My previous post mentioned some running socks I made to help protect my feet when I don't want to be quite-barefoot. You can make a pair yourself like I did...
I bought a $12 pair of 5-fingered socks at REI and a can of plasticene at the hardware store (the stuff you dip tool handles in to coat them) about $6.
I slathered lotion on the soles of my feet to keep the paint from sticking to my skin (next time I'll use Vaseline), then I put the socks on and stood in a flat pan with some plasticene paint poured on the bottom of the pan. It took some doing to get the stuff to soak in to the fabric. This gave me painted surfaces on the soles of the socks across the pads of the toes, the ball of the foot, and the heel.
My socks are a light khaki green/tan color and I used black plasticene paint.
The plasticene does not offer much padding at all, its there mostly to protect the fabric from wearing out too quickly. I'll have to reapply it from time to time as the original coating starts wearing thin.
I thought it would be interesting to sew a bunch of zig-zag patterns across the soles of the socks with Kevlar thread (available at my local fly-fishing and tackle store) for additional strength. Next time! -- Ryan