I had a pair of Altra Intuitions that I wasn’t using for running anymore, but still liked to wear around the house and beyond. Unfortunately, they were super duper ugly, which made it somewhat embarrassing to wear them around the house and beyond. (mostly beyond) But one day I was hanging out on Instagram and a fellow runner posted a picture of a pair of Hokas that were a fabulous shade of orange. Everyone commented on the color and he confessed that it couldn’t be purchased; he had used fabric paint to change the color! So that got me thinking…
I decided to go with an all-over black for these space-age-looking shoes. I did a little reading online and my first purchase was a fabric pen. I started with this FabricMate and later switched to a Marvy when this one ran out. I preferred the Marvy. The tip was better and the paint seemed to flow more freely. (and it was a little cheaper)
I started with the smaller areas on the back of the shoe. These shoes are not cotton! Further, running shoes are actually mesh covering another type of fabric. I discovered that the fabric paint was only going to cover the mesh, but it I thought it still looked good.
I methodically worked my way around each shoe.
I did about a quarter of a shoe at a time and then let them dry overnight. You can see from this picture that I used fabric paint part of the way into the shoe. I also did about an inch under each tongue.
After finishing up with the body of the shoes, it was time to move on to the leather pieces. Thanks to Manhattan Wardrobe, I was able to find the recommended leather preparer/deglazer and paint for very cheap. I used the preparer/deglazer and managed to take off most of the logos. TIP: If you plan to try this on a similar shoe (leather and fabric), do this first! The chemicals removed the fabric paint from several areas and I had to redo them.
The paint literally went on with one coat and was the smoothest application of anything I’ve ever painted. (seriously) After painting, I waited overnight to let the shoes dry. Then I used a Sharpie to cover the blue areas around the edge of the soles.
New laces and voila! New shoes.
Now my silvery former running shoes have a new life: better color and more subtle for when I want to wear them outside the house. They are even suitable for work!
And now I have a new hobby. 🙂