The customisation of shoes and boots is increasing in popularity, report TheMagicTouch and BTC Activewear, and is a simple technique to master

At a recent NewTech roadshow event, TheMagicTouch (TMT) and BTC Activewear joined forces to create a simple step-by-step that allowed printers to see how easy it is to personalise footwear.

The shoes chosen to be decorated were the Unisex Low Top Printable Canvas Shoe (SGF5) from SG Footprints. Available from BTC Activewear, the shoes are part of the new SG Footprints range that offers a variety of fashionable styles for adults and children. They all have 100% cotton uppers for ease of decoration, whether that is DTG, transfer or embroidery. They come with white laces, with coloured laces sold separately, and an individual bag with hangtag.

To decorate the shoes, TMT used the A4 TMT/Oki Pro7411WT Colour-Plus White LED Printer. It has white toner The finished results are stunning, durable and offer great promotional and fashion opportunities added to the CMY colour process, and promises “excellent opacity” and a “very high ‘white’ factor”. It uses TMT’s bespoke SpaceControl RIP software, and for this example, TTC 3.1 Textile Transfer Paper was used as it is designed to work with white or pastel-coloured fabrics.

Once the design was created, it was then printed on the Oki. The shoe/boot platen accessory was placed on the heat press – the team opted for an Adkins Beta Maxi – and the shoes positioned on the platen. The trimmed transfer was then placed on the shoe. Two shoes can be pressed at once, and other papers can be used: TMT recommends Flex/ Flock for single colour on black, or WoW for full colour on black.

Once it was heat pressed, the transfer was removed and that’s it, job done.


Create the design using the SpaceControl RIP

Print the TTC 3.1 transfer paper on the Oki printer

Trim the transfer

Place the SG Footprint shoes on the shoe platen

Position the transfer on the shoe

Press for 10 seconds at 180°C

Peel the transfer

The end result


While the side of a shoe is both the simplest and most obvious place to print a transfer, there are alternative positions that can be decorated to create a lasting impression. The tongue, in particular, offers great decoration potential as it can be pulled free of the shoe, laid flat and heat pressed, adding an appealing point of difference to the end product.

Extending a design below the laces towards the toe can also give impressive results. However, the lace holes can cause problems, preventing the heat press from applying sufficient pressure to fix the transfer in the areas around the holes. One way of avoiding this is to separate the design as shown in this example. TMT cut the Flex film into three sections then laid them out on the shoe, avoiding the lace holes, before successfully heat pressing the design.

The tongue is an easy yet effective area to decorate

TMT cut the Flex into sections to avoid the lace holes before heat pressing