Step 2: Measure Your Leg

You will need to measure your leg in 6 key areas in order to get a proper comfortable fit. If the critical areas like the ankle and leg height are not correct then the entire brace will slide and chafe as you walk. Be sure to record these measurements as you will need them during the materials preparation stage.
Your thigh needs to be measured in 2 places; the first as about 4 inches above your knee and the second is approximately at the mid point.

Your lower leg needs to be measured at approximately 4 inches below your knee and again at about 6 inches below that. 

The first critical measurement is your lower leg height. This is measured along the side of your leg from the midpoint of your knee joint or where it bends to the midpoint of your ankle. 
The next is measured wearing the shoes that you intend to wear while wearing the stilts. With your shoes on you will need to measure the distance from the floor to the midpoint of your ankle.

These measurements will be used to make the custom fit parts of your stilts.
<div> <iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/CrtPkodh5Qw" width="420"></iframe>HERE IT IS! THE VIDEO YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!<br> <br> i made the stilts based almost exactly off these instructions (only i bought them) &nbsp;I made them for almost no money between the tools and materials i have, and scrap from work (sintra and some metal)</div>
<p>Is there a possibility to add more to the base of them? I am making a Krampus cosplay replicated from the new movie that came out in Dec. and am wanting to make sure I have really good balance. I am also going to be adding large hooves to them with fur. Also, is there a way to give them a bouncing ability? I want to be able to have some jogging/ running ability in them in order to chase people and, when needed, get around a little faster. He also has an amazing jumping ability and I kind of wanted to be able to do that in them as well. Any help is appreciated, thanks!</p>
<p>you could add more of a base, but that would add more of a tripping hazard, you need the 'foot' to be able to roatate to conform to the ground your walking on, if you go too long, and didnt pick your foot up high enough, you may go down.... <br><br>As far as balance, i've been using these under a costume at the haunted house i work at, i've gotten pretty decent at walking on them, i can jump a little, spin, run, etc, but you gotta be careful, and standing still for more than a couple seconds isnt a possibility, and it IS a leg work out. they may take a little work to get really comfortable and conformed to your legs. <br><br>You wont be able to take full strength jumps in these, but hopping around a little is ok. Just make sure your crimps are strong. </p>
That is amazing. You all make me wish I had this type of talent. When I try to do metal work it just falls apart in my hands. I tried to make stilts like this and ended up crying and going back to clunky frikkin wood
Fantastic work, but it kinda looks like trying to walk while drunk. =D Kidding, I know it's difficult to walk in them.
Yeah, i've gotten better and ill have a few more videos in the future, but this was my 2nd time on them. My first time was only a few steps before the &quot;crimp&quot; gave out. broke down and bought the correct tool for 20 bucks. <br>
excellent work!
oh, and i originally tried making the steel bars about 6&quot; longer to give me more height, DONT DO IT! it puts your center of gravity way off its almost impossible to get up into position with that, and if you get up, you wont be for long. the length in the tutorial is probably the longest your going to want to go.
Hi! I don't know if you're still answering comments on this instructable, but I was planning on making these for an transformers IDW Whirl cosplay. The problem is he has long feet that I need to attach. What kind of hinges or spring loads do you think I should use?
<p>Hello! Just to let you know I've built my own stillts based on your instructions, for my Alien Queen cosplay! I did some small changes, since I couldn't find some of the materials you mention but it's mostly the same, so thank you so much for sharing!. They are really fun to walk in! Here is a practice pic and the final result: </p>
<p>I wanted to say thank you very much for posting this How-To guide on the digitigrade stilts. It took me about 2 months of tinkering to get everything together and you were not kidding, it is a lot of work! However, the results made it all worth while. I'll be using these for years to come.</p><p>Thanks again!</p>
<p>Nice job! Check your inbox</p>
<p>Thank you for all your help. I had an epic halloween costume this year, thanks to these stilts. (and a tribute to a good movie)</p>
<p>Looks great! check your inbox!</p>
So Ive been wanting to build a pair of these for years, and had the materials sitting around for about 6 months. I started last week, and I'm almost done with one leg, but I made some enormous changes. The knee joints are 1 1/4&quot; flanged ball bearings pressed into the thigh support, with a 1/2&quot; stud pressed into the calf brace. After doing the knee joints, I realized that bushings would be better as they offer a higher radial load and movement of the joint is slower than a bearing necessitates. Im using 1/2&quot; ID bronze bushings with steel pins for the remaining major joints, and 1/4&quot; nylon bushings for the linkage joints.<br>My costume will not allow me to use my arms for balancing, so I wanted to control the toes of the stilt with my real foot. I've added a second pivot at the ankle, so my real foot can swing freely of the digitigrade foot. My real foot is attached to the toes(part touching the ground) of the stilt with an extra 4bar linkage so I can control the forward to backwards tilt.<br>Ive also used 1/8&quot; x 1&quot; aluminum bar in place of the sintra, I got 40 feet of it for ~$10. You can heat the 6061 aluminum with a propane torch until the flame turns orange to anneal it and make the aluminum soft enough to bend. At room temperature it is now incredibly soft and pliable. Once you get it into the shape of your thigh/calf, you can heat it in the oven at 350&deg;F for 8 hours to reharden the aluminum to its original T6 hardness.<br><br>I'll get some pictures up and a detailed video in the next week or so.<br>Very excited!
<p>If you do commisions let me know, i'd like to buy this.... We do not have a metal shop nearby unfortunatly. and with nearby i mean its over an hour driving and HOPING they have the materials i need.</p>
<p>Random_Canadian,</p><p>I've always loved this instructable and check back often to see the great builds you inspired. I'm long overdue for this comment... I have a suggestion on a variation for those interested!</p><p>Several years ago, I set out to make a very similar design, inspired by special effects studios' work for various movies. The actors who used those legs complained of discomfort and fatigue caused by the improper alignment of the knee joint on the stilts not aligning with their actual knee joint. </p><p>I know many people who've had knee reconstruction (I have very active friends!) - all were able to delay knee surgery as long as they could by using semi-custom leg braces that look very much like the upper part of this stilt design. Additionally, the mid/lower portion looks much like ankle braces used by other friends. I was able to get many of these braces from my friends when they stopped using them. I have also seen them at local non-profit stores (although, it may be best to leave these for others with a true need!). Using these, I was able to build similar stilts, bypassing much of the raw build requirements of the structure (aluminum bars, joints, foot beds, sintra parts, etc.) and having adjustable and perfectly aligned knee rotation. </p>
<p>I'm making my first set and doing a few modifications as I go. One of those mods is an ability to adjust the lengths. I'll let you know how it works.</p>
<p>Love your work. the cat is a nice touch. Your ideas are great. Thrift stores around here are seriously lacking in anything awesome. I do occasionally find raw materials but have to check daily almost hourly for the truly awesome. </p><p>I have been working on an updated design that needs to be removed from my circular thought patterns. Mind like a bag of cats and all.. </p><p>Anyway... check your inbox!</p>
<p>can you use 2x1 steel or does it have to be 1x2? </p>
<p>1x2 works better 7 days at a time, although 2x1 works better for a week at a time...</p>
Just buying 40 tee nuts alone costs me $120 pluss. They are 3.49 a pop. Ehat can i use as a replacement?
<p>The t or tee nuts should not cost that much try a specialty bolt place or even amazon. For a bag of 100 you should expect to pay under $25 at a place like Fastenal. Any chain hardware store would cost too much. I hope that this helps. as a substitute: If you have the clearance you could use a small piece of steel tubing as a pivot point and a regular nut.</p>
<p>Thanks! That does help. :3</p>
<p>Are the thigh supports necessary? If so, how crucial are they</p>
<p>Sorry for the late reply. The supports were done to help with the fatigue created by the extra stress on the knee and ankle. For me they were necessary... I hope that this helps.</p>
<p>downloaded the pdf files, thanks for the drawings, that was the only part that was actually speaking my language to where i can write up a lay out to fabricate the parts for the support braces. i do however plan to use steel rather than aluminum. and for the leg supports instead of the plastic i want to use steel as well with a foam backing for a tighter fit when strapped.</p>
I have some question for the designer .My husband is a double amputee above the knee. We are low income and because of that the legs they wanted to fit him with were very crappy.But thats our goverments medical. But I am looking at your and I, m wondering .I see you have a shoe type thing .Which he would not need .But we were looking at your plans and seeing if they can be used without the lower part of the legs.With a amputee like this all the weight is put on the theighs and hips .any idea,s on how to mybe make this work?
They need to put a suspension sys in to the design to help absorb the impact of walking
<p>Great build, but you're missing an awesome opportunity. These could be 'spring loaded' allowing you to jump like Jumping stilts. (no longer just a costume). </p><p>Extend the calf-bar past the knee joint about 3 inches. Then connect the 'heal' to the point forward of the knee with a spring or strong bungie cord. </p><p>You may need to raise the toe so you can fully extend the knee. </p><p>If the spring is strong enough, you'll have to actually pull yourself down then jumping will be augmented. </p><p>I've had this design in my head to two years... just haven't built it yet. </p><p>-Matthew</p>
<p>You need to build this. Just bear in mind thar I have wrenched a knee, fractured an elbow and severly twisted both of my ankles at the same time while testing to make this design.</p>
<p>PLF, that's how I roll.</p>
<p>I am in the process of building a pair, but I have encountered a measurement problem. On the length of webbing and velcro required, is that per leg? I worked on 2 x 16 inch + 4 x 10 inch = 6 feet, and that is for one leg only. Am I misunderstanding something?</p>
It is possible that I made a mistake in the directions. It is best to check for fit using a cloth measuring tape the go from there, that way you will have less waste and a more custom fit.<br><br>Good luck with your build.
<p>Finished my first build! Thank you for the bulk of the instructions!</p>
<p>You are welcome and those look spectacular. Great job! check your inbox</p>
<p>do you still do commissions on these? cause ve been looking to buy some EVERYWHERE how much do you charge? email me- schreebles@gmail.com</p>
<p>Hello! </p><p>I am looking at these wonderful and perfect stilts to make General Grievous from Star Wars. I am having slight trouble as in I am really struggling to find 1.5 Tri-Rings. Is there anything else that can work?</p>
<p>Are you in or near Calgary? Try Paccana if not. a slot ring will work. You just need to make sure the straps are tight to prevent injury. there are several bend back rings that will work. also if you are having trouble with the plastic, I recently found that regular ABS sheet is now less expensive than sintra at my local supplier. It's a little harder to work but has more structural integrity.</p>
<p>This is fantastic. I'm definitely going to need this for this upcoming Phoenix Comicon. (6 Raptor costumes...What was I thinking volunteering for that?)</p>
<p>The only issue I have, is finding the stuff in Europe. I'm in the UK now and though they do inches at times, they mostly use metric. I've discovered that 1/4' = M6 and 5/16 = M8. The others I'm still trying to figure out. Other than that, I can't wait to put this together!</p>
<p>I agree with the metric thing. Canada is essentially US junior when it comes to construction. Metric is awesome, Base 12 WTF is that. how many inches in a kilometer? Seriously don't get me started... My supplier is now selling sintra as 6 mm but at an astronomical markup fro before. almost $200 per sheet from $45. </p><p>Otherwise I am looking forward to seeing pics of your build!!!</p>
<p>It's called foamex here, and will take a look at it. But we may have other materials that are similar in strength. I'll ask in the workshop. And when it's done, I'll let you know. </p>
<p>You can use these stilts for an Alien costume ( alien as in Alien vs. Predator)</p>
<p>Awesome! Questions! So I noticed on the videos that the surfaces you walked on were grass and carpet (good surfaces for grip). How hard is it to walk on smooth surfaces (restaurant floors and cement). Did it make you super nervous? Are there any grip recommendations you have for the bottom of the stilt foot?</p><p>Also I'm still reading the instructions but I think I'm going to attempt making these. But before I spend hella money are there any obvious tools (outside a basic tool kit) I'll need that you haven't mentioned? Pretend I only have a general basic tool kit and know nothing of shop outside of the context of my (decades ago) fifth grade class. Also anyone have an e-mail (fb messenger, whatever) I can ask questions to in case I have a question that none of my strapping young lad friends can answer? </p><p>Thanks! </p><p>~T </p>
<p>This is really cool! What depth do the tee-nuts have to be? Also, do the turnbuckles absolutely HAVE to be over your weight? I just bought two that support up to 130, which is exactly how much I weigh without gear. I haven't been able to find anything stronger than that with those dimensions, so if I need to get stronger turnbuckles, do you know a site with those specifications? Thank you for posting this incredible tutorial!</p>
The T-nuts should go all the way into the aluminum for maximum shear strength. they should also be a friction fit to prevent a loose, weak joint. I usually go over the rated limit of any mechanical item just to be on the safe side. In practice most manufacturers over-design an item then set the failure limit to be much less than the average tested failure limit, this is to allow for manufacturing inaccuracies and a safe working load. Further, you can eliminate them altogether with a short piece of cable if you are not going to adjust the stilt height. Note that the cable may stretch over time but it shouldn't be too much. Just make sure to use cable strain relief eyelets to prevent a bend point which can greatly weaken the cable. In the time since I built these, prices have gone up astronomically and availability has dropped off to nothing in Calgary. So that may be the way to go. <br><br>Also I have noticed that Sintra has gone from $40 a sheet to $160 a sheet. With this in mind, standard ABS sheet in 3/16 inch thick will work, it is just a little more difficult to form but it is more rigid. <br><br>Thanks and good luck with your build.
<p>Thank you! I actually found some 12 x 24 sheets of Black 6mm Sintra on Amazon for only 5$, which is amazing compared to these extremely high modern prices. I'll try ordering one to check it out, and order more sheets as I need them. I also found some 800 lb stainless steel turnbuckles (Via McMaster Carr, they are over 16$ though). Expensive, but they seem like an easier way than the &quot;buckle-less cable&quot; option.</p><p>Using what you said, I've narrowed down the 1/4 20 t-nut depth to be either 7/16 or 9/16, which were the available depths in the store. Would one of those depths be enough?</p>
<p>Only improvements I can think of is maybe adjustable foot clip so people with bigger feet can use it (I'm like a 13 and a half) and maybe use some old tread from a tire to cover the footcups, as to not scratch floors and give more traction.</p><p>But otherwise, Looks awesome! I really want to build one!</p>
Thanks. The foot pad was left unfinished to allow for the placement of custom footprint grips.

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Bio: Bit of a background in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help...
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