:: March 13th 2016 ::
As a newbie to all this kit building, some research was essential to ensure I got the right boots.. yes they are boots not shoes, and there are different types of boots depending on your costume. There does seem to be quite a few routes to obtaining the correct footwear for a stormtrooper, either made/modified yourself or purchased.
The made/modified yourself route might be the cheapest route however this involves basically painting a pair of mens chelsea boots white.
Ok think about that for a moment… when was the last time you painted a pair of leather boots or even a pair of trainers a different colour, and did it work out ok? Thought not.
Sorry but in my opinion these don’t even look ‘battle worn’.. they just look crap.
Now, if I were going down the route of a Sandtrooper then this might be an option as their boots are a bit messed up and not the smooth, clean white boots of the classic TK stormtrooper.
But as I’m not doing the Sandtrooper (yet) it just seems a great shame to spend all this time, money, and effort on getting everything else above the ankles correct, to ruin it with poor footwear.
So the other option open to me is to purchase the boots… proper boots.
After lots of research on the forums there seems to be really only two choices for quality stormtrooper footwear – Imperial Boots (www.imperialboots.com) and TK Boots (www.tkboots.com). These seem to be the go to guys for Star Wars costume boots for most of the 501st and apparently everyone else in the FISD forum or the Anovos group on Facebook.
After investigating both options and reading the general feedback on both companies and their product, I went for Imperial Boots. Not only was my timing perfect as they had a sale on, I also got a free upgrade to express delivery so all in all very happy. Boots ordered and as of last week they are now on their way 🙂
You can see the difference straight away between proper boots and home made. The Imperial Boots product are, and I quote “made of 100% real cow leather, leather sole with anti slipping rubber plates and a soft padded inner sole for added comfort. They are durable and will handle the rigours of an intensive trooping mission. Most importantly they look good and are screen accurate.”
“Imperial Boots is the collaboration of a French and Taiwanese Star Wars passionates who met in the middle kingdom. Both work in China for over 10 years and engaged in developing the Star Wars phenomenon through various production projects. After sourcing and producing several items for themselves, they set their eyes and helping fellow 501st members in finding great footwear to complete their costume.
The highly positive feedback from buyers encouraged them to start looking into the production of diverse model for more characters, thus becoming the only provider of such a wide diverse range of imperial shoes. Along the way they also got an excellent partner in the making of high quality leather gloves which they decided to offer to their fellow troopers in needs.
In 2015 they were joined by a fellow garrison member to support their effort to make some of the process more efficient to get the goods faster to more troopers.”
Here’s the kicker (no pun intended).. I wish I had known about Imperial Boots before I started the costume build. Apart from ‘shingate‘ slowing down the completion of the lower leg parts, apparently some troopers have steamed ahead and got their shin parts trimmed and assembled.. only to find that they couldn’t get their boots inside these panels 🙁 They had been measuring and fitting without boots on and ‘making an allowance’ for the boots.. but when their boots turned up the allowance wasn’t enough. Those in the know had their boots on hand so fitting and measuring was correct.
You’ll see from the costume build posts that I have held off assembling the shin panels – these will be completed once the boots arrive.