Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pimping out your Tango Shoes

From UrbanDictionary.com:
Pimp Out:  A term used to describe massive modification (noun: "mods") of something to make it standout and look attractive.  The term is derived from the way pimps modify their cars with various colors, lights and other hardware.

Aesthetic Mods:

It started with the shoe clips which I still get here when I fancy a pair.  I loved being able to match a plain pair of t-straps to just about anything in my wardrobe.

Then, my silver and black Jorge Nel (Mr. Tango Shoes) shoes started taking a beating and the shiny silver heels started to look really terrible. My cobbler said there wasn't much he could so I went to the store and grabbed some silver shimmer nail polish, and voila! Perfect match! New shiny heels for $6.95 plus tax. My cobbler, over at Austin Shoe Hospital, did tell me that he could easily re-wrap heels in just about any color leather I wanted, so for my other shoes that are getting worn out, I maybe getting the heels wrapped in turquoise leather.

The next step, I'm almost certain, will be glitter.  I'm getting brave - especially on my shoes that are more beat up, since I don't have much to lose if it goes badly.  Check out Bastet's post on Tango Shoe Divas:

While we're on the subject of glitter, my newest shoes from NeoTango, will almost certainly need regularly glitter application, which shouldn't be too much of a problem. Just about any well-stocked cobbler will have the glue I need, and the glitter I can match up in a craft store.

(That's me, in my new NeoTango shoes, filing at work. Just because.)

If you're coveting the trademark red soles of Christian Louboutins, you can apparently have your cobbler paint the soles for you according the Daily Mail.

Performance Mods:

To protect the ball of the foot, don't just add cushion - support the arch.

After my podiatrist gave up trying to get me to stop dancing in "ridiculously high heels", we negotiated a compromise.   He thought by getting me to agree to wear orthopedic inserts (which I surely wouldn't be able to fit into my shoes), he would win and I would have to give up the heels. Well the joke's on him. After wrestling a bit with my shoes, I did actually manage to fit the inserts in my shoes. (These inserts will only work with tango shoes that have a complete heel cage. Open heels, or filigree heel cages, will not give enough support to the orthotic to hold it in place - even with the adhesive on the bottom.)   These are the inserts I wear (the 3/4 variety - not the full sole.)   Unlike cushions under the balls of the feet which only absorb shock, these inserts actually work a little bit like a lever and take some of the pressure of the ball of the foot by supporting the arch.

Converting Street Shoes with Felt Soles

I have two pair of street shoes (in beige and also in black) that are gorgeous (and very comfortable despite the 3.5" heel) for dancing and have substantial ankle straps that protect my ever-weakening ankles. The problem? Even though they have leather soles, the texture of the leather is very sticky on most of the floors I dance on. So I'm having the soles covered in felt to make it a little easier to pivot. The downside is that they won't take the abuse that my other leather bottom shoes do.  If I had a cobbler that still worked with the thin ultra-flexi soles, I could just have them resoled, but I can't find a shop that has them anymore. So a friend has offered to cover the soles in adhesive felt - which isn't permanent, but considering the shoes weren't expensive anyway, it's a good quick fix.

What mods have you made to your shoes? What has worked well - and what turned out to be not-so-great?


  1. -great post ! Could you possibly say which orthopedic insert is the one you use/recommend ? (as there are so many models on the link you provide....) thanks v. much !