How to Make Your Own Shoes

Written by The Ready Store

Imagine if the economy collapsed, there would be a number of items that would become very popular very quickly. For me, they would be shoes.

I have always worn through shoes fast. When I was a kid my mother would get very frustrated when she had to buy shoes twice as often as the other moms.

When I thought about it, shoes would be a very high commodity in an emergency situation. They would be pretty hard to come by and would be something that you’d need to get around. And even if you weren’t in an emergency situation, you could save yourself some money by making custom shoes for you and your family. So, without further adieu, here are some instructions on how to make your own shoes.

- Stay warm and have shelter in case of an emergency -

Duct Tape Shoes
You could even make shoes out of duct tape! In an episode of Myth Busters, hosts Jaime and Adam are marooned on an island with nothing but a pallet of duct tape. They make a lot of things, anywhere from water bags to shoes.

Tire Sandals
Have you ever wondered why tires come with a 20,000 mile guarantee but shoes only last for a year or so? Well, worry no longer!

You can create sandals that are rugged and durable with your old tires. Just use the cutout image on a tire and use nylon straps to bind them together. Click on the images to the side to get a more detailed look at the cut out.

So what ideas do you have? Comment below and share your ideas!
We would love to know what ideas you’ve come up with. Send in your ideas by commenting below and maybe we’ll feature your content on our next blog post!

Updated July 18, 2012


  1. tacory wrote:

    i want to make some shoe .can u help me

    September 28th, 2012 at 3:30 pm
  2. gladys wrote:

    i want to learn how i can make shoes.

    October 10th, 2012 at 4:03 am
  3. kumenash wrote:

    wow ducktape seresly

    February 1st, 2013 at 8:56 pm
  4. Ginni wrote:

    Facinating. I definitely need to learn this.

    September 9th, 2013 at 3:27 am
  5. slmky wrote:

    We will need all of these survival skills that we can get, considering given the current example, most humans will not be literate or able to communicate beyond a grunt. Sounds like we’re headed back to the dark ages…..

    September 9th, 2013 at 5:31 am
  6. Traveling Salesman wrote:

    The goal of our government is to produce a generation of illiterate drones who will have the minimum level of skills. If you have this skill and a dozen others, you can be king of your village.

    September 9th, 2013 at 7:05 am
  7. Typos Abound wrote:

    By reading a few of the above posts (exception of two), I believe we’re already in the age of illiteracy.

    September 9th, 2013 at 7:17 am
  8. katy wrote:

    re: slmky: ha ha ain’t it the truth!

    September 9th, 2013 at 7:27 am
  9. Nameronald Bobeck wrote:

    We Vietnam veterans remember the NVA and Viet-Cong soldiers wore sandals made from our old tuck tires they had less jungle rot then we did as their feet dried more quickly .. also I have made a pair , duck tape for the straps and a truck tie for the soles. also you can get a pair of Chuck Taylor type high top sneakers for 10.00$ at dollar general..

    September 9th, 2013 at 8:21 am
  10. Name Davin wrote:

    This shoe is a very interesting. One thing that I am wondering is how do you cut the tire. I don’t know if any of you have tried to cut a tire but it is very difficult. I’d like to see something on how it was cut. Must not be steal belted. I’d like to try it but a carpet knife might not work.

    September 9th, 2013 at 11:06 am
  11. Ray wrote:

    You’d have to cut the tire (if it was a steel belted radial-and most are) with either a jig saw with a metal cutting blade or a pair of metal cutting shears. In either event it wouldn’t be easy and the shoes you make wouldn’t provide any arch support. Better than going barefoot, though.

    September 9th, 2013 at 11:27 am
  12. Shoemaker wrote:

    Interesting. I would only do it in case of an emergency where I could not get any real shoes.

    September 9th, 2013 at 3:09 pm
  13. Candace wrote:

    Typos Abound: LOLOLOL!

    September 10th, 2013 at 10:58 am
  14. Please wrote:

    Please people …. This is a lesson on shoe making, not grammar. Lighten up a little. After all, most of us ain’t no good at English. LOL

    September 12th, 2013 at 6:40 am
  15. sara wrote:

    I made a pair of duct tape shoes to wear inside by using a sock and wrapping the duct tape around sock. I put the sock on and very lightly wrapped the tape around my foot. If you pull it tight you won’t be able to get shoe off and on.
    When you wear these for awhile they feel good, and your feet gets really soft. You don’t have the rough edges on your heels. You can wear them while you sleep if your feet gets cold at night, or wear them outside. I used the black tape and they look more like regular shoes. I love to wear them.

    September 6th, 2014 at 7:15 am
  16. Arnold wrote:

    The expression is “without further ado,” as in “Much Ado about Nothing” — not “adieu,” as in “Adieu, sweet prince.”

    September 6th, 2014 at 11:05 am
  17. Glennon wrote:

    We called the tire sandals ‘Ho Chi Min’ sandals. Charlie had a field day with everything that the Americans threw out from shacks to booby traps. Oh, those aren’t Chuck Taylors but China’s version. There are all kinds of things at flea markets and resale shops that can be re-purposed for survival and everyday living. Love these blogs at the Ready Store as well as the store itself…thanks.

    September 6th, 2014 at 5:12 pm
  18. NameRobert wrote:

    If you’re going to have duct tape, you might as well have some Velcro too. Many people will find themselves in a situation where they just don’t happen to be packing a roll of duct tape around with them.

    September 6th, 2014 at 5:51 pm
  19. Patty wrote:

    I’ve seen pictures from the depression and never saw duct tape shoes. Even children charity commercials show them wearing real shoes. I just dropped off 20 pairs of old shoes at goodwill. I’ve been lost in bad terrain and didn’t need shoes. I lost one sneaker in a tough mudder race and found a replacement along the way. At the end of the race, we donated our sneakers. Someone in Africa is wearing my mismatched pair of reeboks. But if we had to make shoes, I’d go back to my piñata making skills. Use newspaper, straw and dough to shape the sole. Use colorful fabric string to make laces.

    September 7th, 2014 at 1:44 pm
  20. oregonannie wrote:

    Patty – how do you keep the shoes from cracking? Seems they’d be dry, like something made out of mud. I’d love to give your idea a try just for the fun of it. Thanks to all of you for the various suggestions.

    September 7th, 2014 at 10:12 pm
  21. Demascus wrote:

    I have made tire tread sandals. Used something called “plumbers Goop” and leather and brass brads. I cut the tire with a saber saw, metal cutting blade. Watch out for the wires in the tires ouch! I made straps to go over my feet an around my heel/ankle they were glued and beaded on first. The a leather soul piece made with slices in it to run the straps out. Glue it down. I made the soul pieces wider then the tire so I could pull the leather down over the edge of the tire to cover those dam wires. Used goop and brads nailed the leather into the edge if the tire. I call them my “Jesus” sandals. I used an all weather radial tire, helps keep me from slipping when I walk on water with them ( grin)

    September 8th, 2014 at 7:47 am
  22. stuck on me wrote:

    Thanks for the ado and adieu…loved it.
    I just want to catch fire and not be a part of the hunger games or be a maze runner. I esp. dont want to be a griever that kills but will it come to that?
    Wonder if in the days to come if we will still have Ms night out?

    September 10th, 2014 at 9:43 pm

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