Written by: Luphinus and Diadexxus
**Click any picture for a large picture
• Foam rubber matting 2'x2' (known as Anti-Fatigue mats)
• 1 inch Nylon strapping (aprox. 9-10 feet)
• 2 inch welded chrome ring (chrome to prevent rusting)
• Pop rivet gun
• 5/8 inch aluminum pop rivets
• Aluminum rivet washers
• Razor blade
• Non-sticky back velcro or snaps
• Alternate: cheap rubber bottom of a welcome mat
1. Lay one of your fursuit feet on the foam matting (diamond design face down) and trace around it with a sharpie or pencil, be sure to leave at least half an inch. I recommend a full inch. But try to make it even on all sides. Use the razor to cut along the outline of your fursuit foot. (Outlining the toes of your feet may look cuter, but use your own discretion there.
2. Put your fursuit foot on the foam matting foot you just cut out.
3.Lay the steel ring on the top of your foot 1/2 to 1 inch in front of where you want the ring to be when you strap down your feet. (Remember that when you strap your feet into the sandals, the ring will be pulled back towards your ankle.) Measure the distance between the ring and the space between your center toes on the foam matting. Add 3-4 inches to that length. (You will need about an inch to rivet the strap down, and you’ll need 1 1/2 to 2 inches of overlap in order to loops the strap through the ring and then sew it together.) Hand sew with strong thread like upholstery, or button thread, use a sewing machine, in which you’ll probably want to use Dual Duty thread.
**BE SURE TO HEAT/MELT THE TIP OF THE NYLON STRAPPING WITH THE LIGHTER SO IT DOESN’T FRAY EVERY TIME YOU CUT IT.
4. To rivet down the front strap you’ll first want to punch a hole through
the foam matting with the pointed end of the rivet. After doing that, poke a
hole through the end of the strapping about 1/2 inch from the end. You may find
it difficult to put the blunt end of the rivet through the hole in the strapping,
just slowly work it through, you may need to use your finger nail. Do NOT use
a razor to cut the hole because it will end up too big for the rivet. After
you’ve gotten the rivet through the strapping, push the blunt end of the
rivet through the hole in the foam matting. Use a pair of pliers to gently hold
the aluminum washer. (Be sure that the washer is at the very tips of the pliers.)
Put the rivet gun over the pointed end of the rivet, then use the pliers to
push the washer down over the blunt end of the rivet while pushing it though
the foam matting. While holding the washer down as firmly as you can, squeeze
the rivet gun 1-5 times until the rivet stem (the pointy end) pops off.
5. Repeat Step 2 and 3 with the strap on the arch side of the foot. You may pick any point on the side of the foot, but I would suggest either putting the strap at a right angle to the direction of the foot, and the front toe strap. Or rivet it down 1/4 of the way towards the heel from the right angle/arch point.
6. The next step is a little tricky. What you’ll need to do is measure the distance from the metal ring to the point on the outside side of the foot, but you’ll need to add about 5 inches. I found the easiest way to figure this out is to use a measuring tape, or the nylon strapping , insert the end of the tape or strapping through the metal ring from the underside. Decide for yourself how much overlap you want for the velcro or snaps. Be sure to very lightly mark (or write down) the two points of where you want to sew the velcro nearest the metal ring. (These two marks will not be visible to anyone once the sandals are on your feet. If you do not mark the spots, your velcro will not line up properly when you go to strap your sandals down.) Once you have the marks, cut the proper lengths of both velcro sides, then sew them on, preferably with a sewing machine since that will hold MUCH better than hand sewing. Then rivet the strap in place.
7. When you have the front and both sides riveted down, place your fursuit foot in the sandal and strap it down. Measure the distance around the heel of your fursuit foot, preferably at least 3 inches from the foam matting. Cut a strap that length and sew it to the two side straps.
8. Once the heel strap is sewn on, measure the distance from the top of the heel strap at the height you want it on the exact point of the heel. Add 1 inch and then rivet it down. Sew it vertically to the horizontal heel strap, again, ether by hand or machine if possible.
For one set of sandals I’ve done I took a cheap welcome mat from BigLots ($5 US). Stripped the cloth covering off, and then cut out of the semi-hard rubber bottom of the welcome mat the exact shape of the foam matting piece. BEFORE riveting anything, I used hot glue to attach the welcome mat rubber to the foam matting of my sandal. It holds very well so far. I wanted to use epoxy, but didn’t have enough at the time, so I don’t know if it will hold better or worse than hot glue.
The rubber welcome mat seems to provide a much stronger surface to rivet through, however it is harder to push the rivet through and hold it.
Durability is another question. Diadexxus and I have only used our sandals
about 6 hours. Both foam and rubber sandal bottoms seem to hold up quite well
while walking around on concrete, asphalt, and wet grass