To double-check the directions for my new shoemaking kit, I made a pair of shoes for myself. I had some mauve scraps that weren’t big enough for making all the upper parts, so I cut out and lined the pieces that made up each part, punched stitching holes in them, then stitched them together. For stitching, I used a multi-color thread from https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/waxed-braided-cord-25-yds?sSearch=braided%20cord. (I noticed they have a glow-in-the-dark cord, that opens up some possibilities!)
I opted for the “skidder” (big logging truck) inner tube soles and I really like them – I told my husband, when he makes his next trip to Orange, Ma., to stop at the tire store and pick up all the skidder inner tubes they have! They’re not slippery at all, on the surfaces I have walked on thus far (I haven’t tried ice). I’m a little disappointed as I thought they might be great for spinning while dancing, but they “grab” too much. My shoemaking friend Sarah has said the flexible soles are great for bike-riding – really grips the pedals. So, I’m all in on inner tube soles!
The next time I’m at a really boring gathering, I’m planning to sit and wrap heavy cord around the sole stitches, four on each stitch, to prevent abrading. I plan to check them every once-in-a-while to see if they need re-wrapping. I don’t expect them to abrade much, because the sole patterns have 1/8″ added to them, so the stitches shouldn’t actually be under your feet.
I also offer a kit with natural rubber soling. You wouldn’t need to wrap the stitches on these soles, because the stitches compress the soling so they are up off of the ground.
I’ll wear them as I walk on my country road in the morning, I greatly enjoy feeling the earth beneath my feet (it’s like having a foot massage) in flexible-soled shoes, but with the protection of brawny skidder inner tubes!