When Fab Shoes Shred Your Feet

Here's a pretty quick and simple fix for you.

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Remember the shoes that I painted silver and bedazzled last week? I also mentioned that I rehearsed in them for a couple hours. These shoes are holding up great, EXCEPT the silver fabric is like rough sandpaper against the skin. I also like to strap my shoes super tight around the ankle. This shoe has two sets of straps, and the fabric loop that holds the upper strip in place literally shredded the back of my ankle much like one would expect from a cheese grater. I'm not talking blister, I'm talking a deep massive hole that keeps bleeding. Fun. But I'm committed to performing in these shoes in Germany in a few weeks!

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It was this strap loop in this photo here that was the culprit. It's been a week and my heel is STILL not healed. Clearly I needed a way to fix this so I could still rehearse.

I'm sure most of you have heard of moleskin, yes? If so, I use it in a different way than normal. If not, moleskin is basically an adhesive-backed, cushiony-soft felt that you can purchase at any pharmacy in the footcare section. (Gross but true fact, it's called Moleskin because historically, before the synthetic stuff was made... it was actually... the skin of a mole. ) It comes in a big sheet like this:

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The way it's typically used is to cut it to size, peel and stick on your foot wherever you think you are likely to get a blister. But the metal fabric of these silver shoes are never NOT going to destroy my feet, and I never find that any sort of bandaid or tape stays put on my feet when I'm dancing. They always end up sliding around and I get a blister or whatever anyway. So. I decided to try something else.

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Instead of putting it on my foot, I cut a small piece just large enough to cover the foot-shredder, peeled off the backing, used a bamboo skewer to smear a coating of e6000 on the offending part of the shoe, attached the moleskin, clamped it with one of my handy-dandy hair clips, and placed in front of my little space heater (with lots of ventilation!) to dry.

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(My trusty kitty, Miss Lucy, stands guard in front of the toasty heater to make sure nothing moves while drying. This is purely gratuitous content.)

You will note that this is one of the few times I use E6000 instead of Gem-Tac. E6000 is much tougher and more stable than Gem-Tac, but also toxic. Knowing full well that this piece of moleskin is going to have to withstand a lot of friction I knew this really required e6000. Plus Gem-Tac can get sort of soft and squishy with warmth and moisture. You will see what I mean if you ever wash something that has gem-tac on it.

In any case, this worked fabulously. Super soft, cushiony comfort even though the gash on my heel is still nowhere near healed. Magic! I'm now going to do this on a whole bunch of other shoes with other issues.

Oh, and notice I keep using those hairclips to hold things everywhere? The reason I find them so ideal is that not only do they let air circulate around whatever you are clamping, which speeds drying, but also, the fact that they are slightly curved, makes them much more organically shaped for clamping anything that is going to end up on your body. Let's face it, pretty much every surface on our body has a curve of some sort, so why clamp something completely flat? The curve allows for greater contact between the clamp and the item. Look at the clamp in the photo just above, see how the curve mimics the curve of the heel of the shoe? That's what I'm talking about. If I used a straight clamp, there would only be pressure at the two points where it touches, rather than the whole length of the thing being glued.

Why does everything I write sound soooo convoluted? Let me know if this needs a diagram for explaining.

Cheers,

Viv

#nailpolish #costumetechniques #burlesquecostume #costumetips #easyfixes

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