Soap Shoes!(make Your Own)

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Introduction: 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

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

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.

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

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.

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)

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    115 Discussions

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    T0BY

    1 year ago

    Very nice.

    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!

    4 replies

    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.

    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!

    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.

    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...

    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.

    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.

    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.  :(

    1 reply

    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.

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

    1 reply

    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.

    we can supply any shape of UHMWPE products,if any interests,pls contact sallyzhang128@163.com, or Skype:sallyzhang128

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

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