Below are some photographs and information about how I created a pair of thin-soled para-cord sandals.
The journey to create your own shoes has been taken by humans for over 5,000 years since humans started wearing shoes to protect from cold weather. The earliest sandals were found in the southern United States and created by aboriginals who wanted to venture into the deserts further than they could barefoot on sand which can reach over 100C during the hot summer days.
Creating shoes is a deeply personal and tribal way to connect with your higher self, your creative self, and your tribal self. Creating shoes is an art which has been forgotten in the latter half of the 20th century due to commercialisation and the ability to buy shoes for next to nothing.
I was introduced to para-cord weaving during a summer camp job where I worked as an outdoor educator. The craft lady showed me howto create some beautiful knot work.
Since the end of that camp I have been thinking about creating a pair of sandals out of paracord which I could use for day-to-day use and travel pretty much anywhere.
The first part of this creation started with a trip to a local leather store. I purchased the following items:
• thin 1mm leather panels
• 30m of para-cord for the project
• Wax-cotton leather thread to hold the leather panels together
Other Items which I had at home for the project included:
• Candle (To seal the ends of the para-cord)
• Various Pliers
• Knives to cut the leather
• Leather stitcher
I started by tracing the outline of my foot on the leather panels, and then cut them to size. I needed four – to sew two together for stiffness of the sole as as add some depth to the visible parts of the sandals.
After I had stitched the sole material together, I dyed them with leather dye to make them black. I stitched the soles together “rough sides out”. I did this so the sole of the shoe would have some traction on tile floors in shopping malls and restaurants. I also like the rough feeling on the bottom of my feet, I feel it gives me more grip on the shoe as well as helps collect and vent moisture.
After dying the soles and letting them dry overnight, I put the first set of para-cord through holes I made in the upper sole. Then wove the cobra knot around the para-cord framework sandals. I left the edges long so I could add a heelstrap later if I needed.
The resulting sandals turned out excellent. I find a very attractive contrast between the black leather and para-cord straps on the sandals.
One word of warning if you decide to create your own paracord sandals. Be sure that you size them correctly. Sizing is very tricky as you will be creating primary straps to hold the sandals on your feet, then covering them with a cobra weave knot. Be sure to try them on often. If you are unsure how to create the cobra weave, there are many good quality YouTube videos created for this purpose.
Wolfmaan is offering paracord sandal making as a COURSE – [Click Here For More details]