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How to add a nonslip sole to boot covers

If you've ever done cosplay with boot covers, you know they can be slippery. Here's How to Add a Sole to Boot Covers - an easy safety upgrade!
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time20 mins
Drying & Curing Time2 d
Total Time2 d 25 mins
Keyword: boot covers, cosplay, cosplay tutorial, costuming, costuming tutorial, nonslip sole
Yield: 1 Set of soles
Author: Marie
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Clamps, vice grips, masking tape, etc (optional)
  • Small bowl for water

Materials

  • Craft paper, parchment paper, or etc To protect your work surface.
  • Paper for patterning - either printer paper or craft/tissue paper
  • Soling material
  • Shoe Goo
  • Disposable plastic knife or similar
  • Clear Silicone Caulking
  • 2 rolls Masking or packing tape
  • ScotchGard spray optional, but recommended

Instructions

  • Put your shoe/boot inside the cover, being sure to line up the seams where they should go.
  • In this case, that means the long seam goes straight up the middle of the sole, with the vertical seam extending from that seam, up the middle of the instep. Smooth out any wrinkles.
  • Place your shoe/boot over your pattern paper, and carefully trace out the sole shape.
  • If the shoe curls up at the front, be sure to roll forward on the sole when tracing, to get the full shape
  • Cut out your tracing, cleaning up the edges as you go.
  • Place your tracing up against the bottom of your shoe, to see how well it fits.
  • Trim off any excess, if applicable. In this case, I needed to trim a little from around the ball of the foot.
  • Lay out your soling material, rough side down.
  • Trace out your adjusted pattern piece onto the back (non-rubber, fabric) side of the soling material, once.
  • Hold your cut out soling piece against the bottom of your shoe. Make sure it fits well - you want it to cover everywhere that hits the ground, without extending beyond that surface area. Trim any excess, if necessary.
  • Place your adjusted cut piece down on your soling material - fabric side down, facing the fabric side of the main piece. Trace and cut a second, mirror-image piece.
  • Lay out some paper to protect your work surface. This can get messy.
  • Squeeze a fair amount of Shoe Goo out onto the underside of your shoes, being careful to keep it to the area that will be covered by the sole.
  • For reference, the bottom of one shoe took one small tube of Shoe Goo.
  • Repeat with the fabric side of your cut out sole pieces.
  • Use the flat side of your plastic knife to smooth out the Shoe Goo on all pieces.
  • Allow the pieces to dry a little, 5-10 minutes.
  • Once the time is up, CAREFULLY line up one sole to the appropriate shoe bottom, and apply. Aim to get it right on the first try, as it's messy and difficult to try to reposition it once placed.
  • Firmly press into place, then repeat with second sole/shoe. Allow to cure for at least 24 hours, preferably 48 to be thorough.
  • You MAY need clamps or tape to help, depending on the shoe/boot / shape of the sole.
  • Once the curing time is up, carefully pipe a line of clear silicone caulking around the edge of the soling. Aim to get it on the outside/top edge of the soling, right where it touches the spandex.
    The idea is to seal the edge of the soling. This may (read: will!) get a bit messy, don't worry too much though.
  • Set your shoes/boots sole side up in the rolls of tape, as pictured in the post.
  • This will allow everything to dry freely, without getting stuck to work surfaces, etc. Fill a small bowl with water.
  • Dip your finger in the water, and use it to smooth out your line of caulking. Be sure to work it into the area between the spandex and the soling material.
    Try to get this as smooth as possible - it likely won't be perfect - mine usually isn't - but once it dries, imperfections aren't very noticeable.
  • Place your shoes back into the rolls of tape, as shown in the post, and allow to fully dry, 12-24 hours, until silicone is completely clear.
  • Once silicone caulking is completely dry, follow instructions on ScotchGard to treat the boots, if you like - I usually do, as it keeps them looking fresh and new.
    Be sure to test on a scrap piece of material to make sure nothing weird happens with the Scotchgarding.

Notes

When wearing, pull on as usual, and just be sure to adjust the boot cover so that the sole lays where it is supposed to, in case it shifted while putting it on.