So you managed to gather enough oompha to navigate the Cinderella Materials. Congratulations. To be honest, this is our favorite part of making huaraches, that and the glue. Gallons of rubber cement, gallons! (We're thinking of buying our own horse...). Below you'll find three categories, tops, middles, bottoms. The tops go on the top of the foot bed, they are materials that will actually be touching your naked foot. Middles are what goes in the middle, the ham-and-cheese, the liverwurst-and-mustard, the peanut-butter-and-fluff of Simply Shod. And of course, the bottoms are the soles of the shoes, the parts that grip the earth and keep you from flying off into outer-space.
Tops - Right now we have three types of leather we use to comfort your feet while you abuse the rest of your body. If you're looking for vegan options, we have a couple of things that are passable, but are still working on sourcing something lighter in weight.
Pig Suede: The pig suede is ideal for someone who is looking for something truly minimal. At just .5mm it is a durable covering to shield your foot from the rubber below.
Chrome Leather: Unfortunately, this is not the stuff Mungo Jerry rocks on about, but it's just about as cool. Chrome refers to how the leather is tanned. It is slightly stiff, but is still flexible and provides a comfy bottom for your feet to rest on. It starts off a fawn, almost white, color that quickly starts to darken and after a good handful of dirt laden miles, patinas to a deep brown. 2mm thick.
Veggie Tanned Kip Leather: We're not exactly leather people (yet) so don't ask us what all that title means. The long and short of it is this: it is one of the more classic leather tanning techniques. It uses tannins derived from natural sources (think oak). The leather is left soft and supple and will evolve over the life of your shoes. 2mm thick.
Crepe: Crepe is traditionally used as an outsole on indoor shoes for things such as dance. It can also be used against the skin. It is heavier than leather and is studded with little pyramids. It is a vegan option, though it is not our favorite. 2mm thick.
Middles - This is where your Simply Shods get their beefy filling and it can be 95% lean, or mostly lard.
Cork: We don't really recommend cork for running shoes, or even casual shoes. If you're a die hard eco-friendly type and you want to go for it, do it. We do. The problem is the force you put on your shoes when toeing off, tends to separate the cork in the heel and it eventually splits leaving cork glued on either side of your footbed and outsole. You can glue it back together and it should work just fine. It comes in 1/8" (or 3.175mm) increments.
Cloud Crepe: Cloud crepe is a medium density EVA that is an excellent shock absorber and support lender. It can be used against the skin without a footbed, but tends to get a shade slippery when wet. Cloud Crepe comes in 3mm increments. We currently stock black, brown, white and sand. It is also available in a variety of other colors. In 3mm increments: brown, medical blue, sand and white. In 6mm, taupe, red and grey. If you would like to use one of these colors, let us know and we'll see what we can do.
Bottoms - The bottoms are the most important part of your shoes. The bottoms are what really protects your feet from sharp little nasties. They are the part of your shoe that let your feet grab the ground and propel you forward. They are what keep you grounded on earth instead of orbiting it.
Vibram Moreflex: the moreflex is a dandy lightweight Vibram in a 6mm thickness. It provides little traction for trails and mountains, but is excellent for everyday use and abuse. Traditionally, we use our moreflex soles on The Ramblers and The Originals.
Vibram Cherry: while still not an ideal choice for off-roading, the cherry offers more in way of variety. Take them through the mud, up the mountains or on the asphalt. Textured to grip, and tough to last. This is a great choice for a huarache you can use anywhere. We use Cherry for The Cherry Upside Downs and The On Sunshines.
Vibram Newflex: The Newflex is our gnarliest of our soles. It has a tread built to to handle trails and mud, if you moved your feet fast enough, you could run on water. Exceptionally resistant to wear, the Newflex doesn't mind if you hit a few roads before you reach the trail, though we don't recommend this for pure road running. 5mm stack, this comes in white, black and brown. (It can also be ordered in beige.) We use this on our Tready Soles, Brown Bottoms, and World Beaters.
Herringbone: With a tread like the Vibram Newflex, it is a great sole for trails and mountains. A bit heavy to run in, it is extra durable. 5mm, black.
Laces - Laces are what tie your Simply Shods together. Laces are what holds your Simply Shods to your feet and in turn, holds you to earth.
Paracord: This is 1/8" 550lb rated paracord. This is the good stuff with multiple smaller cords inside a nylon liner. When the nylon liner starts to fail, the nylon cords inside keep the laces intact. We stock Coyote Brown. Though alternative colors may be had, the quality is not the same. Our Simply Shods come with a standard six foot lace which gives you plenty of extra to restring them should they break. You can order shorter, or longer lengths.
Tubular Webbing: This is our favorite lace material. It's what we use on our personal Simply Shods. At 1/2" wide, the weight is distributed nicely across the feet. It is an extra soft nylon that is smooth and oft against the skin. (We tried making some running shorts, they didn't work.) Because the webbing is so smooth, it does tend to loosen on the foot in the initial fifty miles, however, a little dirt and dust easily rectifies this situation.
Ordering - Now that you've read through our materials list, take a minute, or a day to let the possibilities marinate. Email us with your ideas and we'll walk you through the process and come up with a quote. Please note: Simply Shods given the Cinderella Treatment are not eligible for return.