Since 2003 “how to make soap shoes” has often been inquired by fans of soap shoes when it slowly faded from the market.
From late 90’s people never stopped their passion and interest for this grind shoes which can slide on any obstacle be its handrails, benches or ledges.
After Chris Morris lost the legal control on soap shoe company Heeling Sports limited took over the company but HSL couldn’t do much with them and all of sudden the soap shoes were no more manufactured.
My today post is an effort to present the best easy tips for making soap shoes which can be followed by people of any age. I was so inspired by MKohen’s simple method of soap shoemaking craft published in 2008, that I decided to share his formula of making grind shoe.
So let’s begin
Step 1: Materials
Use any shoe which has a thick bottom layer. MKohen used his old New Balances.
Use UHMPWE board or any dense smooth plastics like PVC, Teflon. MKohen used UHMPWE.
Use Barges glue which is considered to be best glue for making grind shoe or else you can also use welder glue which is a low-cost and easily available compared to Barges glue but don’t use shoe glue. MKohen had used welder glue because it was less expensive and also it has held up well.
Hacksaw cutting metal, bench grinder, vise, sharpie, X-Acto knife, and belt sander machine. However, you can most likely substitute for a few of those.
Step 2: Design and Cut the Plate
In this step, the grinding plate will be given style and shape. First, place your shoe on the plate material and trace around the bottom. Then decide exactly where you want to place the plate on the sole. This depends entirely on your choice. MKohen selected to place it about where his arch is slightly farther back than the center
Now with the help of hacksaw machine chop out a square containing your close & as per Mkohen advice try to put it as close to the corner as you can. Then again use a hacksaw to shape the plate, which will provide you a rough “blank” plate. Now finalize the outline by using the grinder. Then round off the edges which are going to come into contact with the ground
Step 3: Shape the Plate Surface.
This step though simple but is reasonably time consuming & exhausting. You have got to carve a channel within the plate. The aim of doing this is to fit it on the rail, ledge or any other things on which you are grinding.
Please check the picture for further clarification. MKohen used the grinder carve out an arch until the grinder curve got too wide for the arch he had drawn. Thereafter he used the belt sander & also sanded the edge to create it easier to slide or grind along with the shoe at an angle.
Step 4: Cutting the Shoe
In this step, you have to use the hacksaw & start cutting along the line at the front & back of the plate. The Cut has to be deep enough to fit the whole plate perfectly, but ensure it is not so deep that it cuts the sole.
Now bend the front part back which will enable you with little difficulty to cut along the length of the shoe to the cut you made where the back of the plate would be. Then smoothen up all the cut parts & make it as even as possible
Step 5: Testing and Gluing
To test the shoe you have to just duct tape the plate into that part of the shoe which has been cut out. To make sure the plate doesn’t bend or crack you have to try a little grinding or jumps on some edges to ensure that it is in a good position on your foot. And please don’t worry if you fall the first few times during the testing. Next thing which you have to remove the tape, slather the hole in your shoe with the glue, push in the plate, fasten it & allow it to dry & harden for overnight. Do read the label on your glue table.
Step 6: The Last Step.
Once the shoes are done before you start to use it, Practice with them onto a ledge, then on sliding & once you are comfortable with it, starts taking them out to experience the fun of grinding.
Hope you found this post useful. Would like to remind during grinding it is a must to wear a helmet and all protective gear to avoid any chronic injuries. It is advisable especially to kids not to try any aggressive sliding stunts unless you have learned from an expert how to balance your body during grinding.
NB: This article & images are inspired from https://www.instructables.com/id/Soap-Shoesmake-your-own/