Make your own tire sandals
Necessity breeds invention. When times were tough, self sufficient people around the world got creative, reusing and re-purposing discarded items. Many cultures made tire sandals- they’re free and tires last forever. Here are simple instructions to make a basic pair, but you can get creative- there are many variables you can work with to adapt these to your needs.
To make the sandals you can either trace around an existing pair of sandals or Tevas, or trace your feet on paper keeping the pencil straight. Then make a mark on each side at the point of your ankles and straight across where your lower big toe joint is. Sketch a 3/8 inch outline around the toe and side areas but not the back. Extend tabs where you made your marks, plus one at the heel. The tabs should be 1 3/4 inch by 1/ 3/4 inch. Now sketch the holes for the strapping, usually about 3/4 of an inch but that can be varied to the width of your strap.
As far as the tires, stay away from steel belting. One- it’s difficult to cut, and two- you do not want to have one of those tine steel wires imbedded in your finger or foot! The small “donut” spare tires, atv and lawnmower sandals work much better, and will last just as long.
If you are using utility knives to cut the tire, BE VERY CAREFUL! You don’t want to slip and get cut! It is also laborious. Using a bandsaw or sharp hedge clippers is safer and easier.
When cutting the tire, be sure the pattern is straight and centered at all times.
To make the tabs flexible, slice a bit into the tread at the point it attaches to the sole with a utility knife.
With a utility knife or chisel, make the slits in the tabs, being careful to not cut close to the edge.
For straps you can use ribbon, leather, nylon, or even strips made out of the remainder of the tire.
The sandal itself might be a little uncomfortable as far as sweating goes if you are going to be wearing it barefoot, so you can hot glue on a pair of insoles, fabric or leather. In the winter you can slip these around your moccasin boots.
Now you have your very own pair of all season traction, high performance, 45,000 mile sandals!
***I seem to be having website issues– the photos are not showing up on here :/ To view the photo tutorial, please visit my Examiner page. Thanks!***