Introduction: Barefoot Incognito: Hyper-minimalist Shoe Conversion

About: I want computers to be wilder. Running a Jungle makerspace in Panama.…

Fake overshoes!

Lots of people like running around barefoot and claim all sorts of benefits. My favorite part of running around without shoes is just getting to feel all the different surfaces, textures and temperatures that you would otherwise ignore in regular shoe-wearing life.

The problem with going around barefoot though is other people. First you have to deal with clerks banning you from grocery stores, malls, and funeral homes just because you think regular feet are cool. Then there is the problem with others who are either neutral or supportive of your barefootedness, but want to do stop and chats all the time. 
You don't have time for getting kicked out of places or chatting with every single person, so what do you do?

Turn your feet into covert spies!

The project basically consists of just cutting the very bottoms of your shoes off, but the entire process was a bit more physically demanding and interesting than I had thought it would be.

Step 1: Materials

  • Pair of shoes (might be good to test out doing this first with an old pair, but it would be great to do this with dress shoes - and probably easier!)
  • Dremel Device
  • Dremel cutting blade (I use the thinnest metal cutting blade, others might be better for cutting rubber and foam but this worked for me)
  • Dremel routing bit (i used the standard one that came with the dremel tool)
  • Hacksaw
  • Safety Glasses
  • Dust face mask (cutting shoe foam shoots lots of tiny particles

Step 2: Circumsize

Doing this will really teach you a lot about all the different sorts of materials combined together in your average tennis shoe.

With the rotary cutting blade of your dremel cut a slice all the way around the base of your shoe. Crank your dremel up to max speed and attack the foam slowly and steadily. You may need to give your dremel a break about half way around the shoe because it can really heat up! Cut as deep as you can, but realize that the dremel isn't going to cut deep enough to get that shoe off for you.

The rubber parts of the shoe (the very bottom of the soul) are really hard and smelly to cut through. You might want to save this for the hacksaw! Note that there will be a film of foam dust covering EVERYTHING.

Step 3: Hack

The dremel

Step 4: Pry

At this point you will have your very own "minimalist shoes," but if you want to go ALL THE WAY go to the next step!

Step 5: Cut Out

Step 6: Pedspionage

Now you can slip your shoes on over your feet and have all the fun of running around barefoot without the annoyances! Plus you don't have to worry about getting the tops of your feet sunburnt.

I got a store manager to take a pic of me grocery shopping and told him he even needed to get my shoes in the picture. Nobody could tell!