She who dies with the most shoes wins.


Vero Moderno Kaleidoscope V-Neck Dress

Our virtual extremities have gone through some extreme changes in recent years. Shoemakers responded to the deficiencies of the avatar mesh by creating sculpted feet with shoes that we could match to our skins. The tinting methods designers employed were varied and highly idiosyncratic and tinting a pair of shoes to match could take anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, depending on our skill and the sophistication of the HUD interface. This year, with mesh rigged to fit perfectly, a few designers have taken steps to ease our pain and make our desperate clicking about in color selection boxes and frantic sliding of RGB numbers a thing of the past. Because the path of innovation is never straight, two different routes were chosen, but whichever one you take, you end up with gorgeous shoes and skin that matches.


In exploring the pros and cons of these two paths, I am going to look at Gos shoes and SLink Bare Feet with add-on shoes from another vendor. However, N-Core is also following the same path as Gos and I am sure some other shoe-makers will as well. The thing is, these are fundamentally different approaches to how to match the foot to your skins. Gospel Voom of Gos has chosen to provide the foot and shoes as one piece, the traditional way. His innovation is creating a skin color database and a scripted hud that accesses that data and applies it directly to the foot. Siddean Munro of Slink has taken another road, creating a foot that can be tinted and a free developer’s kit for skinners to customize for their skins and allowing shoemakers to use to make their own shoes to her form.

Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 1.05.49 AM

Here you can see the separate interfaces, on the left, the GOS hud, a one-stop shop for tinting the feet and the nails. On the right, the Slink nail hud and the PXL Creations applicator for the skin tint. The PXL applicator is 99L and comes separately from the hand applicator. The shoes I wore are from Steffen Garcia for Faenzo and they had a hud, to change the color of the sole and the heel of the shoes. If I wear a different skin, I will need that skin hud. For example, if I wear Glam Affair, I need to use their hud, which costs 180L and comes with both the hand and foot applicators. That’s not even getting into the nail applicators which offer a few thousand rainbows worth of pedicure options. So yes, the first time you try out the foot plus shoe, you have some running around to do. It involved a few more huds, though I didn’t have to open my browser.


So let’s consider these two paths separately.

Foot and Shoe Combination with Skin Database: This is the method chosen by Gos and N-Core. The feet are included with the shoe and are tinted by a proprietary HUD.

The pros are:

  • It is easy to use. 
  • Only one HUD.
  • No additional purchases are necessary.
  • It does not depend on skinners adapting this model and providing numbers, etc.

The cons are:

  • The sheath that makes the seam invisible and smooth does not like Ambient Occlusion or  projectors and has a soft glow. Shutting off the sheath fixes that but leaves a tiny gap. This is an SL flaw, not a flaw in the shoe. 
  • Sometimes opening a web browser can stall and lag.
  • Not all skins are in the database and you still have to tint it yourself. You can request they add missing skins, so it’s worth checking back later.
  • Does not work with third party pedicures.
  • Limited only to Gos and N-Core shoes. Gospel Voom and Claire Messenger have this ridiculous idea that they get to have a real life and are not making enough new shoes fast enough to feed the shoe hunger. Perhaps other shoemakers will adapt this method, but it’s not “open source.”

Stand Alone Foot with Skin Applicator and Add-On Shoes. Sidden Munro decided to make a mesh foot and release a developer’s kit allowing any shoemaker to make shoes to fit and a tinting kit for skinners to make huds to tint the feet. People who already have the mesh hands will be familiar with the process.


  • Any shoemaker can make shoes for the feet so you do not depend on one shoemaker for all the shoes. 
  • Shoes without feet cost less.
  • All changes are with HUDs so no need to open browser.
  • Unlimited options for pedicures from third party nail applicators.
  • Costs less if you buy lots of shoes.
  • There is no sheath to cause bugs when shooting with projectors, etc.


  • If a skinner does not make a coloring hud, you will have to tint it yourself, so it is depending on skinners participating. 
  • Requires purchasing a tinting HUD for different skins.
  • Can require using several huds to style an outfit. One for skin, one for nails and sometimes one for shoes.
  • You may have to adjust your shape to the specs in the accompanying notecard to get a perfect seamless fit.

Shoe Shopping I think the greatest impetus for expansion of the SLink method with the foot separate from the foot is the growth in third-party shoes made to fit the SLink foot and how much less it will cost consumers in the long run.

As you can see, the initial investment of foot plus skin applier plus add-on shoe is quite a bit higher than the more traditional foot/shoe single unit. That expense is recouped by the time you purchase your second shoe.

Now shoe prices vary from L188 for Intrigue’s gorgeous slingbacks at Collabor88 to L450 for the Eleganzas from Faenzo I am wearing in this post to L395 for Hucci Sandals and L350 for Slink pumps and so on. Nonetheless, they are all less than a new pair of combo shoes – which is only fair. Those feet are hard to make and time-consuming.

But it is not just the cost that will make the Add-On method transformative. It is the simple fact that 50 shoe makers can make more shoes than one or two, no matter how many hours those two work. With shoemakers freed from the hassle of making feet, they can make more shoes with more variety and suiting more tastes. They can make weird shoes, funky shoes, sexy shoes and nutty shoes. They can experiment more because they will not have to invest as much time and can release more often. One important thing to note is that although they use a developer’s kit to ensure their shoes fit the SLink foot model, their creations are as unique and original as any other shoes. The developer’s kit is not a template they retexture, it is a form they use to fit, just as the standard shapes are the shapes clothing designers use to fit their clothing.  Anyway, with shoemakers freed from the hassle of making feet, I am excited to see the explosion of creativity come Shoe Fair.

Competition and innovation being what they are, it is likely that someone will come up with an alternative foot and add-on combo as well. Perhaps GOS and N-Core will make feet with the database tinting method that can fit the Add-On shoes so folks who like the simplicity of one hud can still wear add-ons. One thing I know for sure, though, is that the market for shoes in SL got a lot more exciting this year and a lot more fun. And of course, the one who dies with the most shoes wins.


Fun new bangle from Baiastice and Flair Nail Adapters for Hands and Feet For the Win! There are so many mani/pedi options for the SLink feet and hands that I could not begin to guess. Just FLAIR alone has 105 different hud sets with 8 colors in each.


Hair by Truth, Earrings by Mandala, Chelle Eye Shadow and Lashes and Skin by PXL Creations

Store info at Blogging Second Life
Poses: Adorkable
Skin: [PXL] Sophia NAT Cherry lips MEB C2
Makeup Tattoos: cheLLe – Eyelashes 3
cheLLe – Moon Dust (Clay)
[PXL] Sophia NAT Cat Eyes (tattoo layer)
Eyes: Insufferable Dastard
Lashes: Lelutka
Mani/Pedi: Slink Enhancement Hands
Hair: >TRUTH< Siri w/Roots – quince
Clothing: [VM] VERO MODERO / Kaleidoscope V Neck Dress
Jewelry: MANDALA]Leather Feather Eearings/japanese RED
Baiastice_Triple Stars Small Leather Cuff-red- Right

[Gos] Sophia Peeptoe – Burgundy – M
ELEGANZA by Steffen Garcia, Scarlet
Slink Mesh Feet (Av Enhance) Medium M
PXL Creations SLink Feet Applier NAT

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13 thoughts on “She who dies with the most shoes wins.

  1. Gala Caproni

    One other pro for the Slink feet plus (no foot) shoe combo with nail hud – you can match your foot and hand pedicure exactly (if you use slink hands too) and you have hundreds of nails to choose from (and i’m sure thousands if i found all the designers).

  2. caelan hancroft

    Thank you for your coverage of Gos Boutique products 🙂 I wanted to point out that, while we try to be as proactive with releases as possible, Gos Boutique provides a mechanism for our customers to request skins to be added to the database or receive presets for saving. To date, there are over 2800 skins in the database, a number which increases daily. This includes the latest (and not so latest) and greatest from large and small brands that are popular amongst our customers. If you include matches that we have provided our customers individually, well over 3000 skins have been matched and provided to our customers. We also now have the capability to match custom skins and skins that are no longer available on the grid using a master hud. Overall, the skin matching process takes less than a minute and requests are generally responded to within 24 hours or less.

  3. Gidge Uriza

    That’s great added info Cae. I think there are merits to both systems, and as someone who is skin matching disabled, I appreciate both creators for making my life easier.

  4. Miss Kitty

    Wonderful and informative post! With the release of Slink’s new wedges today, I find myself sorta more drawn to the add-on side of the shoe business. I love that I can pull the shoes off and have my cute and perfect barefeet there without having to switch to a barefeet set and then re-match and so on. But I do love that with GOS and N-Core their huds have matches to some of my skins that i absolutely adore (such as al-vulo and curio). And I have always been a sucker for N-Core’s styles, just not so much their prices.
    And yes I agree 100%… She with the most shoes wins!!!!

  5. Gogo

    The SLink mesh av kit is the most exciting thing that I’ve witnessed in SL in ages. I’m a fan of MANY brands of shoes, but I’m an ever bigger fan of nice mesh feet. With SLink’s feet and dozens of other brands creating FOR the feet, I can now enjoy all my favorite brands, without taking off my perfectly matched feet (thanks, appliers!). Although tinting has always worked well for me, nothing beats the actual applier texture.

  6. AnyaFrey

    Would it be possible to make it so you can apply your own “skin” to a shoe, like they do with the toddleedoo bodies? Or would that be not very cost effective?

  7. Crystal

    I really went back and forth for a long time between the two….The deciding factor turned out to be the nail huds. I still don’t like that some of my favorite skin designers charge a hand and a foot (pardon the pun) for their applier huds…but I get it. It’s a time time purchase.

    The nail huds had me completely sold though. I saw a few at Cosmetic Fair that were really cheap and I did a quick MP search and that was that. I have a sweet pair of sexy high heels from GOS, but for bare feet, I went with SLink.

  8. Cajsa Lilliehook Post author

    I am not sure I understand your question. With Gos you can request they make a match to your skin. With Slink, if you have a skin you have made, you can get the developer’s kit from SLink and make your own applier.

  9. Krysta Ember

    Outstanding break down. I was on the fence about the pair of techniques myself but after reading I feel so much more informed. I def know where I want to put my investment. Thank you! Great Job!

  10. Sisch Firecaster

    Great post, Cajsa!
    I have to admit that even though I love Gos shoes, I’m totally sold on the SLink system and hope that loads of shoe designers will start making shoes for it! I love the SLink foot, it’s just beautiful, I love the seamless fit and the easy skin applying process, and I love the option to make my own nail polishes and of course I buy loads of them, too. Aaand I can have stockings! It’s overall just win-win-win! 🙂

  11. Hart Larsson

    Both idea are great.
    From a designer point of view i prefer the slink system because im free to cerate the perfect texture skin match and even expand my business create addons for feet and hands. My skins are heavily shaded and refined even in the legs, so to make a seamless texture created by another designer on the feet part is quite impossible. Is why Gos system need a blend/gradient part of the shoes/feet while the slink system not need any kind of trick.
    I’m happy when designers works and introduce innovations on SL, because SL is for me a creative place where experimenting and try to beat the SL limits every times.
    With a secondlife full of template and repetitive same things (just retextured) every innovation for me is afresh breath for my SL experience.

    <3 Hart
    PXL creations

    ps: Cajsa you do every time amazing articles 🙂

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