We all know
how socks help us to eliminate odour and sweat from our shoes, but what about
the other shoe variants where we generally do not wear socks like sneakers,
loafers etc or those shoes which we cannot wash? To prevent these shoes from
getting sweaty and, in turn, smelly I have come up with a sole-inlay which can
help by making the shoes fresher and more fragrant instead of the gross attack
on the olfactory senses which they do after a 6-8 hours of usage. This
sole-inlay is cheap and can be used for many weeks and after which it can be
reused after slight cleaning. The best thing is that they will protect your
feet from bacteria and fungus which result in itches, allergies and athlete’s
foot etc. These inlays will prevent bacteria growth and keep shoes moisture
free, making growth of fungus challenged. And they are washable, Yeah, so make
them perfectly once and keep on using for a long long time.
Step 1: MATERIALS USED
Cotton fabric (porous) Use old cotton clothes. could be of any colour as it is to be inside.
Nylon fabric (non-porous) Use white colour if you want to customize by printing.
Tiny foam pieces (if available then use slightly high density but soft foam. It is
important for comfort and retention)
Aromatic oil (DO NOT USE water/alcohol based perfume as they will wither away soon) They can be bought at home décor and crafts stores. Also look out at ebay, they can come real cheap there.
Scissors, glue and other basic materials
INKJET printer (if you want to customize your sole-inlays)
Step 2: Selecting Pattern
Select a basic repetitive design for best result. Or you can use any image. Print the image using standard print command while selecting quality settings and paper type. Use matt paper if you can't see clothe settings. Print using high quality.
Step 3: Creating a Pattern
The inlay is made from 2 materials – Porous cotton fabric and non-porous synthetic fabric like Nylon, Polystyrene etc. The porous material is used to create a multi-fold pattern and sandwiched between two layers of non-porous cover material. This is essential for working and comfort. Tiny inserts typically of the size of a toothpick are cut from foam and inserted in-between these folds. The foam inserts then on a later stage will hold the main working agent of the inlays, namely the odour repelling oil.
If you want to create a design on your inlay then start here otherwise skip this part.
So you want to create a custom design on top of the inlay? Great. I will show you how to easily create it with
most basic things.
Now to design our logo we need an A4 paper, an inkjet printer (regular ones used at home) and some low strength glue.
First cut out an A4 piece of nylon and using the weak crafts glue stick it to the A4 paper matching all the sides and edges. Let it dry.
The resultant composite paper-cloth should not be more than 0.5-0.9mm or else it will create jamming problems while printing.
Now take your design in your pc and print it out on the paper-cloth while using print settings for a cloth. In
cases where you cannot find cloth settings using MATT PAPER settings will do enough. Use high quality while printing.
After printing cut it out in the shape of the top of the inlay remove the paper from beneath and then make a
slight layer with water proof spray or if you don’t have it rub the base of pure wax candle lightly.
Step 4: Cutting Layout
Now remove the sole from your shoes and use them to mark their sizes. Put the sole on the nylon cloth and then cut two pieces for each feet’s sole. They will be used to create a composite sole-inlay later on. If you have a patterned design for top, then put it above the plain nylon cloth and then trace a outline onto it. Cut along it to obtain four pieces of soles.
Step 5: Adding Folds
Now take a piece of the cotton fabric and cut out a rectangle whose width should be slightly more than the sole and the length should be twice. Starting from the heel we will begin stitching it onto the base of the sole made of plain nylon cloth. Starting from 1st fold we will insert our foam cut outs. Then, after every 5-6 fold we will insert them repeatedly.
NOTE- while taking images I forgot to take images of foam inserts, but are indeed there inside the folds.
Also if you want, and have access to, use silicon moisture absorbing powder pellets which are found in electronics packing. Use this powder and insert a little amount of it in between the folds at some space, like after every 6 folds etc. Make sure to crush them to powdery form before using, as sometimes they might be in form of little balls which can be uncomfortable inside shoes.
NOTE – for more comfort you can put foam in every fold in the HEEL region of the inlay.
The process is to be repeated until we have covered the entire nylon with folds. After completing sew it in centre
of the sole going up and down to prevent the folds from losing shape in the middle area.
Now we will trim all the extra cotton fabric so that the result is a nicely sewed inlay with nylon on one side and folded cotton fabric on other.
Step 6: Inserting Fluid
Now comes our most important step. We will now create our working agent here. To do so you need to grab an aromatic oil which can be found at home art and décor shops. Also try out at hobby stores and those stores which sell you hand-made and fragranced candles. It is actually the essence that they use in the candles which you need. It should be noted here that we should not use any ALCOHOL based perfume or even a WATER based fragrance, because these products will wither away on few uses, requiring you to refill your inlays more often.
After all the folds are created and stitched , make a marking by coloured marker to highlight the folds with foam pieces. I have used black marker here. And red marker to mark the folds with silica mixture.
When you have acquired the oil, use a small syringe to put in tiny amounts of oil into the foam, like 0.3-0.4ml per piece. Your entire sole will take around 1-2ml depending on the number of foam inserts.
Repeat the procedure on the other sole-inlay too.
Step 7: Wrapping Things Up
After you have filled it up with oil and silica mix, let it dry if it too wet. Then put your designed cover on top to match dimensions. If there are requirements for trimming then do it now.
After sizing it up with base, carefully stitch the entire top cloth with a stitching line along the edge of the entire inlay. This will prevent any folding of cloths and also keep it in one piece. To keep the centre of the inlay to stop from rising up, make a stitch line running straight from heel to toe.
Step 8: Finalizing
After stitching the border use the same syringe needle to puncture tiny holes at the base of heel and other areas of the inlay. These holes will allow the silica mix to absorb moisture after you remove your shoes after a long time. Also they provide efflux for the oil's aroma, which repels the odour in the shoes caused by sweat.
Step 9: Finished
Voila, your shoes are now never going to smell bad even after long uses without socks and after removing them, will absorb their moisture keeping the insides free from bacteria and fungus.
Protecting you from foot diseases and making your feet smell good, both at the same time.
And the best part? They are completely washable. After few weeks of usage just remove them and wash lightly. Then after complete drying you can refill a tiny amount of oil into the foam directly from the top layer.
ENJOY YOUR GOOD SMELLING FEET!