Admittedly, I realize that this post will appeal to an alarmingly small number of you that will read this (the .1% perhaps). But to my knowledge there are not any other bloggers (and perhaps even shoe makers/repairers) talking about this on this internetwebthingy so I figure I might as well. Anyway, today were going to change the soles of a pair of shoes from black to burgundy. If you remember, a few months back I wrote on darkening a sole from tan to dark brown (which I have since changed to navy blue to match the upper), which is an easier and less time consuming operation. The key difference in this operation is sanding off the black paint. This is a crucial step because we are going from a darker color to a lighter one.
If you will also remember I reviewed a pair of burgundy suede wingtips from Scarosso. One of my main complaints for the shoes was that the sole was black. Which limits their wearability and to my eyes provided too much contrast between sole and upper. Because of this, I rarely wore the shoes. However, I was resolved to work them into my wardrobe more frequently and the best way to do this was to change the sole color from black to burgundy.
The supplies you will need are pretty straightforward. Sandpaper (200 grit or less), Fiebing’s Leather Dye, a small paintbrush, clear wax polish, a polishing rag and lots of newspaper and paper towels. It is imperative that you keep in mind that the leather dye stains EVERYTHING it touches; skin, leather, wood, clothes etc. So please, take necessary precautions to protect whatever surface you are working on. Anyway, let’s get down to it.
When all is said and done, this operation cost about $12 and took about an hour of time. Which is not bad considering the utility of the shoes has at least tripled. Although the result is not perfect, it is something that I can live with. I may in the future get some type of stain or lacquer that will add a bit more shine to the sole. But for now I am more than happy with the state of the shoes. If you have any questions on the process feel free to post them in the comments.