June 29, 2009



by Nori
Categories: General
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I think anyone could learn most anything with enough research. I don’t believe (for most things) we need to take classes or pay money for most of what we need to learn, post secondary school. I say this because I am constantly learning. Have internet connection, will swell brain-power.

This last month I’ve educated myself on making shoes. I have huge issues with shoemakers. Yeah, they make shoes and people wear them, but they don’t make shoes in my size.  Try finding anything for an adult woman in a 3½EEE.  Okay, now that you’ve tried that, let’s pick the next most logical search.  Try finding a junior’s shoe (girl or boy) in a 3½EEE. Shoes that are “wide” aren’t anywhere nearly wide enough.  I can get shoes the right length, but can find nothing that is wide enough for my feet to fit comfortably inside.

The last off the rack shoe I bought that truly fit was a pair of StrideRite leather lace-ups bought 30 years ago at Nordstrom in the children’s department.  I literally wore those shoes out.

I can get shoes made to fit me . . . sort of.  A guy in CA cast my feet and made me a pair of shoes that were butt ugly and cost me $650.  <wince>  No thank you, won’t do that again.  I wore them almost out, passed them to my sister (yeah, same sized foot) and she really wore them out.

For $275 an outfit in Wisconsin made me a pair of moccasin type boots with the toe box so tight I can’t wear them.  They’re wide enough but there’s no room for my foot in the front third of the shoe.  I’m still trying to get up the mental energy to send them back and get them rebuilt.

There’s a guy in Portland (Mark at Multnomah Clogs) who makes clogs I can wear.  For $145 I end up with a comfortable shoe that fits, but clogs aren’t a universal answer.  It’s hard to chase horses around an arena wearing clogs.

So I’ve been researching making shoes.  I can do this.  I don’t need anything fancy, I just need something that will keep my feet warm and dry.  Is that too much to ask?

I’m attending a workshop to make a pair of moccasin styled shoes out of buffalo leather with rubber goop soles.  That should be fun and I should end up with something I can actually wear.  How great is that?!

As to my own shoe making efforts, I’ve got a pair of soles all ready to add uppers.  I’m getting the plaster of paris this week to make lasts of my feet so I can build the uppers.

I’d love to have a pair of wooden lasts but that just isn’t going to happen unless I can send my plaster lasts off and get good quality articulating wood lasts made.  I’m keeping an eye out for wooden lasts on eBay.  If I can find a pair that are close to what I need I can build them up/grind them down for a pair that will work for my neophyte shoe making endeavors.

Education is fun and . . . educating!  <LOL>