Sunday, May 22, 2011

OMG, Shoes!

Second Life is an amazing world. There, we all have superhero-like powers. We can fly! We can teleport to another place with the power of thought! We can breathe under water, or in outer space, and survive falls from great heights! We can move buildings or even mountains with a touch of our finger! Why, then, oh why does a simple thing like a pair of shoes require an advanced degree to master? I dunno, girlfriend – it’s just How Things Are Done Here. A couple of my newbie friends were having trouble with their shoes recently, and inspired the following (Thanks, Gemini70 and LadyGinger!)

You've just bought new shoes! Your first job is to get them out of the box they probably came in. Open the box by dragging it from your inventory onto the ground, in a place where you're allowed to do this ("rez objects"), such as a public sandbox. Right click the box and select Open. Highlight the contents and drag them from the box into your inventory. Now right click the box and either Take or Delete it, so as not to litter.

Shoes consist of at least three parts. There are the left and right shoes, which are prim attachments. These have a symbol in your inventory of a little cube. Then there is a "shoe base". This has the symbol of a little shoe.

One pair of shoes, five parts. HUD, alpha layer, left &right shoes, shoe base

It's important to wear the shoe base as well as the shoes. The base distorts your feet to fit the shoes properly.

It's handy to keep all the parts of a pair of shoes in their own folder so you know where they all are!

Set your feet to size 0. All shoes in SL are designed to fit this foot size, and it will save you hours of editing your shoes to fit.

You can edit your shoes and fine tune the fit. This is done in one of two ways, depending on the shoes. Some, you can edit directly with the Build tools. Others are equipped with re-sizing scripts. Left click the shoes, and a menu will appear. Your shoes probably came with a note that explains how to edit them. Read it!

If your shoes do have re-sizing scripts in them, make a safety copy of them! Then, when you are sure you are done editing them, use the Delete menu option to kill the scripts. Re-sizing scripts contribute a LOT to sim lag and make life miserable for everyone. Once you kill the scripts, you can no longer re-size the be SURE to make a safety copy first! I keep my edited shoes in a sub-folder called "Wear Me", or else put the safety copy and any extra parts or notes I don't use often in a sub-folder called "Spare Parts".

 Old style shoes

Many shoes in SL are now made from "sculpted prims". These are organic-looking shapes and make beautiful shoes. To see them at their best, go to the Advanced menu with CTRL+ALT+D, select Debug settings, and enter renderVolumeLODFactor. Set this value to 4.00.

 Sculpted Shoes.  Much nicer!

The newest shoes in SL make use of the new avatar alpha layer implemented with Viewer 2 to hide the parts of the avatar foot not covered by the shoe. Its symbol is a little shirt with a grid pattern on it. Wear this alpha layer if your shoes come with one.

Open toed shoes and sandals often come with a pretty sculpted foot shape to replace the ugly avatar feet. Such shoes generally also come with a HUD object that you wear on your screen to adjust the skin tone of the prim foot to match your own skin tone. You can generally also change nail color and other items with these HUD controls. Once you've finished, detach the HUD to free up screen space.

Sculpted Shoes with Feet and Alpha Layer

Older shoes hide the foot with a special prim called an "invisiprim". It makes the part of the avatar it masks invisible. However, invisiprims can have issues when viewed against other transparent or partly transparent textures. This is why your shoes sometimes seem to have a weird sort of outline around them. Newer shoes may have detachable invisiprims so they can be worn by both Viewer 2 and legacy viewer users.

Boots generally have additional parts, for the upper legs.

Some shoes have additional scripted features such as heel click sounds, bling, re-coloring, or built in sexy walks. See the notecard that came with your shoes for how to operate these features. If there's no note, and left clicking the shoes does not produce a menu, sometimes turning your shoe bling on and off is as simple as saying in chat, "bling on" or "bling off".

But the BEST thing about shoes in Second Life?  I can wear sexy, stylish stiletto heels all day long and my feet never hurt!

EDIT, Aug 16, 2014
There's one more new type of shoes that are showing up more and more, especially in the "upscale" stores.  These are shoes that are specifically designed to fit the SLink mesh feet.  SLink feet are mesh attachments that you wear, plus an alpha mask that hides your ugly avatar feet.  They come in three heel heights -- flat, mid heel, and high heel.  Shoes designed for these feet do not have their own alpha mask or shoe base.  Be careful when shopping for shoes!  Look for the SLink label on the product vendor.  Don't buy shoes that you don't have feet for!


  1. did you make these shoes? the red ones are tots fab!

  2. No, those are from Mary Jane Shoes, and they ARE fab!

  3. OMG Lindal, those old style shoes go so great with Helmet hair-) I recently dumped all my old ETD helmet hair. It was a sad moment until I tried them on and went.. un-do un-do and out they went. LOL