Earthing Moccasins’ FAQ
In this page, we are gathering a lot of our customers' questions and our answers regarding the made-to-order barefoot-moccasin, DIY tutorials & patterns, starter kits, leather and tools....
About Made-To-Order Moccasins
Sizing: what are the measurements required?
We know that it can be worrisome to buy barefoot shoes online if you can't try them on first. We also know that standard measurement very often are not matching with people size. The sizing differs from countries and from brands. It is easy to struggle to find the right shoes, especially for those who have uncommon shape of feet like bunion feet, thin and long feet, or extra large feet. That's why we require the outline of your feet, some pictures and precise measurements. With these details, Lougaya will make a unique pattern for you to have shoes that fit like a second skin. In addition to some measurements, we will need a PDF scan of the outline of your feet (or your child's feet…) and a few pictures. You can find more details in the following document “Required Measurements ”
How long do your moccasins last?
The moccasins can easily withstand outdoors and much walking, like on asphalt, in the woods,... You will be able to resole them as many times as needed by gluing leather or thin rubber underneath. There is a tutorial on making your soles included with the instructions for the moccasins. We also sell rubber sheet for soling, and the leather we have for sale is also very sturdy and weather-resistant.
To share our experience with the moccasins: we have lived several years both in tropical climate (Indonesia / very humid), on a volcanic island (canaries islands / very rough) both places where you might think "oh, the leather wouldn't withstand it", but we were just fine. In the wet climate, we were turning with 2 pairs to let them dry, and on volcanic ground, we just needed to resole them more often (but at this point in time we only were using leather for soles). In both cases, we were walking a LOT and daily, living mostly outdoors, actually.
We are now living in France and although the ground is much less rough, we are having more trouble with the cold in general. Putting sheepskin insoles helps a lot, but we don't have the perfect option for cold and wet days for the very thin soles that we make...
I hope that helps you to think about it...
Where are the moccasins made?
All our custom-made moccasins are 100% handmade at home in France.
What are your moccasins made of?
All our moccasins are made of 100% in leather at first, including the laces
when the model has some. Then you can decide if you want to add a
leather sole underneath or a piece of flexible rubber of 3 mm thick.
Why don’t you use vegan material to make your moccasins?
We don’t know any other material as good as leather for
moccasin-making and other handcrafted leather goods. Leather is a beautiful, noble, durable and sustainable...
How do I find the more suitable for my foot shape?
If you have a high volume feet with high instep, we recommend you to
chose the Runners or the Leaf moccasins, but feel free to contact us with some pictures of your feet in order to find what else could fit
Do you sell extra wide moccasins?
Yes, no matter how wide are your feet, as we custom-make each pair
with a unique pattern created for you, there is no worry to have
about your size. Just refer to the measurements instructions.
I have one foot much bigger than the other, is it a problem?
No because all our made-to-order moccasins are custom-made and if you have very different feet, just make sure to send the two footprint and all the measurements for both of your feet. As always, Lougaya will make unique patterns for you.
Can I wear them without sole?
All our barefoot moccasins are made at first without soles and can be worn several weeks or months like this. Nonetheless, depending on your use, you will have to add leather or rubber to resole them. You'll need to replace it one to three times a year if used outdoors. If you have purchased a pair of moccasins, a piece of rubber or leather should have been added to your package. You should also have received a PDF and video tutorial that explain how to glue the sole.
Why don't you put soles on straight away?
If we glued the sole straight away, firstly, it wouldn't match with the shape of your footprint. Secondly, it would not stick properly
which means that, the sole will come out very fast. In other words,
it would look like a bad work.
Are Earthing Moccasins vegan?
We don’t offer any synthetic and plastic shoes and we won’t do it
in the future.
When can I add / glue the soles on my moccasins?
As soon as you can see your footprint under the moccasins, we or you can add the soles on them. If you look for the best barefoot comfort, we advise leather soles, but thin rubber can also be used. Of course, the rubber will last longer and is completely waterproof. If you have purchased a pair of moccasins, a piece of rubber or leather should have been added to your package. You should also have received a PDF and video tutorial that explain how to glue the sole.
Can I purchase extra leather or rubber for soling?
Yes, in the tools and materials section of our store.
What do you mean by the leather is water-resistant, but the moccasins are not recommended to wear during wet weather?
We say they are not suitable for cold and wet weather because you would get cold feet… We have been wearing them in Indonesia where we lived, and it was raining every day, so they often got wet. It is not an issue as the water would not damage the leather or anything, but you would get the shoes wet. Nevertheless, it is not especially uncomfortable as they would not be spongy like others shoes would be. They would just feel like wet on your skin…
They are easy to clean if they get muddy, and treating them with leather balm will assure that the leather will stay soft.
We do everything with them, and they withstand years of intensive wear if you take care of them with resoling and leather treatment.
About the Tutorials & Patterns
Where to find and download my tutorial?
When you purchased a digital item via Shopify, who is the host of our website, you are supposed to instantly receive a link from Shopify to download your tutorial and patterns.
We will also email you with the link and password to access your video course on Vimeo. The patterns and tutorial will be attached to that email.
Please have a look in your spam and promotional box and add our email address to your contact list to make sure you will receive our messages.
As we have to process your order manually, it can take up to 24h.
Are your tutorials for beginners in leather craft and shoe-making?
Yes, we believe that any physically and mentally able teenager and adults have the capacity to achieve well finished moccasins, even without previous experience in leather work or sewing.
How to make my own leather treatment/balm?
In the following article, Lougaya shares a simple recipe to homemade a leather balm
with oil and beeswax.
What tools do I need to follow your tutorials?
That's something we love about our way of making-moccasin. Instead of many other leather craft, only a few basic hand tools are required. In fact, they would all fit into a pencil case and are easy to travel with. Moreover, the work can be handmade silently.
Here are tools needed:
- an awl
- a sharp pair of
- a saddle needle
- a waxed thread
- a permanent marker
- a tape measurement
- a leather belt punch for the patterns with laces
What minimum dimensions of leather will I need to make the shoes?
You would need a piece about 50 x 35 cm for the bottom part and another of about 20 x 30 cm for the upper part. It might be less if you have medium or small feet… Once you have the patterns printed, it will be easy to know how much leather you need.
About the Leather
Is chrome-tanned leather toxic?
In brief, good quality chrome-tanned leather is absolutely
safe for the skin.
Once again, it comes to the way it is produced and how well it is controlled. Theoretically, during the tanning process, the chromium sulfates are
transformed into a stable, non-water-soluble, and harmless chromium III and chromium VI residues would be washed away at the end of tanning. Although it might happen, it is very rare that people would show skin irritation in contact with chrome-tanned leather.
Can you make vegan leather shoes?
What I can assure you is that in Europe, animal are not killed for their skin alone anymore. The leather is a by product of the meat production and if it was not transformed into this very noble material, it would end up being a troublesome waste. In fact, we believe that rubber and synthetic vegan alternatives to genuine leather footwear are not more eco-friendly (both in terms of production and degradation). We are aware as we lived in Asia for few years that, companies are destroying the primary forest to cultivate monoculture of “rubber” trees and this is about millions of hectares! Is that more vegan friendly?
What type of leather can I use for moccasins-making?
“Full-grain aniline chrome-tanned leather” would be the best
option for durability, but nubuck or suede/cow split could also be
suitable. When making moccasins, it is important that the leather is flexible enough!
Forget dry and semi-rigid leather or, even worse, rigid leather.
The softer is the leather, the more comfortable your shoes will be and the easiest it will be to work with. The very first article we posted in our blog is called: what leather to choose for moccasin making.
Why do you use leather to make barefoot-moccasins?
We will soon release an article about it, but shortly:
- Leather moccasins are naturally beautiful
- Leather has a distinctive natural touch and comfort
- Leather is pleasant to work with.
- Leather can be recycled.
- Leather can easily be repaired and maintained.
- High quality leather can age for decades.
- Leather is a natural by-product.
Can your moccasins be made of vegetable-tanned leather?
Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it… Vegetable-tanned leather is always more rigid. To reach the same flexibility as chrome-tanned leather in vegetable-tanned one, you would need to use very thin leather (1.2 – 1.4 mm / 3 Oz) compared to what you could
use in chrome-tanned leather (over 2 mm / 5 Oz). It would simply result in less comfortable shoes.
CAUTION: If you ignored my advice and started on thicker vegetable-tanned leather (that would be too rigid), you would find for yourself that it is very difficult to make the moccasins with such leather. The reason is simply because the design is not adapted for it.
If you had such leather at hand already, and that you really wanted to make use of it, you
could make the “Sun Sandals” with overlapping petals on the toes instead of puckered-toes.
How much leather do I need for to make one pair of moccasins?
Our leather KITS for extra
large feet measure 37 x 62 cm
What thickness of leather should I look to make barefoot moccasins?
The thickness should be at least 3oz up to 10oz. Ideally ranging
around 5-6 oz./ or 1.4 to m. If you can't find that thick, remember that you could double it by adding soles on...
Where to source leather in the USA & Australia?
Finding good leather is the hardest part of this craft. We know very few tanneries and whole sellers that provide suitable leather for moccasin-making.
In the USA, we know from one of student living in Portland who has made very beautiful moccasins, the sellers: Macphersonleather.
There is our partner, The Leather Guy.
If you are from Australia, we heard about very good quality Kangoroo leather from Paker
More General Questions
Do you offer a warranty?
Yes. All of our customers will get to know how to resole their
moccasins. The replacement of the sole part can be done as many times as needed over the years. If well taken care of (with leather balm and resoling), our moccasins can withstand many years. And If from intensive wear, the thread breaks, we restitch them for free! If you don’t want to pay for the shipping, we offer you to learn how to redo the stitching yourself from a video tutorial.
What are barefoot moccasins?
We call our moccasins like barefoot (or minimalist) moccasins because they are like a second skin in which you can move freely and naturally. They are so soft and light that you could forget about them and feel like walking barefoot.
What makes the difference between a natural footwear and barefoot or minimalist shoes from a standard shoes are the following features:
- a flexible sole
- a wide toe box
- a zero drop heel
- a low stack height
- a low weight
Are Earthing Moccasins grounded / earthed?
We do not sell our moccasins as grounding shoes, and we do not believe in the ''science'' behind the earthing movement anymore. But if you ask for it, we could add a copper rivet in your kit or the package with your moccasins.
Will I sweat in your moccasins as in other shoes?
No, and that’s because leather is breathable which is not the case
of any synthetic materials. In fact, we had feedback from people with severe sweat issues saying – with surprise – that they didn’t feel any discomfort while wearing our moccasins without socks.
How long can your barefoot-moccasins last?
It depends on the use of it and how well or bad you’ll take care of your moccasins. Moccasins made with good quality leather as we provide can last for years, if not decades, but regularly apply some leather treatment and resoling. Lougaya’s first pair of boots has been made in 2016, and she still wears them. Another example is that guy coming to our stall in Australia, who bought a pair from Lougaya’s teacher, he told us that he is still wearing his pair made 15 years ago and that he just changed the soles several times. We were amazed.
Are you moccasins waterproof?
No, but they are water-resistant and the leather that we use and sale is
treated to better resist stains. What is good about our leather is that, it can be wet and dry as much as necessary. If you nourish the leather with some leather care products, the leather won't dry out and harden. Yet, we don't recommend our moccasins for cold and wet climate unless as indoors shoes.
Can I wear your shoes with toe spacers / spreaders?
Yes, we have made several pairs for people using toe spacers or spreaders. You just have to think of wearing them when you take your
measurements and trace the
outline of your feet.
Are Earthing Moccasins suitable for hiking, running and other sports?
Yes, we both have worn our moccasins while trekking in the Indonesian jungle, crossing rivers and hiking mountains! They don’t get spongy as other shoes would do when completely wet. Myself (Joachim) did run with them in the worth condition possible like in very dry and sandy places in the canaries' island. We also have customers doing marathon
with them in Australia, Germany, maybe in the USA as well.
How to clean and care for my moccasins?
If your barefoot-moccasins are dirty and wet, you can simply wash and clean them with water but, don’t use soap. Then, dry them well. You can do it as much as needed. This leather
quality will stay soft and supple. Again, keep in mind to apply
some leather treatment on them once in a while. You can use any type of leather care to keep your moccasins in good condition.
More details about how to care for your moccasins here.