how do you cut a sexy peep-toe?
March 27, 2014 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Shoe fashionistas of MeFi: how do you place and shape the opening of a peep-toe shoe?

I'm going to cut a peep-toe opening in a pair of shoes. I vaguely assume it should be curved and somewhere in the area of my big toe. I'd love a more exact guide! Any ideas, thoughts or guidelines?
posted by mirileh to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What do the shoes look like? Link?
posted by carsonb at 10:51 AM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would strongly suggest against doing this. I have a background in cordwaining (okay, I went to shoe camp) and am well versed in shoe construction, so let me bring you up to speed.

The only way that you could do this close to cleanly is if your shoe is made from a single layer of leather. Think about a pair of classic Birkenstocks and the kind of edge they have. That leather is thick and will be difficult to cut through. It will also be secured between the insole and outsole (what hits the ground), so you will probably still have a noticeable part where the cut leather and sole meet.

Most shoes, however, are not built like this. Most shoes have edges that are rolled and sewn so that they connect the outer leather and what is called the "sock liner" or inner leather that actually touches your feet. That layer is much thinner and more delicate.

The sewn edges keep the leather together and also keep your feet comfortable. If you have a cut edge with multiple layers of leather that are not sewn together, you run the risk of having the layers separate, roll up in funny ways, become visible or chafe you in ways you don't want, all that.

And this is all assuming that the shoe in question is good quality leather. Synthetics split much more easily and aren't as flexible, and may be more difficult to cut. Shoes with leather vamps (the part that isn't the sole) often have man-made or fabric liners that behave very differently from the outer material.

The main thing, though, is that every shoe squishes the feet and toes differently. What you might consider a "sexy peep toe" on one shoe design could look very different on another. Clear plastic or mesh shoes show you how scrunchy and weird your feet look when they're inside a rounded or pointed toe.

Most of all, though, you can't see how it looks because your toes are IN the (opaque, non-see-through) shoe.

And that's not even getting into the mass-manufacturing techniques that might make the shoe construction completely different from what you'd expect. (I once tried to deconstruct a pair of shoes from St. Vinnie's to do a heel transplant. No dice.)

So, uh, there you go. If you wanted to practice on a bunch of cheap shoes, that's one thing, but cheap shoes are made from cheap materials and will therefore not give you the best outcome anyway.

official killjoy of crafts
posted by Madamina at 10:58 AM on March 27, 2014 [72 favorites]

Best answer: What kind of shoes are we talking about? I cut some jelly ballerina flats with a carpet knife. Made cute peep toes. Did you see this tutorial? And this one? Here is a video (pointy Nine West pumps to peep toes).
posted by travelwithcats at 12:38 PM on March 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: (taking picture)
posted by mirileh at 12:43 PM on March 27, 2014

Response by poster: it's a pair of Crocs Glagas (sneaker for the beach), that I'm going to cut anyway (something is irritating my big toe). here's a picture online. BTW I've already cut out the side panels, and it's doable (Crocs are made from strange material).
posted by mirileh at 12:47 PM on March 27, 2014

Response by poster: travelwithcats, thanks for the links! (when I googled this, I came up with too many peep-toes for sale to find anything)
posted by mirileh at 12:50 PM on March 27, 2014

Okay, when you said "sexy peep toe" I was really not expecting that to involve Crocs beach sneakers. Yes, plastic/rubber would be an entirely different prospect. Context is everything :P
posted by Madamina at 3:31 PM on March 27, 2014 [43 favorites]

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