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July 9, 2017

This Week's News Older News

From the corner booth...

Right before Beantown Camp, I got a new pair Adidas Superstar sneakers, my favorite shoes used for dancing. It's been my choice of everyday sneakers for the last 30 years and the best for the pounding my feet take on the dance floor. Naturally, the sneakers needed to be "chromed" so I could use them on the dance floor. The last time I had done this was after one of the Beantown Camps that were held at Wheaton College so those sneakers were long overdue to be retired.

I had a couple of chroming kits so I pulled one of them out and started tracing out the shoe outline.

Let me take a quick break here for a public service announcement.

There are two ways to cut/trim the leather for your sneakers:

  1. You can trace the outline of the sneaker and then cut outline of sneaker with scissors and make sure the leather fits the sneaker before gluing them on.
  2. You can glue the sneaker to the leather and then cut out the excess leather with a utility knife.

If you do the latter, there's a good chance you'll slip and cut yourself. I've heard plenty of stories of people hurting themselves this way. Even if you use scissors, it's harder to cut off the excess where it would look good.

If you cut out the leather beforehand, you can trim it so the fit is perfect before you commit to the glue.

Where were we?

After I cut out the leather and was satisfied with the fit, I slathered contact cement from the tube included in the kit, waited 10 minutes and then fitted the leather to the respective sneakers and then used a hammer on them to make sure all of the leather made contact with the sneaker. After waiting overnight, the shoes were ready.

Now all that was to prepare for what I really wanted to say.

One of the leather shoes came off during Beantown. At that late hour on a Sunday, I couldn't find the contact cement; went to CVS, Walmart, and some random convenience store. I guess I hadn't put enough contact cement on the sneaker. The one-ounce tub wasn't enough; I even used the extra tube I happened to have in my basement but I still didn't put enough on. I was going to go to Home Depot the next day to get some of that contact cement.

At some point I saw a tube of Shoe Goo on a table during the evening dance and chased down the owner (Pasquale) to borrow it. It was clearly the 3.7-ounce tube; I used a lot of the glue and didn't even put a dent in the tube. The glue was clear unlike the yellowish contact cement and best yet, the odor was minimal. I used to make fun of the people chroming their dance shoes at Beantown because everyone must have been getting high on the glue fumes; just walk by them and you would get a good dose.

The glue must be a new product; I found it at Lowe's and one of my local hardware stores. If you're chroming a new pair of sneakers, definitely buy the big tube. Get the small one you wanted something for an emergency.

One more thing: On Monday the other sneaker's chrome sole came off; what a terrible chroming job I did. The guy with the Shoe Goo wasn't around and we were only going to be around until that night. Someone gave me some...costume tape? It's double-sided tap for wearing wigs or keeping clothes in place. I put it between the bottom of my dance sneakers and the chrome leather and it stayed in place until I could fix it properly at home.

See you on the dance floor.

Benson Wong

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