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View Full Version : Altering the soles of my shoes


Cherazor
09-03-2009, 04:34 AM
Since I'm a horrible perfectionist, the shoes I use for my Chip Skylark cosplay is beginning to annoy me. I use these great pair of white sneakers - they're nice, bulky and very to easy to move around in...but the soles annoy me.

For those not familiar with Fairly OddParents, Chip wears white sneakers with "CHIP" carved into the soles, and my shoes...well, doesn't and the more I think about it, the more I want to recreate it. XD I'm thinking of getting some craft foam, carving "CHIP" into it and then have the craft foam attached to my shoes. But, I'm a bit concerned with how well the foam would handle the stress of being walked on. <___<

So, how would you guys do this? Should I use craft foam? Something else? Paint the soles and hope it looks carved? Stomp all over my annoying perfectionism and hope it dies a painful death?

Reference: Chip's soles (http://kirkpatrick.nu/chip/caps/boys/PDVD_027.jpg)

Cherazor
09-05-2009, 01:33 PM
Well, I haven't received any replies yet... Maybe I should have phrased my questions differently. *scratches head*

So, okay, I've got three questions:
1. Do you think craft foam would be able to handle the stress of being used as soles? E.I. Being trampled for a whole day or more?
2. If not, do you know of any plastic/rubber/material that could be used and that could handle the stress of being used as soles?
3. If none of the above, what other alternative would you consider?

DestinyCrisis
09-05-2009, 01:52 PM
Well, since I hate seeing 40 views and pretty much no actual replies.
I'll try giving it a shot.

Hrm, what I would think of is have layers of craft foam about 2 or 3 because as you walk around they're most likely to wear a bit, so at least if you have layers it'll keep the same shape.

What would you use to hold the craft foam to your shoes though?

lunaladyoflight
09-05-2009, 02:59 PM
The foam would probably be slippery and you might slip and hurt yourself.

Why not just paint the sides that show then put the part that's supposed to be carved in black sharpie or something. You won't trip and it won't be difficult to do.

Cherazor
09-05-2009, 04:30 PM
Well, since I hate seeing 40 views and pretty much no actual replies.
I'll try giving it a shot.

Hrm, what I would think of is have layers of craft foam about 2 or 3 because as you walk around they're most likely to wear a bit, so at least if you have layers it'll keep the same shape.

What would you use to hold the craft foam to your shoes though?

Well, I was considering using a combination of desperation, frustration and about ten different glues. XD I was planning on using a few sheets, so it would hold the wear a bit better, but I now realize it might have ended up looking as if I was wearing platform shoes. XD

The foam would probably be slippery and you might slip and hurt yourself.

Why not just paint the sides that show then put the part that's supposed to be carved in black sharpie or something. You won't trip and it won't be difficult to do.

Ack! You're right about that! I didn't even think about it before, silly because I know I've slipped on wet foam before. <___< I must have slipped and banged my head against the concrete to forget about it. Yes...that's my excuse! :P You're right. I probably should give up the idea of actually having the words "carved" into the sole and use ink to draw it instead.

Thank you so much, you guys! It helped me a lot! <3

Aoi Miku
09-05-2009, 04:40 PM
Well, I just had a thought right now, how about...

Branding it?
Now, I'm taking this entirely from how I've seen horses branded (no it's not pretty), but they have pieces of metal on sticks, hold them over a fire, then brand the horse outright. Maybe it would work for shoes?
Since it's rubber it would melt easy.
Then if you wanted to make it crisp carved black you could sharpie/piant were you branded ^^

It could work I think lol it may just be the silly ideas side but rubber melts so it would work ^^

zombietrudy
09-05-2009, 06:28 PM
sorry if I'm not much help..but you are GREAT for doing a Chip Skylark cosplay!!! XD
thinking about it..Sharpie would work but I've Sharpie'd shoes before [back in my Converse days x3] and it ended up fading after a while..I'd imagine this would be much quicker being on the bottom of the shoes xD maybe some kind of acrylic craft paint? and a sealant? just make sure it's not slippery when it dries xD

SaccharineDream
09-05-2009, 07:51 PM
If you can, remove the old sole or evenly saw off as much as you can. Then use rubber mats to re-sole the sneaker. You can cut it out roughly with a blade (X-Acto) and sand the rough edges smooth (a Dremel makes it go faster). Rubber mats are indeed very durable, they are built that way! Meant to be used as flooring for kids playrooms, gyms, and as anti-fatigue flooring. Basically, it'll take a beating from being walked on. The stuff also used to make the bottoms of mascot costume feet.

Search "rubber mat flooring." It is often found in grey, but the ones marketed towards kids rooms come in rainbows of color, so you should be able to find white. I have some bought from the sports section of Wal-Mart in grey, cost $20 but is enough to make 15 shoe bottoms.

EDIT: Use contact cement to attach it all together. Again from Wal-Mart, $6 for a pretty big can. It is cream-colored, so don't get right up against the edge. Or you could, but be sure to sand off whatever might show on the white soles.

Make sure you follow the directions exactly and it'll hold awesomely. (Coat both sides, let dry, press together, apply pressure)

Cherazor
09-07-2009, 03:59 PM
Well, I just had a thought right now, how about...

Branding it?
Now, I'm taking this entirely from how I've seen horses branded (no it's not pretty), but they have pieces of metal on sticks, hold them over a fire, then brand the horse outright. Maybe it would work for shoes?
Since it's rubber it would melt easy.
Then if you wanted to make it crisp carved black you could sharpie/piant were you branded ^^

It could work I think lol it may just be the silly ideas side but rubber melts so it would work ^^

Hmm, that's not a bad idea. Only, I have no idea where to get metal pieces spelling out "Chip", or how to make them. XD Maybe it would be possible to heat the soles and then carve the words into the soles? I'll have to think about it. ^^

sorry if I'm not much help..but you are GREAT for doing a Chip Skylark cosplay!!! XD
thinking about it..Sharpie would work but I've Sharpie'd shoes before [back in my Converse days x3] and it ended up fading after a while..I'd imagine this would be much quicker being on the bottom of the shoes xD maybe some kind of acrylic craft paint? and a sealant? just make sure it's not slippery when it dries xD

Oh, thank you! :D Chip is currently my favorite cosplay (ironic since it's also the cosplay I've worked the least on XD) so I'm glad you like it.

You're right about the fading, of course. But I don't think it would be too much trouble reapplying the ink every now and then. I like the idea of the acrylics, though. But, doesn't acrylic paint crack? <___<

If you can, remove the old sole or evenly saw off as much as you can. Then use rubber mats to re-sole the sneaker. You can cut it out roughly with a blade (X-Acto) and sand the rough edges smooth (a Dremel makes it go faster). Rubber mats are indeed very durable, they are built that way! Meant to be used as flooring for kids playrooms, gyms, and as anti-fatigue flooring. Basically, it'll take a beating from being walked on. The stuff also used to make the bottoms of mascot costume feet.

Search "rubber mat flooring." It is often found in grey, but the ones marketed towards kids rooms come in rainbows of color, so you should be able to find white. I have some bought from the sports section of Wal-Mart in grey, cost $20 but is enough to make 15 shoe bottoms.

EDIT: Use contact cement to attach it all together. Again from Wal-Mart, $6 for a pretty big can. It is cream-colored, so don't get right up against the edge. Or you could, but be sure to sand off whatever might show on the white soles.

Make sure you follow the directions exactly and it'll hold awesomely. (Coat both sides, let dry, press together, apply pressure)

Actually, I think I might have some trouble obtaining the rubber mats. I'm from Sweden, so Wal-Marts are a bit hard to come by. I did some random googling, and apparently rubber mats aren't too common here. <___< I'll have to do some further research on the subject. XD And, I must admit I might lack guts to actually saw off the soles. I mean, should accidentally butcher the shoes as I remove the soles... They'll probably be damaged beyond repair. *scratches head* That's why I wanted to by craft foam since the sheets are so thin they could be applied on top of the original sole without looking as if I'd suddenly decided to wear platforms. Maybe I can find some kind of thinner rubber mat? Thanks for your help, by the way! It helped a lot! :D

SaccharineDream
09-11-2009, 05:14 PM
No prob! There should be other ways to find durable but thin material around... A friend I know uses car floor mats for shoe bottoms, though I haven't seen them in white. If there is a shoe repair store nearby they might sell you what you need. Lastly, another thing I remember being super durable is latex is ya really wanted to get into casting and all of that...

Ani_BEE
09-15-2009, 09:28 PM
Depending on your shoe size a large pair of flip flops (sandals) or cheap Crocs in white could be used for the bottom or you shoes as well.

Viveeh
09-17-2009, 08:34 AM
I would just carve the bottoms with a sharp tool... Though it depends on how thick the sole is if it works or not.

Kelley
09-17-2009, 10:45 AM
I would recommend taking it to a shoe repair place and asking them to do it, or how they would do it.

With something as potentially dangerous as shoes, I wouldn't mess around with it.


Branding probably wouldn't work since you would just melt the sole and drip rubber all over.

Cherazor
09-19-2009, 04:57 PM
I'm beginning to realize that I'm most probably in way over my head with this project. XD I was thinking about using one of those rubber mats some people have in their showers/bathtubs to reduce the risk of slipping. But considering the fact I have no real idea what on earth I'm doing, I'm beginning to see the wisdom in your words, OurLadyC. The thought of going to a shoe-repair shop them to do it is looking more than a little tempting at the moment. Though, my stubborn side is complaining a bit - I wanted to do it myself. *pouts* :p

As for carving the sole...as mentioned before, while I realize this would probably be the proper thing to do, I'm to much of a coward to actually do it. Because, should anything go wrong (and being the dunce I am, something most probably would! XD) I would have ruined a perfectly good pair of shoes for nothing and the thought scares me a bit. I'm just being a wimp, in other words. :p

Thanks for advice again, guys! I really appreciate it! :D