkled? They are gorgeous.


        • Null12
          Senior Member
          • Oct 2013
          • 139

          This thread is truly so inspirational! Thank you for taking the time to share the additional information.


          • justinhere
            • Jan 2014
            • 45

            Truly amazing work!!!


            • ronald_bne
              • Jun 2010
              • 54

              Once again, thank you all for your comments! I appreciate all the positive feedback and I am even happier that a few of you will try this fun and rewarding craft yourselves!

              @lifetolive: Unfortunately they are not for sale. I ended up passing them onto my friend who I made them for and he loved them.

              @unwashed: The thread I used for the upper was a 2 cord waxed nylon as I stitched it by hand. For the welt I used a 3 cord waxed nylon for slightly more strength. I went with nylon over natural for strength purposes, they are also less susceptible to the elements/deterioration over time. If using a sewing machine for the upper I'd use a good waxed quilting thread.

              As for glue I used a contact adhesive from my local hardware store called "Kwik Grip Advanced". I chose this over a more specialized shoe making adhesives because it was water based, apparently stronger, didn't contain any bad chemicals and didn't emit any chemical fumes or smells when used. (Kind of important for a small apartment and good if your paranoid about bad things leeching into your skin) So far so good, none of the bonds have broken.

              @docus: So after the shoe Is made and all the glues have had at least 24 - 48 hours to set I start the distressing.

              Whether object or hand dying them they will both at some point be soaked in a liquid.

              For object dying you put the complete shoes in a big bucket/container of dye. Let them soak in dye for as intense as you want the dye to be on them. Remove from dye, rinse in cold water until it runs clear.

              For hand dying use a rag, paint the dye onto the upper until satisfied with the colour then leave to dry for 30 min. Once dry put them in a bucket/container of cold water and let them soak for about 30 min - 1 hour.

              After you remove them from their respective liquids, the shoes at this point are like "play-doh". They are that soft that what I do is flex/bend the toes so they are curled up like a "jesters" shoe. When you do this the leather creases beautifully. You can manipulate them as you see fit. Less curl, less crease. More curl, more crease. The thickness of the leather will also vary the way the leather creases.

              When the desired creases have taken shape, leave the shoe to dry curled. This has to happen slowly, to prevent the leather from cracking. In all my experience (including soaking some CCP tornados and guidis in cold water to shrink them slightly) I have never seen the leather come close to cracking. Key words here "COLD WATER" and dry "SLOWLY".

              When the shoes are 80%ish dry I then use a good leather conditioner all over the upper to have them feel super soft upon fully drying.

              When the shoes are dry your done! You can walk the curl out yourself by wearing them or just bend them back to the almost flat shape you started with. The creases will remain either way.

              Cheers everyone!


              • eleves
                Senior Member
                • Sep 2012
                • 524

                yeah the sentiment is definitely the same over here. the finished products are amazing, I definitely want to try my hand at this!
                Originally posted by Faust
                HOBBY?! HOBBY?!?!?!?!?! You are on SZ, buddy - it ain't no hobby, it's passion, religion, and unbounded cosmic love rolled into one.


                • samlasamla
                  • Sep 2011
                  • 94

                  Absolutely brilliant. Hope to see people wearing these shoes one day.


                  • SpaceCowboy
                    Junior Member
                    • Feb 2014
                    • 27

                    Wow, all seriously impressive! Have you ever thought about making a pair of boots of some kind? I'd love to see how they'd turn out.


                    • returningson
                      Senior Member
                      • Aug 2012
                      • 101

                      Originally posted by SpaceCowboy View Post
                      Wow, all seriously impressive! Have you ever thought about making a pair of boots of some kind? I'd love to see how they'd turn out.
                      after reading this thread and seeing the amount of work, craftsmanship and time that goes into making shoes like this it really does enhance my appreciation of handcrafted items like your shoes. I would love to see how a pair of boots would turn out. Until then, AMAZING work!


                      • ronald_bne
                        • Jun 2010
                        • 54

                        And so it begins again....

                        Well the time has come to make another set of derbys and boots.

                        The new leather is in;

                        Milled full grain vege-tanned cowhide double shoulders. With really nice inconsistancies in the nature texture. Some bits smooth, some like the picture above.

                        Hopefully this time I can run it through step by step for everyone.

                        On another note whilst waiting for the above leather, I used some leather I'd been sitting on for a while now to make some slip ons for myself.

                        The leather is a vege-tanned full grain sheephide with beatuiful natural texture. It is however very difficult to work with as it is really soft and requires lining with another more firm leather. I used vege-tanned calf skin for the lining.

                        The construction method was a first too. I used a sewing machine for the upper and used cemented construction with nails as the mechanical hold for the insoles/soles. (Kind of like ETS Callatay use)

                        They turned out OK, the true test with be once I start wearing them.

                        Stay tuned for more updates!


                        • holger
                          Senior Member
                          • Mar 2009
                          • 430


                          Originally posted by TheNotoriousT
                          SZ Stock ausm Arsch und entspannen!


                          • ronald_bne
                            • Jun 2010
                            • 54

                            Uppers half complete for derby.
                            Semi-lined/puffed at toe, heel and tongue.
                            Currently held together with glue.

                            Next step, hand stitch over the glued together areas.


                            • ronald_bne
                              • Jun 2010
                              • 54

                              Just a quick update.

                              Stitching for the derby uppers is complete. Each hole is pre-punched then stitched using needles and a 3 cord thread.

                              Detail shot of the stitching;

                              Also started on the insoles and finished the holdfast/feather on one.

                              Four more to go;


                              • old
                                Senior Member
                                • Jul 2009
                                • 132

                                The slip-ons look absolutely covetable, much more so than many designer shoes out there, good job!!
                                Tradition ist Bewahrung des Feuers und nicht Anbetung der Asche.