I’ve had the material for these navy espadrilles for a long time and have wanted to make a pair of wedges since the day I got it.
My first thought was to build up a wedge with veg-tan, but the weight of the multiple layers was heavier than I had envisioned for this shoe.
Then I tried to build up a wedge with some rubber pieces that were left over from an exercise mat that my husband had purchased. It was much lighter, but the structure was not firm and/or sturdy enough.
I also thought about using cork but in the end decided to experiment a different way.
The interior of the wedge is a standard plastic high heel with the steel rod reinforcement. I cemented and screwed the plastic heel to the pre-fab inner sole as I normally would with a regular high heel model. I then molded a thin piece of veg-tan around the heel to create the wedge shape I desired and cemented that piece around a pre-cut sole piece from cork that I designed. Finally, I wrapped the wedge with the navy espadrille material.
I was originally just going to use a black rubber sole but felt that the design needed a little something more so I wrapped a piece of veg-tan in the metallic silver and then cemented a thin piece of black Vibram rubber to the bottom.
There are definitely some improvements that need to be made to this design, including the choice of the liner (it rubs a little more than expected) and the placements of the straps for a more comfortable fit. It was also a little tricky getting the braided espadrille layers to fit perfectly without the veg-tan peeking through anywhere and to line up the braids themselves. My cushioned inner sole piece ended up being slightly bigger than I anticipated after I wrapped the thick gray liner around it so the finished product is slightly too big for me. Good thing I have enough material for another pair!