Cydwoq (‘sidewalk’)

Cydwoq boots

What would a shoe look like if a California architect designed it?  Trust me, it gets pretty interesting.

Cydwoq produces some pretty interesting uppers and I’ve gotten some really interesting ideas from looking at the footwear on the site.

Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be any awareness of the connection between toe spring (how much the toe of the shoe lifts of the ground) and heel height.  Some of the low heeled or heelless shoes are made on lasts engineered to have more heel than provided on the shoe.

Gutter versus wall

Begonia and philodendron flourishing in the gutter

I’ve got a lot of blank space in the wall right now.  I tore out all the waffle plants.  I just didn’t like them.  It takes a lot for me to dump a plant, so that gives you an idea how much I didn’t care for this particular variety.

I didn’t tear out the waffle plants until I had a plan for replacement.  I have some rex begonias coming as soon as the weather gets just a bit better.  It’s pointless to spend the money and then have them die in shipping because the weather sucks.  I can be patient.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff in the gutter in preparation LouAnn’s wall.  It’s been an excellent teaching moment.  If you’ve been following the wall since its inception, you’ll know I had my timing set to water running through the wall at set intervals.   From watching plants in the gutter, its become apparent the watering periods were too infrequent.  As a result, I’ve changed the timing.  The pump pushing water to the wall is now on for 15 minutes and off for 1½ hours.  Terry has noticed we are now replenishing the aquarium with twice the volume of water.  This may be too frequent.  I don’t know how long I’ll have to watch the wall to determine if the timing is right.

Epiphany

I had an epiphany last night.  I need to rethink how I’m making my shoes.  I don’t need to change a lot, but what I need to change will make a significant difference to how my shoes fit and my feet feel.

Because I have a really high arch and correspondingly high instep, I can’t wear a regular shoe and expect it to not hurt my arch.  Any pressure I put on the arch is downward as the lacing tries to press my arch down to fill the void left by the arch of my instep.

I need to do one of two things.  I either need to make an orthotic to fill the void or I need to build the shoe to fill the void.  Of the two choices, I prefer the later.  I hate having to move supports from one shoe to the next.

I’ve started on my first pair of *real* shoes.  I’m going to make a glued “sneaker”.  This will take one additional piece of leather.  I’m going to glue the lining to the insole, add the fill to level off the bottom, add the fill for the instep, glue the upper down over all that, add the fill for the upper, glue on my shaper (yeah, I’m gluing it outside the outer) and then add the final outsole shaping it to come just to the feather edge.  The last bit I’ll have to have Sunshine Shoe Repair do as he has all the wonderful shaping machines.

That should give me an all leather sneaker with superior support.  It should be fun.  Let the games begin . . .

Second pair of fitters

I finished the second pair of fitters this morning and overall, I’m very pleased. They aren’t fashionable, but they do tell me how I’m doing getting my lasts adjusted. I initially thought I would need to narrow the toe box but they’re just right. As to overall fit, the right shoe is perfect. There is nothing I would change about the fit of the right shoe. The left, though close, isn’t quite perfect. My left heel slides up and down just a little and the shoe is a tiny bit short. I occasionally feel the end of the shoe with my left middle toe. Once I fix these two issues, I think I will have great fitting shoes.

I want to add a little to the height of both lasts at the top front of the cone. I think the fit would benefit from having that part of the shoe cut ½” higher.

My next pair of shoes will be a “real” pair with pig skin lining and 4oz outer leather. I’m not saying I won’t wear the fitters. I will. The first pair will work great as house shoes and I’ve already been running around outside in the second pair. They’re not pretty, but otherwise they’re great; light and supportive without being rigid. I’ve added the pair of supports out of my dress clogs to keep my knees and hips comfortable. Picture me happy.

Ultimately, I want to reshape the lasts so the supports can be built right into the shoes. When I get the lasts perfect, I’ll make a mold and recast them in the final shape. That will give me a clean feather edge, something that would make the process of creating shoes on the lasts easier.

A run at New Balance

I’m always looking for manufactured shoes in my size.  I always seem to miss by half a size.  It’s frustrating.

The latest was a pair of New Balance 3½ XW.  They arrived and the left shoe fit perfectly.  The foot bed was right, the width was right and the length was perfect . . . then the other shoe dropped.  The right shoe fit half a size too small and was tight across the ball.  My left foot is actually half a size larger than my right, so picture me puzzled.  I went online to see if I could get a pair a half size larger but their size 4 doesn’t come in an XW.  <sigh>  At least they cover the cost of shipping the shoes back.

Pattern Updates

Butt stitched shaper

The inside of the butt stitching doesn't look too bad . . .

Here’s the shaper for the left foot showing the butt stitching at the heel.  It’s not the most perfect but it certainly does the job.  I’ve got some more stitching, trimming and skiving to do before I can start assembling the shoe.  The other shaper hasn’t been butt stitched.  I stitched one before shaping it over the last.  The second I left unstitched.  This will tell me which works best, stitching it wet or stitching it dry.

Shoes, shoes, shoes

First shoes - fitters

Here they are, the first shoes.  They’re pretty comfortable, though I haven’t put in my anti-arch supports.  The neck of the shoe is too large, which I expected.  I really have trouble with the laces crossing my arches.  It’s really uncomfortable though I used a very heavy spongy piece of leather for a tongue to try and protect my arch.  I’ve rerun the laces to go from side to side on the top and up and down on the foot side (not pictured).  That’s proving to be more comfortable.

After this next pair of shoes (in the works) I’ll know how much I need to reduce the last’s width in the toe box area.  One step at a time . . .