I have recently become proud owner of some AMAZING reference pictures of the Superman Returns boots. These put to shame all of the ones I have collected from the web and from friends who saw the costume.
This sort of gives me a new injection of energy for the project, now that a lot of my pending questions have been answered.
I have also committed in my mind on how to proceed. One word: Urethane. There are two textures on the boot. One of which I can create easily, and the other I can create with the help of my friends at RMS Laser. In fact, I already have the artwork drawn up for it.
I sent them a sample file today and have asked for a couple of sample cuts to make sure I get the depth of the etching right. As soon as I get that, it's simply a matter of molding the different textures up, outputting some urethan sheets, and then wrapping them around the boot to make it fit. So while the boots won't be leather, they will look great. Because I have molds of the different textures, I can repair any damage that may happen to the boots over the years.
Overall, I'm very pleased.
In related news, my quest to get into more "Super" shape continues, and is progressing well. I am on the tail end of phase 1 of P90X, the exercise program that you may have seen infomercials for late at night. It's an amazing program, and is really whipping me into shape. While I doubt I will reach Brandon Routh proportions by Halloween, I'm feeling pretty confident that if I stick with it, I will be the best I have ever been. Just in the first month I've made amazing progress and seen some great results.