How to Make Ninja Shoes

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The popularity of ninjas makes them perfect subjects for costumes. But creating a realistic depiction means having the right equipment. The ninja's tabi shoes are light and flexible with a separate big toe that makes them ideal for balance, speed and agility. While they'll hardly be authentic, it's possible to make a fairly effective pair at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Pair of black socks (slightly larger than the wearer's foot)
  • Scissors
  • Needle and black thread
  • Pair of fabric insoles
  • Pair of black flip-flops
  • Utility knife
  • Awl or nail
  • Shoe repair glue

Making the Sock and Template

  • Flip one of the socks inside out and put it on the wearer. Trace the footprint on a piece of plain paper. Make a mark on the paper between the big and first toe. Feel between the toes, and poke a pencil through the sock at the point where the toes meet. Then draw a dashed line connecting that mark to its corresponding toes. Cut the footprint out to use as a template.

  • Sew the sock along the dotted lines of the template, making a V-shape on the fabric. Stitch it tightly enough to create a sturdy seam.

  • Cut out the fabric inside the V-shaped stitching between the toes using scissors. Leave about 1/4 of an inch between the stitching and the cut. Then flip the sock inside out again.

  • Repeat the entire process for the other sock.

Assembly

  • Place one template on one of the insoles and trace it using the pencil. Cut the insole based on the outline.

  • Cut the thong off the flip-flop. Trace the template onto the flip-flop. Then cut the flip-flop with the utility knife along the template outline.

  • Poke the awl or nail through the flip-flop and insole together repeatedly at 1/2-inch intervals along the edge. Do this about 1/4-inch in from the edges.

  • Cover the top of the flip-flop in a film of shoe repair glue. Slide the insole into the sock, lining up the big toes. Stick the sock onto the flip flop. Sew the sock onto the flip-flop using the holes you punched earlier. Place a heavy book on top of the shoe and leave the shoe repair glue to dry overnight.

  • Repeat the entire process for the other shoe.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the thickest thread you can to keep the shoe together longer.
  • If you cut a channel along the inside of the sole of the flip-flop, between the holes you gouged with your awl or nail, it will keep the thread from dragging on the ground, thus keeping the shoe together longer.

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