Jump to content

Footwear, blisters and the need for good shoes

Recommended Posts

TL;DR - Adding in a few varieties of shoes and socks, each with their advantages and disadvantages, would give the player a realistic (and essential) piece of equipment to scavenge, repair, or craft during the zombie apocalypse. If the medical overhaul allows foot trauma such as blisters, fungal infections and trenchfoot, acquiring good footwear becomes essential, but could be ignored for the most part by beginning players.




Had a thought today, inspired by the idea of a character wearing high-heels in another suggestion post.


Footwear. We all need it, but not everything you put on your feet would be suitable to wear on a hike, let alone a life-and-death survival situation. Heels could snap under the duress of sprinting over broken ground, steel-capped boots might be too heavy to let you vault over fences easily, and even the best pair of shoes wear out over time. Socks are important too. You could be wearing the best pair of hiking boots in the world, but if you're wearing some thin business socks, you can forget about walking around for too long.


Where am I going with this? Allow the player to scavenge and wear different types of shoes, boots and socks. Each with differing characteristics, each with different benefits and disadvantages. Suddenly, finding or crafting the right equipment to wear on ones feet could mean the difference between life and death. Wear shoes that are the wrong size, wrong type, or don't wear socks, and suddenly you could face painful blisters, ingrown toenails, or even trenchfoot. All conditions that make it painful, if not impossible, to walk, let alone jog away from the horde rumbling up the street.


Suddenly, crafting or repairing socks/shoes/boots could become a hobby, profession, or skill the player could select at character creation.


Here's some examples of footwear ideas, and some effects. Keep in mind these are examples only. I wouldn't expect (or want) dozens of types of shoes/socks to wear, but breaking them up into classes could simplify things immensely.


  • Bare feet - Sometimes, necessity makes a fool of us all. Possible buff to sneaking around (less noise), offset by the high chance of foot trauma if walking/sprinting long distances, blisters are no fun. Stepping on something sharp would certainly ruin your day. Perhaps a small happiness buff when you first remove your shoes indoors. After all, everyone likes to kick off their boots at the end of the day.
  • Sandals/Thongs - A wild and varied bunch. Better than wearing nothing on your foot, light weight, and reasonably easy to make/repair using scavenged materials. You could luck out and find some hiking sandals, or be stuck with a $2 flip-flop from the local supermarket. Either way, lower durability on average compared to other types of footwear, but most types don't require socks, and could provide a bit more comfort in warm weather
  • Business/Formal footwear - Quite poor for running and sprinting around in, let alone walking long distances. Low durability, high chance of getting blisters from wearing thick socks. Possible buff to interpersonal relations (Everyone likes a man with good shoes), or relations with the opposite sex (high heels?). But is that little buff worth the risk of being unable to escape when the horde comes a calling? Might good as a source of raw material for shoe repair
  • Casual/Common shoes - Sneakers, sandshoes, runners, and all that. The average shoe the average Joe wears when out and about. No real downsides, unless you have to wear the wrong size or have poor socks. Decent durability, but better for moving around in urban areas instead of the wilderness or farm country.
  • Boots - Steelcaps, hiking boots, combat boots, things like that. The holy grail in terms of footwear for a survivor. Fantastic durability and comfort, at the expense of a bit of sneaking ability and rarity. Might have a 'breaking in period', Stupid durable, but tricky to fix if they break or wear out.


And let's not forget socks. The best pair of boots in the world mean nothing if you're wearing a crappy pair of socks.


  • No socks - Welp, you dun goofed. Depending on the size and quality of your footwear, blisters and chaffing are a forgone conclusion. Unless you're wearing sandals or thongs. But what if it's cold. or wet? Freezing feet are as painful to walk on as overheating, blistered feet. And lets not forget the possibility of infection or frostbite...
  • Business/formal/cheap socks - Something's better than nothing. Thin, unpadded, and made of flimsy material. Provides little warmth to your feet, and likely to have holes worn through them after a few days of constant use. Bound to be plentiful in supermarkets, but there's always something better. Being made of poor material, darning or repairing may be impossible.
  • Casual/Everyday socks - Much the same as everyday shoes. Average, nothing to write home about. Good durability, common, and you can darn them a couple of times. But, eventually, you'll have to toss them when you wear too many holes in them.
  • Hiking/Thick/Military socks - Rare, but comfortable as hell. Extremely durable, so patching the inevitable holes would be an extremely worthwhile way to extend their usable life. Only downsides are their rarity, incompatibility with certain shoes (especially tight ones), and their sensitivity to moisture. After wading through knee-high water you'd want to change into dry socks quickly, to avoid chaffing, blisters, and some of the nastier mosit-foot ailments such as trenchfoot over the long term.
  • Footwraps/Portyanki - Nothing more than a square of good cotton or flannel wrapped tightly around the foot, ankle and shin. Extremely easy to make, only slightly harder to repair. A survivalist's dream, and a staple of the Russian Army since the 17th century. Great durability, but most likely impossible to find in Kentucky, so you'll have to make your own from bandages, sheets, any good fabric you can appropriate and tear up. Takes time to wrap and unwrap your feet, and you have to know what you're doing. Fail to wrap your feet good and tight and it's blisters ahoy.


Toss in the medical overhaul in the future, and the treatment of foot ailments can be a major deal, as it is in real life. Fail to look after your feet, wear the wrong size shoes, thick socks, keep them moist... Suddenly, every step is agony. Tracking down antifungal creams, antibiotics, applying bandages to blisters... There's plenty of things there to play with.


Is it realistic? Yes. Proper footcare and footwear are major issues in a survival situation, and have been important in military conflicts since time immemorial. Just look at trenchfoot in World War One, or the differences between German and Soviet footwear in World War Two.


Does it fit in the spirit of Project Zomboid? I'd say yes. Zomboid's aiming for a realistic survival scenario. Cutting up car tires to make crude sandals, or prying the boots of a corpse would certainly fit in with the atmosphere of the game. Besides, it'd give us a use for all the shoes we find in containers or on bodies.


Would it make the game too easy (or difficult)? A bit of a tough one here. Foot trauma, blisters and the like, would certainly fit into the upcoming medical overhaul. Even if it's a case of the shoes and socks in game taking durability damage over time, and the odds of a blister rising as a result. Having a handful of 'classes' for shoes and socks (i.e: Poor, Average, Great, Homemade), like the examples I've given above, wouldn't complicate the game immensely, and would just add another class of loot for players to search for. We already have several classes of torso and leg coverings (i.e: Sweaters, vests), why not expand this to include shoes and socks? The beginner player could bounce from house to house, using and discarding the typical shoes over time, but an advanced player would keep an eye out for better footwear, and keep said footwear in peak condition by repairing it.

And remember, the durability on even the poorest pair of shoes is still quite high. Sure, you might need to replace the inner lining of the shoe and the laces a bit frequently, but the shoe itself isn't going to wear out for a least a month. A player wouldn't need to replace their shoes that frequently, but darning a sock could soon become a favourite way to pass time in the safehouse.


Would it add enough to the gameplay? I think it would. The key would be limiting the amount of shoes/socks to a few 'families', similar to the examples I've given. Then it's simply a matter of placing any new shoes, etc. into these families as they're added to the game. This would allow for a huge variety in the appearance of the footwear (and admittedly, we do need more and varied clothing, even if it's cosmetic), but avoid an excess of coding. As for adding something to the gameplay... During the apocalypse, what would be more valuable to you? A thick paperback book or a good pair of thick woollen socks? An extra handful of bullets, or a pair of boots without a hole in them?


Okay, that's it, post over. Apologies for rambling on for so long :P

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree in general, a good pair of shoes is worth quite a lot when you run/hike/survive the zombieapocalyspe.


The types and conditions of shoes sound interesting and I'd be interested in seeing this ingame. However, we shouldnt overcomplicate things. having to search for the right size of shoes or me having to wear a certain type of shoes would be too complicated IMO, I'd much rather make this work over durability. lets say I'm a big fan of flipflops, but they go downhill in condition quite fast and there is a chance I could loose one of the flipflops while running. this would result in me running on one foot barefoot and possibly taking damage on that foot.


plus: searching dead zombies for good shoes sounds good to me! but please let me use disinfect those shoes and maybe clean/ polish my shoes do make em more durable.


Socks on the other hand, I dont know, this might be too much of a micro management. personally, I'd go with a basic pair of socks and also a lowering condition over time/use. socks could possibly be crafted (I dont know if someone mentioned knitting somewhere already) and be mended if the condition is bad and you have a needle and yarn or something.

also, wet socks should be a thing.


so, basically...


types and conditions of shoes: yes please

socks: just lowering condition over time/use and the possibility of them getting wet (which would result in your char getting (a) cold)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd go for a few different socks perhaps. One type is warm, one type is cool, one type is water resistant. Something like that. Just to give the player some choice and a limited buff/debuff in selected fields.


I like the general idea though Apollo. I'd be in favour.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This seems to me more like a great mod than anything else. I really think it's a bit too micromanagey to need to find different size shoes. Different types however, I might agree on. Clothing in general should have effects on your well being, but to concentrate this much on socks is a tad too much imo.


If the devs don't even want to have to make you shower once a month, I don't think they're going to require you to patch up blisters which would occur in a daily basis.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know our thing for this game is realism but. If we are getting to the point where we are having to carefully pick out shoes, it just feels weird.

Granted when this game is finished and the playerbase starts increasing (Tons of people avoid early access games) It would be neat to say even something as simple as your shoes can affect things.

I find that if we added all these little realistic things, people would get collosally pissed off trying to figure things out. Now I only base this on the kate and baldspot tutorial, obviously that tutorial is coming back, its going to be updated, but I don't know how in depth they plan to go with it, and if something like this would be able to be explained in game.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Barefoot: + sneaking, ++ hot weather, --cold/rain, -- speed, + chance of wounds

Casual shoes: + sneaking, + hot weather, - durability, - cold/rain.

Sport shoes: + speed

Boots: - sneaking, - hot weather, - weight, + durability, + cold/rain


No socks: + chance of wounds

Socks: ø

Warm socks: - hot weather, + cold/rain


Having a few foot sizes would be nice as in somewhat discouraging hoarding all the shoes for a single character.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...