here are new sculpted-prim shoes at Guu Nishi‘s House of Curios Industries (HOC) and they are both stunning and inexpensive. We’ve featured HOC running shoes before: Rhys Ackmann, a guest consultant, loved his Bolts; Ryan wore some chucks as part of a rock-a-billy outfit and once called HOC‘s Skoochers “The best $10 shoes I’ve ever seen.” The new extended shoe selection at HOC offers phenomenal value for money and their flexibility makes them the new “Go To” shoes.
The newest pair in the HOC range are the Easy Striders, these comfortable slip-ons come with textures serious enough for business and others that are casual enough to wear with shorts. Many HOC shoes have tags with the company initials; on the Easy Striders, this is a little metal piece on the piping around the top of the shoe. Click the shoes to be presented with a blue dialog box to change texture. There are 10 texture possibilities in all, although the last 5 are only unlocked to HOC group members (you’ll need to have membership activated when you put on the shoe to enable the extra textures). All this for L$75! Copy and Modify are allowed; no Transfer. Also in the folder is a version of the shoes for Viewer 2. From what I’ve heard on the forums, I hope to never see that particular version in person.
Slightly older, the Leather Loafers may well be my favourite shoes in the HOC range. At a mere L$50, they would be a bargain if all you got for it was black. But there’s much more built in. These also have a dialog box to let you choose from 9 textures/colours which include burgundy and cream all the way to crocodile and snakeskin. As well as this, you can change the metal bar on the instep to either silver or gold.
I don’t see how any guy can not run out and buy Leather Loafers. These are strikingly attractive shoes, suitable to wear even with tuxes and other formal garments. Then again, the snakeskin version works very well with a simple jeans & t-shirt outfit. Leather Loafers are also no transfer.
Swypes are the new model of running shoe at HOC. These are insanely customizable. The dialog box lets you choose from 7 parts of the shoe: tag, laces, lining, loop, sole, main1, main2, swype (think ‘swoosh’), and then colour that part. For most parts you can choose from 7 colours: pink, blue, lime, gold, black, white, red. There was a point in my life when I could have told you how many combinations that made, now I’ll just say ‘lots.’ You’ll have as much fun redesigning the shoes as playing whatever game you’re putting them on to play. I’ve displayed just a few of the possibilities. Helpfully, there’s also a ‘random’ button that will just pick a new set for you. Go ahead, try your luck. The colour-change Swype running shoes are L$75 and are no transfer.
Let me just briefly remind you of the rest of the HOC shoe lineup. The only male boots in the collection are “Biker boots” which also allegedly fit the female form. These come with 4 leather textures, burgundy, black, grey and brown, and allow you to change the buckles to either gold or silver. They cost L$40. The Formal Dress Shoe comes only in black (what else do you need?) and costs L$20. Skoochers are still only L$10 for which price you get both brown and grey. Finally there are Casual Loafers — two tone shoes that look almost like clogs — for L$30 you get these in all 6 colours: tan, brown, camel, black, blue and grey.
On the sneaker side of things, you’ve got your basic hightops, just called Sneakers, and your Lowtops. On the hightop Sneakers, only the canvas changes colours, but 11 different colours are on the menu. These cost L$30. The Lowtops come with only 9 colours for the canvas, but 8 for the sole and 11 for the eyelets and laces. There are three different shoes to wear, normal lacing, alternative lacing (skipping eyelets) and no laces. Lowtops cost L$50. (There is also a special Hallowe’en set of lowtops, featuring bloody white, camo and denim textures for L$40, not pictured.) The remaining two sneaker-types are the running shoes Bolts, which feature a lightning bolt on the side, come with 16 textures and 5 colours for the soles and laces for L$40, and the L$50 Velcro Sneakers. In the latter, the tongue and upper stay white, but there are 10 other pieces that can be individually coloured, or the whole shoe can be coloured at once, using a palette of 12 colours. Permission on all the sneakers is no transfer and female shoes are included as well as male.
HOC Industries can be found at Upper Fenland 47, 38, 66 and the magical creator, Guu Nishi, can sometimes be found outside the shop proper, creating more goodies at ultra-low prices. There are no demos available, but at these prices, that doesn’t bother me too much. Most shoes do have an option to buy as a gift, just say the name of the lucky person in chat after pressing the button. Do you realize you could get the every shoe I’ve described here for just a smidge over L$500? I still love my prim-based shoes: I look for chances to wear my Shanghais, I relax in my Murphys, I sometimes choose whole outfits around wanting to wear Toltec, no formal shoe beats my Frankens. But HOC‘s inexpensive flexible sculpties are my new go-to shoes.