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Old 12-06-07, 11:37 AM   #1
HandsomeRyan
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Semi-rigid wind/waterproof shoe covers

After i got past my sticker shock for what I felt like were inferior shoe covers at the LBS, i got the idea that I'd just make my own. Originally I planned to sew them but I decided that a semi-rigid plastic-y cover would be easier to get off and on and provide superior wind/water protection.

The Plan:
Mask off a cycling shoe, cover it with a woven material, saturate with polyester resin, cut away excess.

Sounds simple enough.... I stuffed one of my cycling shoes with plastic grocery bags to simulate a foot being present and shoved it into a plastic baggie similar to the "produce" bags you get at the grocery store. I put the bagged shoe in a pantyhoe (what is the singular of pantyhoes?) and brushed on some polyester fiberglass resin. Once the resin dried, I bagged the whole thing into a second pantyhoe and added another coat of resin. After it dried I cut the hardened cover away from the heel area of the shoe and popped my shoe out. Unfortunatly, as I was trimming the cover to accomidate the SPD cleat I ripped it and it had to be thrown away. The concept is workable though. I plan to find a more suitable reinforcement than pantyhoe material and try again. If i had access to vaccum bagging equiptment I could use kevlar, carbon fiber, or other 'exotic' materials but because this is being done in my garage I need a "sleeve" of compressive material to make it work.

My next attempt could go 2 ways:

#1) after the first pantyhoe layer, add pieces of shredded glass before adding a second pantyhoe layer to compress the fibers and get them to 'lay down'.

#2) Find a different, thicker/stronger reinforcement such as dress socks to be impregnated with the poly resin.

Has anyone else ever tried to make molded shoe covers? Any feedback on what I've tried so far or the direction I'm heading is welcome.
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Old 12-07-07, 11:03 PM   #2
Hezz
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I can't see what you are trying to accomplish that standard materials wouldn't work better. You need to have flexibility at the ankle which will be hard to accomplish by your method and still be water proof around the lower leg. However if your just trying to make an old shoe water and wind proof I say try it but why not add a thin layer of foam insulation at the same time. Unless you are in an area where cold is not such a problem.

Kevlar and carbon fiber are expensive and would make the shell too rigid. It would cost more for materials that to buy new high end shoe covers. But you might try combining scraps of ballistic nylon or cordora with the pantyhose trick.

I still think that you are not going to accomplish your waterproofness goal at the ankle joint by this method.
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Old 12-10-07, 09:50 AM   #3
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I like your idea.
Over x-mas break I am gonna buy an thrift store shell jacket with fleece in it and cut it up and sew it to a pedal. It will cover my toes and top of my foot.
I just need to keep the cold wind off of my toes.
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Old 12-10-07, 02:24 PM   #4
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I made a pair of full shoe covers for my size 14 SIDIs last night. I used the legs from an old worn out wetsuit from my triathlon days. I tested them this mornig in 14F degree wet weather and they are better than anything retail I've ever tried and returned. I just need to reinforce the cleat holes this evening and they should be good to go.
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Old 12-12-07, 09:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hezz View Post
I can't see what you are trying to accomplish that standard materials wouldn't work better. You need to have flexibility at the ankle which will be hard to accomplish by your method and still be water proof around the lower leg. However if your just trying to make an old shoe water and wind proof I say try it but why not add a thin layer of foam insulation at the same time. Unless you are in an area where cold is not such a problem.

Kevlar and carbon fiber are expensive and would make the shell too rigid. It would cost more for materials that to buy new high end shoe covers. But you might try combining scraps of ballistic nylon or cordora with the pantyhose trick.

I still think that you are not going to accomplish your waterproofness goal at the ankle joint by this method.

I'm not covering the ankles, just the front/top of the shoe. The basic idea is to keep the cold wind out of the "vent" holes that make the shoes comfortable to wear in the summer. They will be trimmed to only go as high as the top velcro strap. I'll try to get pictures of my second attempt.
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