How to Make Sandals with an Old Tire

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Make Sandals with an Old Tire. No hippie would be caught dead without sandals or flip-flops. But if you really want to impress the other drop-outs, you can make sandals with an old tire. They require cheap scavenged materials, and, with a little work, they can be quite comfortable.

Get an old tire or part of a tire. You'll need one that doesn't have steel belts.

Cut two sandal bottoms from the tire. You can used a pair of sandals or flip-flops that already fit as a pattern. This is best done with a sawing motion while holding the tire under some tension.

Cut two foot straps for each sandal. They need to be long enough to hold your feet snugly in the sandal with a little extra to go through the sandal. These are best made with a piece of nylon such as an old dog leash or seat belt. There are a number of ways to arrange the foot straps. Model yours on a pair of sandals or flip-flops you like. You could have one strap going over the foot and one between your toes. Probably the easiest is to cut two strips which will go parallel over the top of your foot, one towards the front of the foot and one nearer the ankle.

Melt the ends of the foot straps after you cut them. This is so they don't fray. You can use a hot cutter or a heated metal tool.

Punch slots for the foot straps in the sandals. Use a screwdriver or a chisel and a hammer. Remember that the tread of the tire is the bottom of the sandals.

Push the foot straps through the slots with a screwdriver or pull them through with pliers. You'll want some extra strap poking through the bottom of the sandals.

Try out the sandals. Make sure the straps are snug and comfortable.

Melt the foot straps so that they attach to the bottom of the sandals. You want them to stay put. You could try tying a knot instead of melting them.


  • A steel-belted tire won't work for this. Older tires or spare tires can be used to make sandals, or you can scavenge the highway for those scraps of tire that peel off of trucks. You'll probably have to put some work into getting the foot straps to be comfortable and figuring out what configuration you like. Walk around for a while before you attach them permanently. You could try making straps with rope or fabric or rubber strips. The foot straps need to be durable but comfortable.

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