View Full Version : Does anybody cobble?

04-12-2018, 09:16 PM
I was noodling around with an old pair of sandals (Chacos). I was toying with the idea of trying to replace the soles instead of throwing them out.

The cost to have the maker resold them doesn't make sense after the cost of shipping and repair. After sitting them in the sun for a bit and a touch of heat gun, the old soles came of pretty easily.

I started looking for replacement material. They sell big "soling sheets" on Amazon and eBay. Pretty expensive but they would do several pair. Cheaper are individual soles.

The individual soles are sized in a unit a can't find info on. For example "15 iron forepart."

Ideally, I could translate iron foreparts to American or European sizes.

My google fu has failed. Anybody know a good place to dig around?



04-12-2018, 10:08 PM
An iron is 1/48", it is an old way to measure thickness of leather and has hung on in the footwear industry.


04-12-2018, 10:13 PM
Only to the extant of sheet rubber soles glued on and tingles, but not for a very long time. I tried to make a coiled rope sole for some clogs once but it was a dismal failure.

04-12-2018, 10:42 PM
Interesting. Thanks!

04-12-2018, 11:51 PM
Maybe you also know what this means?

Things seem to be listed in kletterlift units. I feel like I've stepped into another dimension.

E.g.: VIBRAM 148 Kletterlift Unit Rubber Full Sole 1 PAIR - Shoe Repair

04-13-2018, 06:09 AM
Kletter is German for climbing. It is a proprietary name for a design of Vibram sole.

Just buy the damned things. :D

Ian McColgin
04-13-2018, 06:28 AM
I have used discarded tires to cut out soles for sandals and moccasins. It is much much easier to work new than to resole. To attach I used Goop as the glue. Once it was set and before final shaping, I drilled holes for stitching, made a trough in the rubber connecting the holes so that the thread would be well recessed and not subject to wear, and hand stitched double needle.

Old tires are a great sourse for soles used outdoors. They are certainly not non-marking so check them at the door before walking on smooth indoor surfaces.

04-13-2018, 06:35 AM
I do not like the composition of Vibram soles. They cAme on heavy duty XC/climbing boots as standard but they slip in the wet and crack. (this was beforre one piece moulded boots of course).

04-13-2018, 06:47 AM
Not a serious cobbler but have fooled around with leather for years, oar leathers, knife sheaths, belts, sandals, etc. The tire tread idea is great, used sidewalls and treads depending on how aggressive you want the soles. Go to place for leather has always been https://www.tandyleather.com/en/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsZu2tJS32gIVgluGCh09ggaWEAAYASA AEgKTZfD_BwE, and copper roofing nails for rivets work good.

Dave Hadfield
04-13-2018, 07:17 AM
I don't make footwear from scratch, but I certainly repair loose soles, and the key is Goop glue. It's magical stuff.

Just use an air gun to get everything clean, make sure it's dry, squeeze in lots of goop, and wear something else for at least a day.

04-13-2018, 08:17 AM
Kletter is German for climbing. It is a proprietary name for a design of Vibram sole.

Just buy the damned things. :D
Yes but don't know if they will fit the profile I need.