Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pimp My Feet

Everyone who loves roller derby agrees that there is one thing about the game that is more important than anything else. No, not developing your team skills or getting in peak physical condition, don't be silly! The most important thing is looking good in front of a crowd of people and the one area of your derby appearance that is most likely to be ignored is the most fundamental one: your skates. An astute Derby Helper reader has realized this and submitted the following question:

I've just bought my first ever brand spanking new pair of skates. I put some tartan laces in that I had knocking around the house, but I really want to make them awesomely awesome & not just black. Preferably with skulls.

What methods are there for customizing your skates? Can you just paint on to them & if so what kind of paints should I use? I need ideas!



Well Martha, there are two different ways to go about taking the track with mackdaddy feet. The first way is to address the issue at the time you make your skate purchase. Why would you want to buy some generic pair of black leather skates that you have to modify when you could show up to the track in some of these beauties?
 Good news, these are zero emissions vehicles!  (Except on chili night.)

If only there was a country somewhere that could use these...

Why yes, I play for the Texas Rollergirls, why do you ask?



But in your case Martha, since you've already spent your skate money, it's too late to save yourself all the pesky manual labor required to look pimptastic on the track.  So here are a few cutomization options you can look into.

You can buy acrylic paint for leather/vinyl and go to work painting up your skates.  A clear coating is applied over the top to protect the paint from wear and tear and trust me, you'll want protection from wear and tear.  The pro to this is that you work up any theme your brain can concoct.  The con to this is that you are at the mercy of your own creativity and artistic skills.  If your brain and hands are a swirling dervish of expression, you'll end up with the skate version of this...

...but if your favorite band is Nickelback and you think Dane Cook is hilarious, you might end up with something that looks more like this:

If your skate boots are leather and you have a soldering iron, you can scuff off the existing paint and burn creative patterns and images onto the leather:

If instead you have vinyl skate boots and a soldering iron, you can quickly and efficiently reduce your skates to a smoldering pile of ashes... yeah, be kinda careful what you're scorching at 500 degrees. 

It appears that my ideas are getting dangerous pretty quickly so I'll stop here and throw this out to the roller derby community  What do you do to spice up your boring old Reidell's?  Email us your tips on snappy new ways to jazz up your skates (include a picture if you so choose) and I'll add them at the end of this post with your name so you get full credit for the awesome or full blame for the damage.


  1. Virgin Mary got her feet pimped

  2. For those less than ideally talented for soldering iron art, there are many companies that do laser etching of whatever art you supply.