- An old pair of comfy shoes, preferably trainers. (FREE)
- upholstery foam 1 metre. (£10)
- Hot glue gun (£10)
- Brown suede material 1 metre. (£6)
- Acrylic Paint & brushes
- velcro strip approx. 30cm (£2)
- Faux Fur 1 metre. (£4)
- Needle & Thread.
Total: Roughly £30! Not bad at all!
The hard hooves shown in our 'Hooves' section can become damaged over time. They also can be difficult to walk in for some younger costume crafters. An alternative, that also allows you to run, jump and sprint in your hooves, would be our new and improved 'Soft Hooves.' Light, durable and easy to make, Soft Hooves are great for a quick alternative, should your hard hooves be in need of some TLC at short notice.
We recommend you use an old pair of comfy shoes, preferably with laces, for these hooves.
The supplies used for the soft hooves are similar to our hard hooves, but much less complicated! In fact, these soft hooves were made with the left over foam from our goat legs, so even cheaper.
Don't forget to gather faux fur that matches your leg colour too.
Using a regular pair of scissors, cut our a shape in your foam that is about the length of your old shoe. The shoes I used were old and cosy plimsoles, where the colour had all gone and left them a bit worse for wear, so they were perfect for this project. The foam is cut out to resemble the shape of your shoe: it will cover the sides, and be joined with another piece on the other side to engulf your shoe (as shown below).
Cut a matching piece and wrap it over your shoe to check that it fits.
As shown above, the two pieces cover each side of the shoe. Remember not to obstruct the area in which you enter your foot, or where the laces are, particularly nearest to your ankle, or the shoe won't be much help once you are done. Using your hot glue gun (and being careful not to burn yourself) glue along the sides of your shoe and across the front, eventually bringing the two foam pieces together to encase your shoe. Once it is dry, your shoe should be covered in the two foam pieces with the laces still unobscured. Most of the shoe will be hidden under the fur at the end, so don't worry about being able to see the 'non-hoof' parts.
As shown on the above left, the bottom of your shoe should be uncovered and a split be evident. This is because we are still using the sole of the shoe, which, as professionally manufactured, is best for walking on. The foam should hide the shoe but not obstruct the sole. Once the glue is dry, using your scissors, you can cut away at the ridge of the hoof toe to make the indent more prominent. This will be the split in your toe later on. Repeat for the other shoe (unless you want to hop about as a goat, of course).
Suede is accessible from most fabric shops and is pretty inexpensive. You don't need good quality suede particularly, just brown or darker suede. Drape the suede over the shoe - you don't need to cover the back, just go up to where the foam stops short of the laces and the opening. When you are happy with the size, trim the suede, and use your glue gun to layer the shoe gently, press the suede over and into the indent to cover the shoe. Be careful! The glue will be hot, even through the fabric!
Once your suede is dry, review your shoe so far. It should look like the example on the left. I ended up trimming the foam that covered the back of the shoe completely, but as long as it doesn't obscure the opening or the laces, it should be fine.
The split in the toes is evident. You can try on the shoe at this point - it should be light and almost as though you are wearing an ordinary shoe!
Check both shoes match in size and that you are happy before moving on to the next stage.
Now for the best part! Using your acrylic paint, and probably the same colours used for the hard hooves - yellow ochre, tan, brown, etc, or any colour of your choice - paint the suede in a striping fashion, to blend the colours together. Any rough paint brush will do. The Suede should take it well, and is a great fabric for painting on as it dries rough but not cracked. Apply liberally and paint the entire shoe and allow to dry.
To add depth to the toe divide, paint a darker shade of brown into the indent to highlight that there is a toe gap there. Of course if you are making a non-cloven hoof, then you don't need to do this.
Paint as much of the shoe as you like but bare in mind again, that the area in which your foot enters will be hidden by the faux fur.
Paint the other shoe and let them both dry together - this will probably take two hours.
When your shoes are dry, you can begin to add your faux fur. As said earlier, make sure to match your fur with any existing faux fur that you have used on other costume parts - even similar furs can be quite strikingly different when placed together! You will want a reasonably large amount of fur, enough to wrap around your ankle and the top of the shoe. It is better to use more than you think you will need, and to leave enough space so that you can enter the shoe with your foot and tie your laces. DO NOT cover or obstruct your laces, or you won't be able to wear them! Make sure to hem the hedges of your fabric before continuing.
You will need to use your hot glue gun to glue the fur around the base of the hoof. Make sure to fold the fur over to form a hem before gluing it down.
On the underside of the shoe, glue around the base of the foot to cover up any exposed foam or suede, and take care not to have too much hair under the sole, or this will get very dirty overtime.
Now that your fur is glued to your main shoe, glue around the heel until you are left with an opening in which to put your foot, like the image on the left. The edges should be hemmed as they are there, ready to be tied around your lower leg.
The fur should be able to fold back like this for easy access to the shoe. You can test the fabric, by pulling it up and wrapping it around your ankle: now is a good time to make an alterations if it's too baggy, for example.
Taking a long strip of velcro, attach it to one side of the fur, and the other corresponding part of the velcro to the opposing side. Once attached (as shown, right) you can wrap the fur around your ankle and close the shoe completely.
On the right, you will see how with velcro, the shoes tie up at the back. I chose to keep them quite flat footed here, but bigger foam hooves can make a better illusion, so play with how you would like to make your hooves. Walking on your toes from time to time also adds to the illusion.
Buttons and poppers can also work for the fabric, though I find velcro to be the easier choice. You can run, walk, skip and dance in these hooves!
Congrats on making your soft hooves! :)