Introduction: Soap Shoes!(make Your Own)

Picture of Soap Shoes!(make Your Own)

These are my own version of Soap shoes, which can grind on rails, ledges, and anywhere else a skateboarder or Agressive inliner can. They use a pair of shoes, a sliding material (some sort of plastic is probably best),and some glue.

You can buy "real" ones for $50-$80 but that's expensive, I don't like how they look, and I think mine are as good or better than store-bought ones.

This is my first instructable, so bear with me.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

These are the materials you will need:

Shoes: I used my old New Balances, any shoe that has a relatively thick bottom layer (everything under your foot) would work

Slide material: I used a UHMPWE cutting board. It is perfect for this use, other dense, smooth plastics would work,(PVC, teflon, etc) I don't really know about metal.

Glue: I used "Welder" glue. It was really cheap, and it has held up well. Barges glue is probably perfect for this, but it is kind of expensive/hard to find. WARNING: Shoe Goo isn't good, although it sounds like it would be.

Tools: Hacksaw, bench grinder, vise, belt sander, sharpie, xacto knife. You can probably substitute for some of these.

Step 2: Design and Cut Your Plate

Picture of Design and Cut Your Plate

In this step you will design and shape the plate that will be doing the grinding. Place your shoe on the plate material, and trace around the bottom. Then, decide where you want the plate to be on the sole. I chose to put it about where my arch is, slightly farther back thasn the middle. This is your choice.

Then , use the hacksaw to cut out a square containing your plate. This step sucks. My advice is to put it as close to the corner as you can. Then use the saw to shape the plate, giving you a rough "blank" plate.
Now use the grinder to finalize the outline. I'd also round off the edges that are going to come into contact with the ground, cause they can get annoying.

Step 3: Shape the Plate Surface.

Picture of Shape the Plate Surface.

This step is pretty simple, but it is kind of time consuming. You have to carve a channel in the plate. The purpose of this is to fit on the rail, ledge, or whatever you are grinding on.
Its kind of hard to explain, so I made a picture that does it for me.
I used the grinder to carve out an arc, until the grinders umm... curve got too wide for the arc I had drawn. Then I used the belt sander, which took a little while. I also sanded the edge to make it easier to grind with your shoe at an angle.

Step 4: Cutting the Shoe

Picture of Cutting the Shoe

Now comes the fun part: cutting up a pair of shoes.
use the hacksaw and cut along the line at the front and back of the plate. cut so that is is deep enough to fit the whole plate, but not so deep that it cuts into the sole. Then, bend the front part back, allowing you (with a little difficulty) to cut along the lenght of the shoe to the cut you made where the back of the plate would be. smooth up all the cut parts, and try to make them as even as possible.
Since I am already using the shoes that I made, I used a different pair for this step.

Step 5: Testing and Gluing

To test the shoe, just duct tape tha plate into the cut out part of your shoe. Then jump on some edges, make sure the plate dosent bend or crack, and that it is in a good position on your foot. May be even try grinding a little, just don't be surprised if you fall on your butt the first few times. When you are done having fun, take off the tape, slather the hole in your shoe with the glue of your choice, push in the plate, clamp it, and let it dry and harden overnight at least. Read the label on your glue tube.

Step 6: The Last Step.

Picture of The Last Step.

Once your shoes are done, its time to try them out. First, practice jumping onto a ledge or low bar, then work on sliding a little, and get your confidence up. Pretty soon you will be ready to take them around town and look for spots to grind. I have yet to be kicked out of any public place, but I have gotten in trouble in school for grinding on the stairs. They arent really anything but shoes, so I think youd be okay.

One warning: don't go to a skatepark until you are pretty good, or you'll just get in the way of the other kids and they'll get mad and kick you out. I've gotten some pretty weird looks when grinding with these, but most people think they are cool.

have fun, and don't break anything important. (like your spine)


T0BY (author)2016-12-06

Very nice.

srilyk (author)2008-05-19

I don't think PVC is really dense enough (or durable enough) to work very well - at least not the PVC in pipe form. A band saw (or even a jigsaw) would probably work great for cutting out/around your grind plate. As far as I know, a finer toothed blade would give you the best sort of cutting through such dense material. An upgrade option, if you have a shoe with a deep enough sole would be to use T nuts and small bolts, countersunk into the grind plate, to allow replacement of the plate. I don't think you quite have enough room on this type of shoe to create the extra room you'll need. Though for this option you should definitely make a form for the size and one that marks the holes. I think the coolest part about this would be the option of experimenting with various different materials, i.e. old skateboards, various woods, plastics, metals, etc. etc. (Heck, if you had the tools you could even use stone!) A word of warning to those who plan on using the grinder: plastic will clog the stones pretty quick, and you'll have to clean them or the owner will most likely be upset. Google will tell you the process for that. I would most likely use a belt sander - the drum part at the end would be quite nice for this application. If you had access to a spindle/drum sander, that would be even better. Another (probably MUCH slower) option would be using the drum sander on a Dremel. Though that would work pretty good for the sides, just make sure you use the correct RPMs or you'll melt the plastic and have a gooey mess flung everywhere! Hope this helps, and this is one awesome instructable! Now I want to make some!

MKohen (author)srilyk2008-05-19

Thanks. I was going to use bolts, but I couldn't think of a way to secure them in the shoe. The plastic did clog my grinder, but I managed to scrape most of it off with a file. I was thinking of using the formica stuff that countertops are made of, but I thought it might crack.

srilyk (author)MKohen2008-05-19

You might try grinding some scrap metal - that should help clean off the rest of the plastic. Yeah, formica is rather brittle, so you'd probably crack it. Plus you'd have to find a piece pre-formed to the curve you're looking for! But using t-nuts would allow you to experiment fairly easily!

jaynolan1127 (author)srilyk2016-03-01

Late as ever, but what I do in the shop and at work is use some cheap soap! Surprisingly if you purposely load up the wheel with soap, it prevents it from getting loaded with soft materials.

Rectifier (author)MKohen2008-05-21

Yikes, I didn't notice that in the instructable. Clogged grinding wheels can explode and badly injure you (and anyone else nearby...) - dress that wheel right away if it's a bench grinder. If it's just a angle grinder, you can gently grind on some scrap metal while wearing thick clothes and looking away. At one site I worked at we actually had lockout keys for the bench grinder. Anyone caught going near it with plastic/wood/aluminum lost their key and got reamed out by the boss. I assume something bad happened in the past there...

knighthammer_ps3 (author)2015-06-24

what glue will work?

jordan.felt.7 (author)2015-04-08

I want to grind railzzzzzzzzzzz

sharpear03 (author)2014-08-12

I like the design. Reminds me of my younger years when I made heelys in 95. You cut the bottom of the shoe perfect to the sole from the pic. I might try this if I can't get a good enough metal plate to fit into my professional soaps. The cheapest solution is a bar of soap to that region of your shoe, but my goal is weighted shoes.

builtbyben98 (author)2012-04-06

does it make the shoe much heavier?

sharpear03 (author)builtbyben982014-08-12

Depends on the material used. I use soaps with metal plates for weight training. Makes me feel like I will float away when I wear normal shoes.

wailenhalen18 (author)2009-12-03

So you say that "you can buy "real" ones for $50-80"  I've looked around on google and couldn't find any good leads.  I found a wiki page about it and Soap Shoes is out of business.  :(

sharpear03 (author)wailenhalen182014-08-12

There are still places to sell the shoes today. If their patent has expired it means very good news for me, but sucks as 4 years ago means my purchase yesterday could be my last professional made pair.

Ikkalebob (author)2010-10-24

I thought of making something like these, but with metal on the bottom. Do you think that would work?

sharpear03 (author)Ikkalebob2014-08-12

They do have metal plates. They wreck up anything you grind though and get hot. I have a pair of 2# metal plates for my soap back from 2000.

sallyzhang (author)2014-01-14

we can supply any shape of UHMWPE products,if any interests,pls contact, or Skype:sallyzhang128

Gr1mR3 (author)2012-04-13

Is there any way i can make with something alternatively. I can't get the tools you listed.

adelplanque (author)2011-08-07

how easy are these to walk around in? does the plate make it hard to walk?

l99roufs (author)2011-05-06

Can we use hockey pucks instead for the bottom?

zebsolo (author)2010-09-19

what glue did you use

Eddie101 (author)2010-03-27

have you ever though about sending the plastic piece (for people who cant make it) to them

zebsolo (author)Eddie1012010-09-15

i cant post comments any other way, so MKohen what glue did you use if this will post send me a message or something

SKYNET 2.0 (author)2009-02-05

UHMD plastic works best (Ultra High Molecular Density)

I think he meant to put UHMWPE (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene).

tetsuxxx (author)2010-04-11

wow.. thank for the idea dude,,

Eddie101 (author)2010-03-27

mine are really nice. i put some "mr.zoogs sex wax" (its a skatewax) on itt and i can impress all my friends

5533888 (author)2009-09-04

Cool how well do they work and how long did it take?

afandjegudiel (author)2009-08-27

I heard that uhmwpe repels all glues. Is that glue a temporary solution? Are you using screws now?

MKohen (author)afandjegudiel2009-08-29

the glue on mine's doing great at the moment. You might be right though. I'll check. If its bad, I guess screws or something would be better.

matroska (author)2009-05-24

Wow that's pretty cool! I got a pairs of casual shoes I wear all the time, and I think I'll "sacrifice" them so I can slide where ever I'm not suposed to! By the way, would metal work better? Probably that it will slide better and make the same sound as skateboards on rails, but the hard part is ... how can we easily work metal in that shape? Until this is resolved, I'll stick with UHMPWE..

H3xx (author)matroska2009-08-09

try aluminum plate on top of plastic. hold the two together with a clamp and beat it into shape with a hammer. be sure it's clamped to a stable, solid surface so you wont break them.

Cann0n (author)2009-08-04

Actually, I'm going to build pads for my old Adidas tomorrow.

Cann0n (author)Cann0n2009-08-05

K so I cut my pucks today, like I said I would do. I used use my shoes for skating. The soles are worn out pretty good from foot breaking and board walking. Instead of actually cutting my shoes, I'm going to glue the puck to the soles, and the rest i will fill in with an old tire, kinda like retread.

H3xx (author)Cann0n2009-08-09

Cool idea actually. It'll make you taller too. I might try this with my boots. :)

Pichihime7 (author)2009-08-09

Cool! Ever tried making a business out of it? Like someone sends you their shoes you make them and get paid for it?

icantthinkof1 (author)2009-05-22

how thick should plastic be

MKohen (author)icantthinkof12009-05-22

depends, 2cm is how thick mine is, but thinner might work if it can bend without shattering...

killer77 (author)2009-05-08

when you bake the pvc it gets the consistency of rubber

Pandevivacidad (author)2009-03-25

This is the best idea i've seen so far on the site. Why spend $80 bucks on some cheap soap shoes? When I used to play Sonic Adventure 2 I always wanted the same kind as sonic. Great Job, 5 stars.

brewtendo (author)Pandevivacidad2009-05-02

So did I! i always wondered why it said SOAP on the first level when i was 9 and was laughing because i had no idea wut soap shoes were, but loved the idea of sonic grinding down those million step stair hand rails! and i made some, but not this way, i never saw this instructable then, and i used this old binder with this pretty thick plastic and put it on some old shoes and grinded around on them, but the plate was flat because i didnt cut anything and i used skateboarding shoes, so the sole wuz flat, and i used hot glue and it worked for a week and finally wore off, and have always wanted to make a better version of em, and i think i found the instructable to do just that! thanx!

boogiemanspud (author)2009-03-25

I will give you PVC guys a tip. Get PVC pipe, (not cellular core, it will be crappy). Cut through one side of the pipe, lengthwise. You can put it in the oven at 300-350 degrees and it will get really soft, like clay. It will transform the pipe into a plastic sheet. You could also use some kind of a mold to shape it with a slight curve or similar. It works real well and doesn't stink or anything. Cool instructable, never heard of them before!

killer77 (author)boogiemanspud2009-04-06

hey thats a really good idea thanks alot

killer77 (author)2009-02-05

target sells some 1in cutting boards that worked for me

Kaiven (author)2009-01-31

Very cool, but I don't have thick plastic and don't know where to get it D: Can I just use like metal tape on the bottom of a grooved shoe? XD

pandaboy292 (author)2009-01-18

i did this all the time when i wore asics. they had plastc in the middle. there called gel nimbus. they were like $130.

theshawn (author)2008-12-11

I actually saw the Soap Shoes in an exhibit at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal (of all places!). The website is interesting though, and the Soap Shoes are definitely one of the coolest pieces!

MKohen (author)theshawn2008-12-12

yeah, I've been working with the CCA for that exhibit. theyre pretty cool, check out some of the other entries.

killer77 (author)2008-10-04

uuuuggggghhhhh i tried this with pvc and now im down one pair of shoes but im going to get a cutting board and now this should work btw nice instructable people dont really know about soap shoes but im tellin every 1 about them and they think that they are cool

killer77 (author)2008-09-28

ive got a pair of addidas that have a flat sole but do you think that this will still work?

MKohen (author)killer772008-09-29

if its thick enough, yes.

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