Riverdale Graduate Brooks slides to SOAP Shoes, Web page success posted

Derek Brooks, a Riverdale High School graduate, has found unexpected success with his website promoting SOAP Shoes.

By Leon Lagerstam
Staff writer

Derek Brooks doesn't have a soap box to proclaim his support for SOAP Shoes. He has a website.

The Riverdale High School graduate, now a sophomore at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, describes the shoes that allow wearers to slide down handrails, ledges or benches without strapping on inline skates on his Web site at www.brooksfsw.com.

The shoes look like regular shoes, but have plastic sole inserts in the arches that make it possible to slide.

His Web site draws about 750 hits a day and has captured the attention of SOAP Shoe manufacturers and the British Broadcasting Corp. The BBC interviewed Mr. Brooks by phone earlier this year. An MP3 version of the interview is available on his website.

Mr. Brooks, 19, never expected so much attention. The web page started as an assignment for a Web design class he took at Cornell his freshman year.

"I didn't even have a computer until I got to college, and had no idea how to design Web pages," he said. "I'm shocked by how it took off. It's huge."

The Soap Shoe company was so impressed with the popularity of the Web site, it now sends Mr. Brooks a monthly check to compensate his web costs. "But I'm mostly rewarded by a lot of free stuff. I've got about 30 pairs of shoes and a lot of T-shirts," he said.

The www.soapshoes.com Web site has a direct link to Mr. Brooks' site.

He learned about SOAP Shoes when a friend showed him a pair a couple of years ago.

They were actually born in late 1997 by Chris Morris, a former inline skater who wanted something you can do anywhere, anytime," Mr. Brooks said. "You can't bring a skateboard into the mall, but with these shoes, if you find a nice ledge or something, you can go ahead and grind it."

Some people call it "freestyle walking," but Mr. Brooks prefers to call it "soaping."

He said he enjoys "soaping" down dinosaur statue tails at a restaurant and gas station near his college. College officials warned him not to slide down handrails, fearing he would fall and sue the school.

"I get a lot of mixed reactions from people," Mr. Brooks said. Some skaters believe he uses SOAP shoes because he can't skate, while others say "it's really cool and are impressed by what you can do with them."

'You can't bring a skateboard into the mall, but with these shoes, if you find a nice ledge or something, you can go ahead and grind it.'Derek Brooks, SOAP Shoes promoter

Mr. Brooks used to play inline hockey, but said he plans to continue soaping. "The founder of the company is in his late 30's and he's still soaping."

He said he was the first one soaping at Cornell, but now about 10 others do it. "It's really fun to try to promote this, since it's so small right now. But it's growing."

His website features articles on soaping, information on demonstrations, and encourages people to submit videos and photos related to soaping.

The shoe company gives him low rails he can use to give people a chance to try soaping. He's hoping to do a demonstration in the Quad Cities this summer.

"SOAP shoes began with an idea: Shoes that grind," The company's site says. "Soaps turn the street into your playground. You can slide down handrails, steps, benches, curbs...Skidmark's never looked so good."

The site also advertises SOAP shoes bearing names such as Flow, Broadside, Crowbar, Scorcher, Clean, Squeaky Clean, and Ordnance. They cost anywhere from $70 to $130.

"They're really comfortable shoes," Mr. Brooks said. "A lot of my friends don't soap but own SOAP shoes because they're so comfortable."

By Leon Lagerstam of The Quad City Dispatch
Tags: Soap Shoes


  • Was there a time when you could go to Soap's site or whatever, pcik your specific plate, color, and recieve it in the mail maybe a week later?

    Dave posted

  • i believe so. i don't really remember because they always just sent me replacements for free, heh.

    derek posted

  • That must've been fun to do.


    "The Times They Are A-Changin'"

    Dave posted

  • i want a pair of shoes

    davidson posted

  • Nothing

    Anonymous posted

  • What kind of soaps do you have on in the picture?

    anonymous posted

  • blue crobars with yellow octane plates.

    derek posted

  • how much do they cost

    ty posted

  • Are there any stores in say.. Canada that sell Soaps? I know youcan get them of that Sonic and Pals site but I'm just wondering.

    Jason posted

  • Are there any stores i can buy soaps in New York!

    corey posted

  • yo man i have been wanting to soap for about a year now but i cant get my hands on any soap shoes cause im in the UK if ther are any shops in england tell me please thanks cya

    JJ posted

  • what model is on the very top of this page?

    sd posted

  • navy crobars with yellow octane grind plates

    derek posted

  • Do you know where i can get my hands on a pair of broadsides in NYC?

    Anonymous posted

  • does anybody know where you can buy soap shoes in vancouver canada?

    sonic fan wants soap shoe posted

  • how much do they cost

    corina posted

  • could i buy a pair of ordance on the internet, and what web page

    kenny posted

  • hey can u send me a pair of soap shoes free plz lol

    Matthew Boustedt posted

  • The cold winds coming from the northern side can freeze

    download gmod free posted

  • click to view website

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  • I learned a lot, I knew nothing about all this, please continue to broadcast many articles of this style , I see life differently now .

    gmod free demo posted

  • This press published 12 years ago but steel effectively for me at present. Thank you

    Gallinule posted

  • His shoes are bigger than his.

    Gas Ask posted