If you’ve never ended a ride with soaking wet shoes, then I don’t want to talk to you. If you have, then read on—Bethany Marcello, an assistant editor at CraftFoxes is here to show you how to make your own rainproof booties. She’s an avid biker, writer and crafter living in Portland, Oregon
If you want booties that are warm as well as waterproof, you could get some neoprene from Seattle Fabrics—or even from a beat-up wet suit you might find at Goodwill. After yesterday’s ride, I definitely need some to cover my Docs.
Soggy shoes have long plagued my husband’s daily work commutes, but the $50 price tag for a standard pair of bike booties was too much for our tiny budget. Making these DIY bike booties was an exciting and practical alternative. With a bright orange waterproof fabric, I made these rain covers in 2 hours and my final cost was only $10. There are lots of ways to customize this pattern, and it’s even appropriate for beginner sewists.
*Note: thinner fabric will last one winter and thicker fabric will last 2-3 winters
- Measuring tape
- Pattern paper or newspaper
- 1 yard of waterproof fabric (possible alternatives: an unwanted waterproof jacket, umbrella or even scuba gear)
- Sewing machine, scissors & thread
- 1-1/2-inch elastic
- Velcro or ties for the back closure (optional)
Step 1: Create Pattern
Take the following measurements:
- Along the inner foot, from outer to heel (1)
- Circumference of calf (where you want the bootie to end) (2)
- Over the top of shoe, from sole to sole (3)
- For straps, measure from toe to where you want the bottom strap to go (more for those with clip-in bike shoes) (4)
On pattern paper, trace the bottom of the bike shoe, making sure that sole is as long as (1) measurement.
Next, trace on pattern paper around toe of shoe and over laces. Check that this measurement is at least half of (3) measurement. Extend line up to shin.
Trace along the heel and up along the calf. Extend the leg-part of the booties as high as you choose. If you’re tucking the booties under your pants, about 3-5-inches will work. If tucking pants into booties, you may want at least 5-inches. The width of the pattern at top should be at least half of (2) measurement.
Add at least a 5/8-inch seam hemline for experienced sewists and at least a 1-inch hemline for newer sewists.
On pattern, mark where straps and closures are going.
Step 2: Cut Fabric
Note: If using expensive fabric, consider making a test piece on less expensive fabric to confirm sizing.
With fabric folded wrong sides together, trace pattern onto fabric and cut. Be sure to mark hemlines on fabric if you are new to sewing.
Step 3: Hem & Sew
Unpin fabric, and create a double hem along the edges of each piece. Once all cut edges are hemmed on both pieces, sew heel and top of shoe and laces. Attach elastic straps across the bottom.
Step 4: Finishing (optional)
Line top of the bootie with elastic, and add Velcro to close the back opening. (Other options include leaving it open to tuck in your pants, or using laces to tie it shut.)
Attach reflective ribbon along the back for better visibility.