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Well, I completed my first pair of moccasins. See earlier threads. No photo I'm afraid as I don't own a camera nor a phone.

I've decided with future pairs to use thick leather for soles, I've seen such moccasins for sale on the other side of the pond, and would appreciate some information about the suitability of leather for soling and also what type of leather I will need. I'd like the leather for the soles to be about a 1/4" in thickness. Is my understanding correct that chrome-tanned leather by its nature would be too thin so I'll need to use vegetable-tanned?

Thanks.

Scott

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I haven't made mocassins but I have made a few pairs of slippers and some huaraches using veg-tan. I never had a problem with the veg-tan and traction in my huaraches and they performed very well when damp/wet. I only used a single layer of 8-9 oz and it was plenty, I think a full 1/4 inch would be severe overkill. One of the reasons folks opt for mocs is so they have better "connection" with the ground and I'm thinking 1/4 inch thick sole would completely disconnect you from feeling the ground under your feet. Maybe as an option for customers after you talk it through with them.

Alternatively, there is a place you can get powdered rubber that you can mix into a slurry with Barge cement that is excellent for making a really good sole that gives excellent traction and keeps you in touch with the ground and greatly extends the life of the moc sole leather. I can't seem to find the link now though.

Found some on Amazon but its sold out. https://www.amazon.com/Rubber-Crumb-Synthetic-Infill-Material/dp/B00BS0ZV0K

Edited by battlemunky
found a link

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I've made light-weight 'medieval' style shoes and ankle boots.

The thickest I've used for the sewn on sole is 2.5 mm. Then I've put inside an insole of about 1.5mm thickness with and extra heel piece of 1.5mm under the insole. All veg tan.

I used to make children sized slipper shoes in medieval style out of chrome tan upholstery leather which is about 1.2mm thick. 'Feedback' was that both the parents and children really liked the slipper shoes as they were so light and flexible (and cheap too!) My dottir had new pairs every season from when she was 18 months old until she was 5 y/o. Only stopped cos we stopped going to events. Even outside of the events dottir used to choose her medieval shoes for playing in.

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Native Americans used buffalo or Moose for their moc soles. I have also seen folks use sole leather for mocs. 

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5 hours ago, battlemunky said:

Alternatively, there is a place you can get powdered rubber that you can mix into a slurry with Barge cement that is excellent for making a really good sole that gives excellent traction and keeps you in touch with the ground and greatly extends the life of the moc sole leather. I can't seem to find the link now though.

Found some on Amazon but its sold out. https://www.amazon.com/Rubber-Crumb-Synthetic-Infill-Material/dp/B00BS0ZV0K

I once knew a company that shredded tyres (not powdered) and they had sackfuls of every colour including multi speckled. They used it (mixed with resin) to float a warm, non slip flooring around swimming pools etc. If you can find it, will probably be cheaper that powdered.

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I am using 2 layers of Boar hide on mine

 

20200606_051456.jpg

20200605_093312.jpg

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Thanks for all the replies.

battlemunky: I'd not considered that 1/4" thick leather might have its drawbacks. Thanks for making that point.

fredk: Thanks for the details of leather thickness in the different shoes you've made.

chuck123wapati: Thanks for mentioning other leather types.

toxo: Thanks for the information.

Frodo: Thanks for the photos.

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:thumbsup:

Whatever you end up doing, post up pics along the process!

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Scott,

I have been thinking about using veg tan for an outsole on mocs, i have been making boots, so have several last that i have formed to give a comfortable fit to my insoles, i form veg tan around them for the insole so am going to trim it neatly then use my Cobra to stitch the moc lower to the outsole. Havent had time lately so is just sitting, but will get my act together and post some pictures

Edited by Nailbanger

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