Steal The Style: Soul Soles

Jamie Burke

I think we all have a pair of flats that have been our go-to for years. You know these shoes are comfy and broken in in all the right places. They have seen many a bar, muddy puddles, sick dance moves, wet grass and maybe a wedding or two when your heels gave you hell. They have seen their better days, and you really know you should retire these bad boys to the trash, but you just need them and know you will never find the same ones again. These shoes have a place deep in your soul! They smell like dirty dogs and you could care less, but you fear the consequences if you ever have to take them off someplace. Before you throw them in the bin or donate to your local thrift store, give them one last breath of fresh air. You have nothing to loose with these stinkers. You need only about an hour, a little bit of elbow grease, some inspiration and things you most likely can find around the house.


Old stank shoes
Acrylic paint
Ribbon or string
Some inspiration
Shoe sealant spray
Alene’s fabric glue
Needle and thread
New sole inserts


1. The most important step in the whole process is getting these shoes clean and back into decent shape. Take those dirty dog shoes and really give them a deep scrub. Your shoes may fall apart a little, but that is OK. You can put them back together. Scrub them with cleaner and a brush or magic eraser and set them to dry. Once they have dried, reattach anything falling apart with fabric glue. Use a blow dryer to set glue. Then, slip in some new soles or glue down the old soles.

2. Next, take a peek in some magazines or look at Pinterest, Instagram or wherever you find fashion inspiration. Find some similar styles of shoes that maybe you wouldn’t picture yourself buying because of the price tag, or maybe they’re a little too ornate for every day. When you find your inspiration, compile what you may think you need to glam the shoes up.

3. Use acrylic paint and small brush to freehand your design. If you are not great with paint, go for bigger shapes and use only one color. Don’t worry if it is not perfect. You were supposed to throw these shoes out a year ago, so anything goes. Let the paint dry or use a blow dryer to help it dry. Once the shoes are dry, attach ribbons or string with small sharp scissors. Stitch in the ribbon if need be. If you get really crazy, glue on some bling. Just go for it. Now spray them with shoe sealant. Give them a good two coats and give them the glory they deserve ‑ take them out dancing. These soles have soul again!