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Topic: Here's an idea for shoe soles that I thought I'd share  (Read 6241 times)
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« on: April 27, 2008 02:22:40 PM »

Backstory: When making ballet flats or indoor/outdoor slippers, the main issue I have is what to make the soles out of. Leather or upholstery vinyl are okay, they just aren't very sturdy (ever stepped on a sharp rock wearing them?). Leather isn't very waterproof and vinyl wears down quickly and can tear.

I wanted to find something durable and flexible that was also inexpensive.

Solution: Buy individual, self-adhesive vinyl floor tiles. Usually they're anywhere from 75 cents to a dollar at any home improvement store. They're also 12" by 12" standard, which means you can get a pair of soles out of a single tile. If making larger men's sizes you can use 2 tiles and cut then out on the diagonal.

The best part: Since they're self adhesive (with industrial grade stuff), you don't have to use shoe glue or epoxy ot anything. You can just sew up the shoes, stick the soles on and pop a pair insoles in them (for comfort).

Also, if the soles do start to wear out, it's really easy to just cut another pair of soles and stick them over the worn out ones. If you double- or triple-layer the tile soles, it makes the shoes that much sturdier and that much less flexible.

I just thought I'd share this in case anyone else has the same difficulty with handmade shoe soles. Now all I need is to find some time to make them. In a few months I'll probably have 30 pairs made with matching purses, lol.

« Last Edit: April 27, 2008 03:36:39 PM by Zaemunda » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008 09:20:41 PM »

Oooh, I'd love to see some photos of the finished product! Fantastic idea!
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2008 11:11:44 AM »

This is seriously the best idea I've ever heard.  Chalk it up to you for being a genius.
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2008 07:55:47 AM »

Wow, Amy!  You sure had an epiphany!  Fantastic idea.


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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2008 03:29:16 PM »

Aren't they very slippery?  Shocked

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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2008 10:02:47 AM »

Aren't they very slippery?  Shocked

Has anyone tried this idea yet? I would LOVE to see!
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2009 11:34:02 AM »

I"ll second that request for pictures. Amy?

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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2009 05:47:43 AM »

This sounds amazing!

I have for years been wondering about making my own shoes (being size 9, picky and an avid leather avoider causes problems!)

What did you use for the rest of the shoe?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2009 09:07:45 PM »

This is a really cool idea for shoe soles, props to you for coming up with it. I haven't used the tiles for that purpose myself, but I do know that my parents have some of those tiles in their laundry room. When the tiles were new they had a coating that made them much less slippery than your standard tiles. This coating has since worn off after years and years of use, but if slipping is your concern look to see if they have some designed to go in the bathroom as those will be less slippery (or perhaps there's some other name for them, it's been years since we bought them).

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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2010 11:19:30 AM »

I wonder if puffy fabric paint would stick to the bottoms.
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