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    Hi there,

    Have mild Cerebral Palsy (walk with a bit of a limp and that’s it) and end up dragging my left foot when I move (typically can get going at a pretty fast clip, so footwear wears down or can, fairly easily / quickly) , thus wearing a gigantic hole in the toe portion. Very creative elderly friend of mine, managed to put a metal (carbide) piece over the boot, fastened with screws, that works immensely well to protect the toe of the shoe, and stop it from wearing down. Only issue is that, being metal, it’s clunky / noisy (scrapes on pavement / sidewalk, etc.) and the screws make noticable marks and scratches on things like the insides of car doors, stairs, etc. He had been asking for further help and ideas from his creative community / contacts, but no-one else had any ideas, and he had plans to keep working on it for me, and also to ideally expand on the concept, to have different sizes and types of protectors that would  fit over different types of shoes for lifestyle / diversity (i.e. pieces that would fit over and onto regular running shoes, banquet shoes, etc. that wouldn’t be clunky, obviously) but unfortunately, he ended up becoming ill / is now in the process of moving, and is unable to continue the project where he left off (and was also needing further support with it anyway).  So, it’s been recommended that I post here, to see if anyone in the Makers community can refine / fix / finish off, what my friend has already started. Photos are attached. Let me know if you need further info.

    Thanks very much,



    I have a couple of ideas.

    I’m not sure how important traction is with this contact patch.  If it is not important, a strip of UHDPE would work here.  It’s a non-stick material but can be thermoformed to fit the shoe.  It could be anchored from the back with barbed stainless anchors that don’t protrude.  After making a mould of your boot, I could make a dozen or so strips that could be replaced when worn out.

    If traction is important, the same technique could be used to make an insert out of TPE.  I’ll also share an old skateboarding trick – we used to wear out the other side of our skate shoes constantly from the grip tape.  Use “shoe goo” to glue a piece of bicycle innertube over the spot that wears.  Make sure to read the directions for the adhesive because prep and curing time make or break a good bond.

    For a more generic solution that would work with other footwear and be more discreet, a solution could be something resembling a safety shoe slip cover – a device intended to add a steel toe to generic footwear – but with better anchoring.  These slip covers generally rely on an elastic strap to hold the cover to the shoe – I suspect it may be necessary to upgrade that to a more rigid strap than can be tightened fast like a rock climbing cleat.  A toe of HDPE or TPE depending on traction requirements could be fashioned.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    Hi Ryan, thanks for this; could we have a Zoom chat so I can be able to better grasp what you’ve explained, and let you know details re: the shoes / discuss things further?

    You would need to set up the meeting as I have no clue how to do that. Let me know, thanks,



    @ryan4 Thanks for the note.  I was wondering if you can add some more info, or maybe have some pictures to help demonstrate what you’re describing.

    @chadl @janetmarti do you know anyone at VHS who might have the skills to work on this?

    @cmcgough @noamplatt @demetrius I know you all like to play with CNC so thought you may be interested too.



    Interesting problem to solve! I’ve shared it at VHS to see if anyone has any ideas or is interested in getting on here to help.

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