View Full Version : Hey Sgt Krohn

2004-07-01, 11:33
Hi, I haven't been to this forum for a while. Been real busy and haven't been hiking seriously for a while.
Anyway, my dad did two tours in Nam with the 1st Cav. When he came back the first time, he gave me a crossbow and a pair of ho chi min sandals. I still have the crossbow, but I wore the sandals for years until the straps dry rotted. I ended up throwing them away.
Do you happen to know where I might find another pair? Or maybe a pattern showing how the straps attach so I can make me another pair?

2004-07-01, 15:34
I haven't seen a pair of HoChiMin sandals since the mid 70s.
I don't really remember how the straps crossed and attached.
As you know, they made them out of the treads from old tires.
Maybe you can find some pictures in a Google search?

2004-07-01, 15:43
Tire sandles (http://www.hollowtop.com/sandals.htm) Maybe this will help. Its an article about making tire sandles. Streamweaver

2004-07-01, 16:24
Great Link Streamweaver !!!
There ya go Ridgerunner- like the old HoChiMins but better!!!

http://www.hollowtop.com/tomsimages/sandals1.jpg http://www.hollowtop.com/tomsimages/sandals2.jpg

2004-07-03, 08:13
Hey thanks for the link guys. Those do look like a better design, but the hochimin sandals had a certain, very distinctive strap pattern that I'd like to duplicate. A friend of mine also had a pair of them and we hiked all over central Texas with them. I don't think my feet are up to them any more but I thought it would be neat to wear around town once in a while.

2004-07-03, 20:34
If I may interupt, The straps were just tire intertubes. the black kind you can still find in use in industry and farm. If you still have the soles, the pattern shouldnt be too hard to figure out. Since you ditched them it might take some imagination. I think the straps were twisted 1/2 turn as they went through the sole to lock them in place and the stubs stuck out the bottom. I carried a pair around with me for a few weeks in 1970 until I realized how much they weighed and DXed them. I like the design Sgt Krohn pictured, I may try cutting out a pair myself. Only I'd make them from the sidewall of the tire or use something without steel belts.
I'll try and work up a sketch on what I remember they looked like.

2004-07-03, 23:39
Here is a picture I found doing a google search....

2004-07-04, 14:16
That's the way I sketched them and now can't make my printer scan them into a picture I could post.


2004-07-04, 15:22
Found this link to the site of a veteran's museum in Cumberland, Maryland:

(there's a high-res image there too.)

2004-07-04, 15:49
thanx for finding the pic blackdog
that's how I remember them as well


2004-07-06, 07:29
WOW! Great pics all! Just what I needed. The style I had was the simpler style as shown by Dixiecritter, but I have seen the double strapped ones too. Now I think the hard part is going to be finding an old bias ply tire to cut them from. As Mutinousdoug points out, most are steel belted. Harder to work with and heavier. Of course the sidewalls would work too, but I lose the cool tire tread. And thanks for the tip about the half twists in the straps Mutinousdoug. I was just going to try and get by with contact cement or something. I might even go for that doublestrap design. Looks cool.

2004-07-06, 09:17
just a thought... the strapping system of Chaco sandals (Z1 or Z2) might also work for DIY footwear. It's just one long polyester strap.

2004-07-06, 11:33
the "beauty" of the Ho Chi straps is you can adjust each individually by pulling on each and putting the half twist in where you want it. A poly (non-elastic) strap behind the heel would be an improvement on the traditional design. In RVN, when we blew a successful ambush, we always found more sandals than the bodycount added up to...quick acceleration was not the Ho Chi's strong point. That's how I aquired mine.
You might look for garden tractor tires instead of car tires although the tire diameter may be too small to be comfortable (maybe cut the footbed across the tire instead of around the dia?)
Mexican huarachis use the same tiretread sole but put wire loops through the bed to lace a single strap through instead of running the straps through the tread. Had to get rid of them when the Little Woman saw what the wire was doing to her kitchen floor.


2004-07-07, 10:17
Thanks Mutinous Doug. I do recall the rear strap stretching excessively when trying to run in them. Especially when they got wet. Your poly strap idea is great. Not that I plan on setting up an ambush or anything, but yeah, they're definately not made for fighting or sprinting.
And Blackdog. I looked up them Chaco sandals. Holy Cow! $95 for a pair of sandals! Do they last a long time. Are they super comfortable or something? I go through a pair or two of much cheaper wallyworld sandals a year, but they only cost about ten bucks a pair. I hike, climb, camp, canoe, bike, fish and sometimes hunt in them. Of course the velcro is what wears out on them so fast. I do like that Z2 design with the toe strap though.

2004-07-07, 10:31
The Chacos? They last. There's a really good sole, one that supports the foot and no velcro. Shoes wouldn't work for my intended use (island hopping), btw.

I meant that you could use the same type of strapping on DIY sandals, not that you have to buy Chacos. :) All the loops on the Z2 are part of just one strap. I think it's clever. ...nothing new, but clever.

2004-07-07, 11:25
:) I know you meant to just use the strap configuration, but I was also considering them Chacos if they're lighter and more comfortable than my wallyworld specials.
BTW, what is island hopping. We have a tradition on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers that we call "island hopping", where we all get in our jon boats with a cooler of beer and go to the sand bars and islands and party with other boaters with beer. I'm sure Chacos would function quite well in that capacity. :D (Don't worry, even though it's just the ol' Mississippi, we still practice leave no trace ethics and haul out trash back with us).

2004-07-08, 01:22
A pair of size 9 Z2's with the colorado sole weigh in at about 795g (~28oz). My feet are bigger than that, but size 9 seems to be some kind of measuring standard on the site where i found the weight of the sandals. You should also think about the fact that the performance sandals are made for activity, so they support the feet better at the "cost" of higher weight. if you just want a pair of "shlip-shlops" then have a look at Chaco's Z/rivatives.

I was about to order myself a pair from the states and even contacted Chaco for some help on picking the right size and sole, when I discovered the company's european expansion and found a retailer closer to home. At 800km (~500mile) they're still not that close, but here in Lapland we're used to long distances...

The island hopping I'm talking about is roughly the same kind of activity that you mention, but the beer here has a slightly richer flavour (the same applies to the coffee, btw), the boats are wind powered and the distances are a bit longer (so drinking and then sailing is out of the question). Some foreign people call what we do "coastal micro-cruising". For me it's light hiking with a (fun, wet and) mobile base camp...

2004-07-08, 10:49
They do sound a little heavy for a sandal, but certainly not unbearable. I wish they'd let me test hike 'em, but it just doesn't work that way with footwear.
Wow! 500 miles is quite a distance for a pair of shoes! :captain: (I love these new smilies).
I spent some time in Holy Loch Scotland, and I remember their beer very well. I found out the hard way that Scottish beer is stronger than ours, darker and more flavorful. Would Swedish beer be similar to that? :beer:

LOL They even have a smiley for you Blackdog. :viking:

SGT Rock
2004-07-08, 10:53
:vollkomme :beerglass :beer:

2004-07-08, 12:01
Alright Sarge! Couple more of those and I'll feel like I'm back in the NCO club!
:pparty: :cheers: