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Inspirational websites I have found

Here are a couple of websites I have found that are really inspirational for DIY shoe and sandal making.

This one is pictures of ethnic shoes from all over the world. I'm almost finished making a pair similar to #1719

This one is all Mexican huaraches from the kind you can make yourself to the fancy kind. I kind of want to try to make some like the cuernavaca huaraches, which I think are just #1719 above with a heel thingie and a top-of-foot thingie.

This lady makes really cool moccasins. I wish I could figure them out and make some myself.


Answers and Replies


"I wish I could figure them out and make some myself."

I have had sucess so far in replicating shoe design with this method:

You need: seran wrap masking tape marker sissors 1 hour

Stuff something between your toes so they are not too easily compressed together, wrap your foot in seran wrap. Pull off 6" of masking tape, lay perpendicular to your foot, step on it with some weight, and then wrap the ends up around your foot. Repeat from heel to toe. At the toe and heel, step on one end and wrap the tape up over the foot. Add some pieces centered behind your ankle. If you're making a boot, continue modeling up the calf. Add tape anywhere you don't have a good two layers on.

If anything isn't clear with the previous step, google "Duct Tape Dummy".

Get up and walk around. (Be careful, the tape is slippery.) Observe if the form is too tight anywhere, and if necessary cut it and add more tape to expand tight areas. The casting should be stiff but not tight.

Now get out your marker, and draw the shoe you want. Start by drawing your ankle bones, and make sure no tension band is going to be right across them. Seams over them are ok if done well. Replicate every seam and opening you observe on the origional design.

Cut off the casting along the seam lines. Where the casting is tightly curled, make additional cut lines perpendicular to the edge until you can flatten it out. These areas will be gathered or stretched on the sewn version.

You now have a pattern! (Don't forget to add a seam allowance where needed on the cutting or intermediate pattern.)

Invert the pieces for the other foot, or model the other foot seperately. I sometimes also model both sides and average the two on an intermediate pattern to get a matching pair.


If you are looking for an easy DIY project, Invisible Shoes gives you what you need in their kit (laces, rubber). They also have a lot of videos to help you make them and a ton of videos to try different tying styles. Everything is at

DIY Moccasins would be awesome, although I have a feeling I would screw that up royally ;) I will stick to huaraches for now haha


I want to know how to make the real huaraches, the ones that are all woven. I can already make the simple ones.


I think for those you need a last. Look up lifecasting for safe materials to make a mold of your foot. Pick a final form material that is dense, but you can set tacks in. Do the thongs end under the leather foot bed, or do they wrap around to the next thong? I would try weaving with just the last and foot bed, then glue the out sole while still on the last.


He just posted on the Huarache blog a topic called "How to make Huaraches". It's a relatively simple process and most of the woven leather doesn't go under the foot at all. But what I can't really see is how the weave is actually done. I think I'm pretty directionally challenged in that regard.

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