A friend of a friend of mine makes shoes with actual goat hooves, which I LOVE! But they’re way more expensive than I can justify to spend on novelty shoes that I will rarely wear, so I made my own for super cheap! And I didn’t have to use any part of a goat carcass, which is convenient ::
I really wanted to use actual heel-less shoes, but didn’t want to spend $60-$70 on shoes I was going to possibly destroy. So I used some old shoes with a thin heal and a decent platform.
The platform angled in towards the foot, but I wanted to it angle outwards to be more hoof-like. To sculpt the hoof I used 1/2″ L200 foam (an amazing closed-cell foam that’s lightweight and durable). I made a rough pattern out of paper to get the right angle for the hoof before cutting the foam.
After the foam was cut, I used a dremel to sand down the two edges where it would meet the sides of the shoe. I also sanded the top edge so there would be more surface area for the glue when it gets applied to the platform.
I used a rough sand paper to sand the entire shoe, including the heel and patent vinyl. Then I used Barge cement (some sewing supply and hardware stores carry this, but not Home Depot unfortunately) to glue the foam to the platform. The shoes were actually too small for me, so I used the foam to extend the base of the shoe as well as sculpt out the hoof. Below you can see the difference in the shape of the shoe with the foam added. The black on the top and bottom of the foam is Plasti-Dip, which I used to protect the surface of the foam that would be exposed, not covered in fur. And the yellow stuff on the shoe in the background is the Barge cement, to show where the foam is being attached.
I cut a slit down the front of each foam piece after it was glued to the shoe. Only go about half way deep into the foam, don’t get crazy. Then I used more L200 foam to add depth to the cleft, again using the dremel to sand the foam into the shape I needed. I also used 1/2″ mattress foam (yellow open-cell foam, very soft and not as durable as L200) to fill in the sides because it’s more forgiving in shape due to its softness.
Once I was happy with the shape of the hooves, I used hot glue to apply the fake leather. There is one seam in the front and one in the back. Ideally there would have only been the one seam in the back, but I was using scraps of fake leather.
At this time I also painted the heel black so it wouldn’t stand out as much. This is why I sanded down the shoe in the beginning. I just used regular interior/exterior house paint with a gloss finish.
The fur section was the hardest. TIP :: If possible, use fur with a stiff backing, not the soft, slinky fur. The stiff fur will stand up on its own and looks better.
I put on the shoes and used a sharpy to mark the curve of the front of my foot where the seam would go, roughly mark the middle of the back (the closure will go there), and also mark the top (don’t forget to check the grain of the fabric when you do this, make sure the fur is going in the correct direction). Then when I cut out the fur, I left a few inches in the back and the bottom. Stitch the front seam by hand or by machine, and then pull the fur out of the seam so it’s not as obvious. Then fold over the top about 1/2″ and hand stitch it down from the back. TIP :: Try not to stitch over the fur on the front, just grab the base of the fur with the needle.
This is the tricky part. Or at least it was for me, because the shoes I was using were strapy. If you do this over boots it will be easier. Put on one of the shoes and lay the fur over it, with the seam lined up in the middle over the cleft in the hoof. Mark where it lays over the platform by about 1/4″ and cut away the excess in the front only for now. Use hot glue to glue down a section of the fur at a time, starting in the front. Mark and cut the fur as you move along the base of the shoe and around the heel, keeping the shoe on your foot the whole time so that the fit/shape is correct. When you get to the back, hand stitch 1″ up the back seam. Leave the excess fur for the closure. I used 1″ velcro (If you live in Los Angeles, there’s this great place on San Julian between 8th and 9th that has ridiculously cheap velcro and other basic trims…I don’t know the name of it but they have boxes of crap outside and a labyrinth of crap inside, and also some good stuff). Carefully mark and pin/stitch the closure into place, and then you’re done!
I usually trim fur down to the base fabric when I’m sewing something on top of it, for example one side of the velcro. I also trimmed the fur a bit on the front to show more of the hoof. If I make another pair of these, I would try to get a base shoe with a taller platform so the hoof would be larger.
:: KtB ::