Caspian will meet his Maker Monday, which means I get dinner, and a skin from a yearling Nubian buck (goat). He's been annoying one too many times, and I've spent plenty of time feeding him, so now he can feed me. And be useful for once in his sorry life. Does anyone have a good moccasin/shoe pattern/directions that aren't too complicated and preferably low cost? Won't be able to tan it properly until summer, but I can start planning. I'm in the Pacific NW, if that gives you any ideas.
Would like to do a hair-on leather vest eventually, too, but first I want a spotted goat...I like the idea of a natural-camo vest...
Rubystar Nubian, Guernsey and Sable dairy goats...and now hair sheep...like I needed more animals...
The skin on most dairy goats is pretty thin. I'm not sure you'd want to use it for moccasins unless you put something sturdier for the sole. One of the traditional uses for goat-skin was for gloves. Boer goats seem to have much thicker skin than the dairy breeds, so if you wanted a goat hide for moccasins, that's what I'd look for.
for a Nubian Hide I'd be thinking more of work gloves or a rawhide drum skin. Goat skin work gloves are very good, they allow nice tactile feel in your fingertips so they are great gardening gloves. Normally the skins of goats are to thin for making footwear unless you use it only for the uppers or in the house slippers.
I would think it would hold up for a short period of time (perhaps around 3-6 months) if worn outdoors. Indoors it would last fairly well. I had a pair that had soles of goat skin once, I only wore them indoors and they lasted a year. Goat hides are pretty thin, which is nice for tactile feel with the feet of what you are walking on. If the hide was rawhide I would expect it to be a little more durable than if it were tanned. I do wear tanned goat skin gloves in the garden because they have better tactile feel, they last me about half a year of digging in the dirt, moving rocks and cutting branches. My everyday mocs are made of Elk and I get a year out of the soles which are Elk rawhide. I also have some tanned deer mocs that I wear outdoors occasionally but never out in the garden or orchards I get around a year out of the soles on them.
If you want to use goat for the soles, just make sure you add a welt between the sole and uppers, stitch carefully and you will be able to replace the soles. you could also make double layer soles by trimming so you are only attaching them to the upper through one layer of sole leather.
One of the outdoor survival writers (Thomas Elpel, I think, but I'm not sure) commented that deerskin moccasins (deerskin is comparable to goat skin) wore out after only a day or so of hiking in rough country. Whichever author it was, he said that his main evening chore when doing long hikes in rough country was to either repair the moccasins he'd worn that day, or to sew a new pair for the next day. I think it was Thomas Elpel, because he then went on to explain why he had started wearing the moccasins in a pair of sandals that he made from an old tire. If you have access to moose hide or buffalo hide or hide from an older cow, and you use the thickest part of the hide (usually along the back) for the soles of your moccasins, you can make them last longer, but deerskin and goat skin are much thinner and won't last when worn outdoors in rough terrain.
I would never take a long hike in moccasins, you have no ankle support. It would be like wearing tennis shoes for the same purpose, at the end of the day your feet will hurt or you will have twisted an ankle.
If we are going a long way, we ride a horse or wear boots meant for hiking if we are going on foot.
For any type of rough terrain a rawhide sole made of thick hide (buffalo or cow shoulder) would be preferable to all others.
Traditionally the deer mocs were for around the camp (village) only, and even then they would have hard soles usually. My people (Nakota) used and still use Elk rawhide for the hardsole moccasins which are the normal traditional foot wear, now mostly reserved for ceremonial and Powwow Regalia wear. Elk rawhide wears well for normal everyday use.