Heat printing shoes

How to Customize Footwear with Heat Transfers

by Matt DeLaere, Marketing

A discussion started up the other day about different items that can be decorated with heat transfer materials.  I thought I was being a smart-aleck when I threw out the suggestion of bowling shoes. Apparently, the joke was on me, as I was informed that not only is shoe decoration possible, but that there is an instructional video about it.

It goes without saying that my interest was piqued, so as I lay awake last night I began to think about the insane concept of heat pressing shoes. How could this be possible? I envisioned a shoe shoved into a heat press and someone pressing down with all their might. As it turns out, it’s far easier than that.

In this video Josh Ellsworth shows how footwear can be decorated using a custom platen for shoes, a heat press, and a tacking iron. Josh demonstrates that the process isn’t as complicated as one might think, all while somehow managing not to burn himself. Ever notice that he never seems to burn himself? How does he do that?

The shoes Josh decorates in this video help trigger some new ideas, such as the application of initials or numbers to baseball and basketball shoes, corporate or team logos on any variety of shoe, and the application of designs to add a sense of fashion to some fancy footwear. Shoe personalization can be great for kids, for example. Maybe junior demands the comfort of bare feet on the playground but keeps losing his kicks. Initials on the shoes can help children (or parents) find the right shoes – especially when there are a bunch of forgetful kids around.

This applies to adults as well.  Ever see that lone shoe lying in the middle of the road? If it was decorated with a name, initials, or (in extreme cases) an address, people (and lonely single shoes) could be reunited with their prodigal moccasins. Plus, in the event that the located shoe’s ownership is in question due to scurrilous roadside shoe thieves, the real owner can step forward with the matching shoe and claim what is rightfully his (there’s no need for a his/hers here – when have you ever seen a women’s shoe on the side of the road?).

So check out the video below and learn how thinking outside the shoebox can help add a new dimension to your heat printing business.


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