Shoes for iron balusters are also called boots, collars or caps. The purpose of a shoe is to give a more finished look and to hide gaps left over from drilling holes. Baluster shoes are purely decorative and do not support the baluster structurally at all. Most of them come with set screws but you are not required to use the screw. We always recommend you epoxy the shoe down for a permanent installation as sometimes the set screws could wiggle lose over time if they are not hit and not glued down.
Iron balusters typically use shoes to make installation easier and to give a more finished look. Since you drill holes into the ground and up into your handrail, you can be left with an undesirable hole or gaps. Filling these gaps with epoxy or wood putty can look tacky, so using a baluster shoe to cover those gaps left by drilling is the ideal installation method. While we refer to them as baluster shoes, others might call them baluster boots or baluster caps.
Sizes of Baluster Base Shoes
Baluster shoes typically cover a 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" surface area and are 1-1/4" in height. The baluster hole in the shoe will change to accept any size iron baluster. Our baluster shoes come with set screws. The set screw is used to hold the shoe into place. We recommend that you also epoxy the shoe on to your baluster and use the set screw just to hold the baluster into place while the epoxy dries. This will make the installation stronger and last longer. Most baluster shoes are aluminum with the exception of the Tuscan shoes.
Most baluster shoes run about $1.00 each with the exception of the Cast Iron shoes. They run about $2.00 each.