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Topic: Clown Shoes
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Feb 16, 2004 09:36AM)
I am thinking of trying my hand at making Clown Shoes.

I have worked with leather for many years, and even done some shoe repair, and was wondering if you all would help me out, in trying to see if making Clown Shoes on a small scale is even feasible.

I am trying to weigh all the variables, and see if I can make a shoe that:

A) Fits,
B) Is fairly comfortable,(when I say this, I am going on the theory that all clown shoes are as uncomfortable as the ones that I have purchased in the past.)
C) looks good,
D) doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

So if any/all of you would just answer a few questions it would be a great help.

#1 How many pair of Clown shoes do you have?
#2 How often do you buy Clown shoes?
#3 What would you consider a "good" price for a pair of Clown shoes as described above?
#4 what type of maintenance do you do on your Clown shoes?
#5 How long do a pair of Clown shoes last you?
#6 Do you repair or replace your Clown shoes?
#7 Do you own a pair of "Comfortable" Clown shoes?
(I am talking sneaker-like comfortable, as comfort is a relative thing.)
#8 What advice/recommendations would you give for Clown shoe design? From personal experience.
#9 Do you buy new or used?
#10 Do you consider me completely demented for even considering this?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me

Steve "Abaloonie" Giunta :baby:

Ps I'll repost after I get sufficient feedback to be able make a decision based on this feasibility study.

Being a kinda part-time clown myself, I think I'll take the survey myself, and start things off.

1 I own 4 pair of Clown Shoes, but I bought all of them used from a Magic/costume shop. (Hmmm, another good question comes to mind.)

2 Since I have 4 pair, I bought shoes once, and unless I find more used ones, (or make my own) I probably won't buy any more, especially since I am only a very part-time clown.

3 A Good Price would be less than $100, but I have never found any that cheap (and this survey is to partially find out if that is feasible. There is also labor and materials to consider.)

4 Cleaning and polishing

5 Don't know these seem to have a good ammount of life left in them.

6 I will probably repair.

7 NO, I own no comfortable Clown shoes.

8 Comfortable Clown shoes, and Toe protection.

9 I have bought used when I could find them.

10 Not completely, although definitely partially demented. (I actually prefer Delusional). :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

Good luck, hope this goes well :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

Steve :baby:
Message: Posted by: Jewls (Feb 17, 2004 09:37PM)
I own Spears Clown shoes and love them comfortable nice lift to the horse hair toe, I have had them resoled and will again....I just ordered my son who is clowning his way through college a new pair form a shop in Mexico they are very reasonable!!! I will let you know what I think when they come in. Wayne Scott makes very comfortable shoes. Clown support does too but my they are pricy. I buy new. If your making them sneaker comfy I am guessing your using sneakers? I have 13 years of hard ware on one pare of Spears shoes they will go for many more. I paid a lot way back then but they lasted a lot longer then 2 pair of good work boots' Is there a reason you are making them? Have you ever bought a pair?
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Feb 18, 2004 12:24PM)
Like Jewels, I have custom-made-fit-to-my-feet Spears shoes. I designed them and had them made (sort of a clownish version of the Charley Chaplin Tramp shoe and not as “extreme” as most clown shoes).

1. How many pair of Clown shoes do you have? – One. Buy the best and take care of them and they last forever. I only have one character so don’t need different styles, colors, etc.

2. How often do you buy Clown shoes? – Once so far. I buy quality that I know will last. If they you take care of them, resole them professionally, and they should last for as long as you need them (unless of course your foot changes for some reason!).

3. What would you consider a "good" price for a pair of Clown shoes as described above? – I won’t tell you what I spent to have a pair of shoes made especially for me. That is foot mold made and shoes custom made to fit my short wide duck feet! Cost is subjective. If the shoe is prefect for fit, comfort (especially comfort) and character what would that be worth to you?

4. What type of maintenance do you do on your Clown shoes? - Let dry after use, clean, polish, and check on wear to have any damage properly repaired before becomes unable to be repaired. I give the type of care one would give any expensive shoe or boot (I have custom handmade Renaissance Faire boots that cost over $1000.00 and I have custom, handmade Tony Lama cowboy boots that cost over $500.00 and both are over 20 years old and both in great shape! Both have been resoled a couple of times).

5. How long does a pair of Clown shoes last you? Forever! OK, OK, maybe not forever but I do expect long life, say 20 years plus from my shoes.

6. Do you repair or replace your Clown shoes? Repair. If I need repairs done it goes back to the guy who made them for me.

7. Do you own a pair of "Comfortable" Clown shoes? YES!! My shoes are as comfortable as any pair of shoes I have ever worn. They are made for comfort and heavy physical activity. Sneakers are uncomfortable compared to my shoes!
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Feb 18, 2004 10:43PM)
Jewls & Harry,
Thanks for the input, It is "Very" enlightening.

Jewls, to answer your questions; It all boils down to, 3 things,
#1.I am making myself and a couple of my kids a pair,
#2. Mostly because I enjoy working with leather, and trying my hand at new things(in other words, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.).

#3. I am also by necessity a thrifty person. (I didn't know I had such a politically correct/diplomatic answer in me, lets face it, I'm cheap.)

I have the knowledge of how to accomplish this, the materials on hand, the time, and necessity IS the mother of invention.

I have four pair of professionally made Clown shoes(nice looking, but uncomfortable), that I purchased "used" from the original "Magic Corner" in Raleigh before they went out of business. (NOTE: They have since reopened under new management.)

I did a lot of things while in the army, that I didn't enjoy doing, just because they needed to be done. So, at present, I am searching for something to do that I enjoy, and can make money at. The VA is going to pay me to go to College, or give me up to 4 years of training in... whatever, through the Voc Rehab Program. I am therefore, trying to find a job I enjoy, that will support my family too.

If all goes well, I may try my hand at making clown shoes professionally. The shoe repair shop in my little town just closed, so their is a sideline open also.

Thanks again for your input, It really is appreciated.
If anyone else wants to wade in on this I'd appreciate as much input as I can get.

Steve :baby:
Message: Posted by: nums (Mar 2, 2004 09:37PM)
Hello, I own two pair of Spears and will probably get another this year or next. I have one that I wear at mt resuraunts, one for privet parties and will probably replace my resturaunt shooes this or next year. I am of the opinion that you get what you pay for, I can get 50 dollar shooes but they feel, look and last like 50 dollar shoes. My first pair of Spears was $270 and my second pair was $400 my third pair will probably be in the neighborhood of $400 also, I wear my shoes almost everyday and feel they are worth the $$$$. If I could find a pair cheaper of the same quality I would get them however like most other things if they are of equal quality they soon will be of equal cost..
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Mar 8, 2004 09:16AM)
Thanks nums,
I agree with you about the "you get what you pay for" statement.

There is probably a large ammount of work and experience/craftsmanship that goes into making a "Quality" pair of Clown shoes, that someone just starting out would not have the skills to duplicate.

I always told my young troopies that("you get what you pay for") when I was in the army. When counseling them on equipment purchases, ESPECIALLY when concerning shoes. A good pair of shoes/boots makes all the difference.

Well, there wasn't much response to this thread, although the quantity was light, the quality was heavy.
Thank you for your help, guess I'll leave the clown shoe making to the professionals, and go back to what I know, Brain surgeonin', and double naught spyin';)

:rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
Thanks again everybody
Steve :baby:
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Mar 19, 2004 05:04PM)
I found an old pair of brogues that go well with my tramp character. My wife felt they needed a little something so she painted some polka dots on them.

Very comfy, even to wear all day.

I used to use the large clown shoes but found a lot of people (including parents) took perverse joy is stomping on my feet. I guess it was to see where the toes ended and the shoe started???

Since going to more "normal" shoes, I don't have this problem.
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Mar 30, 2004 10:23PM)
I know what you mean about the foot stompin good time some kids have, thankfully, I've never had an adult do that.

So since you switched, it has stopped. That's very interesting. I guess people can relate more to the real thing.

Message: Posted by: Regan (Oct 24, 2005 10:18AM)
Spears shoes are great. I had a pair custom-made a few years back. I highly recommend Spears if you can afford them. They are so comfortable and well-made. You can also get them in a variety of styles and colors to match virtually any clown character or costume you can dream up.

Message: Posted by: RiffClown (Oct 25, 2005 03:34PM)
Here's my main pair.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Oct 26, 2005 09:07AM)
Nice Rob!
Message: Posted by: Scruffy the Clown (Nov 1, 2005 05:41AM)
I purchased mine from caboots.zoovy.com. They are open all the way to the toe and a pretty tight heel cup helps to keep them on your feet. I am happy with them, however, I have never had a pair of the Spears or other "Namebrands". I paid a hundred and fifty for mine.Their selection is pretty limited. They have one style of shoe availible in a few different colrs and trim variations. They are leather, not the "Pleather" manmade stuff. My wife's shoes will have to be made, she has a pretty narrow heel.
Sdgiu, Good luck with this, I've thought about it myself. PLease let us know what you decide to do. Let me know when your ready to start making the Mrs. a pair of mary janes.
Message: Posted by: actorscotty (Nov 2, 2005 04:12PM)
#1 How many pair of Clown shoes do you have?<<<<<- 2(i have 2 characters
#2 How often do you buy Clown shoes?<<<<- only once so far
#3 What would you consider a "good" price for a pair of Clown shoes as described above? <<<<<-no idea
#4 what type of maintenance do you do on your Clown shoes? <<<<- clean,polish, have had main pair resoled and sewed up[ the back twice
#5 How long do a pair of Clown shoes last you? <<< main pair was my ronald mcdonald shoes I had since 1978, still going strong
#6 Do you repair or replace your Clown shoes? <<<<- repair so far
#7 Do you own a pair of "Comfortable" Clown shoes? <<<<<-yes, my old ronald shoes afre very comfortable, they are "custom made by Willies of hollywood,)
#8 What advice/recommendations would you give for Clown shoe design? From personal experience.hi top shoes are more comfortable real leather a must I think, and open to the toe is a good thing
#9 Do you buy new or used?<<<-depends on what I am looking for, my second shoes are for my tramp character and I bought a brand new pair of size 16 mens dress shoes from the local goodwill store for one dollar, then used shoe dye to paint them with black and white checkerboard design
#10 Do you consider me completely demented for even considering this? <<<- on the contrary, if you really want to do this .you are wise to do market research first
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 26, 2005 11:45AM)
Although I am only a clown at heart, I put on different shoes based on characters used during my Nearly Normal Programs.

Over the last 10 years or so, I have fun with the oversized slippers.

The latest addition are Ducky Shoes. The bright yellow goes great with the safron colored props, hats, vest ... used by one of my characters.

Also in the slipper category are Koalas, Cat in the hat, and a rainbow version of the oversized shoe.

Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Dec 28, 2005 11:55PM)
Thanks for reviving this thread, the input, and encouragement.
Although I had forgotten about it, I have since acquired a sewing machine capable of handling leather, but the motor needs a tuneup/some work(?).

Although doing this right requires a bit more expertise than I now have, I am still looking into it. I think some type of classes will be needed before I can do it right. Anybody can make a funny looking shoe, but to make it Comfortable will be the trick.

When you first enter the Army, if you are lucky, some wise old troop will advise you on the things you will need to survive, and enjoy(???) army life. Top of all the lists (I've ever heard, and later on given) is comfortable "Boots" and Good maintenance to them. Then same would go for Clowns, because of being on your feet for so long at a time.

I never had a gig where I wasn't on my feet for quite a while, and(unlike the army), when I performed, my performances were Gratis, so the expensive/comfortable clown shoes were the "unnescessary" expense that got cut. That is why I have been trying to come up with the good/inexpensive/comfortable shoe idea.

At present, I have some leather to experiment with, but no time to do it.
Maybe soon.
So in the meantime, keep them cards and letters a comin'.
i.e. I appreciate all feedback AND suggestions I can get.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year
Steve :baby: