Birling Shoes

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Here’s the weather forecast for this week: Poop! So what better chance to build up a pair of shoes for loggers sports and when the weather makes a turn for the better you’ll be well prepared. I like to think of these shoes as the keystone in the preverbal shoe archway of a CrossFit Squamish athlete. Chucks, lifting shoes, bike shoes, climbing shoes, running shoes, etc can all be purchased but these guys you’ve gotta build yourself 🙂 Here’s the meat:

What you need them for: Birling (log rolling) and the Chokermans race. Also to be super BA.


Cheapest pair of soccer cleats you can get (new, used, found, borrowed without asking),
30 T-nuts and corks (see photo below). Corks you can get from Westward Sales (.39/each) and I’ll leave the contact info for getting T-nuts on the whiteboard at the gym.
Hack Saw
Flat file/rasp or grinder/drill with a sanding wheel
Drill and 1/4″ drill bit
Exacto knife

*If you don’t have some of the stuff above I can lend out what I’ve got.

How to:

1. As accurately as possible cut off all the cleats. The closer you cut these the easier the next step is.
2. File or sand/grind the remaining bits of the cleats flush with the bottom of the shoe.

3. Remove the insole.
4. Drill out all the spots you plan on putting the corks (see picture at the top).
5. Center the T-nuts over each of the drill holes (on the inside of the shoe) and mark them out. See photo below.
6. All T-nuts need to be hammered into the shoe (from the inside and sit flush with the base of the shoe on the outside. Some T-nuts will seat nicely without any cutting but others you’ll have to remove a bunch of the material first. This is a test/re-test process. It takes the most time and though easy is the least fun. (see below).

7. Once all T-nuts are hammered in position screw the corks in.
8. As a final touch to seal and level out all the holes in the base of the shoe I leveled the holes with a layer of silicone, let it dry, then reincerted the insole.
9. Bam, custom shoes. Funnest ever!

If you have any questions.. Andrew, The Gambler, and myself all built a pair last year and can help you out.


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