How to Dye Rubber Soles

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Although you can find shoes in a large variety of colors, the soles of most of them tend to be white. Give your shoes a quick (and fun) makeover by dyeing just the soles. A few tips and tricks can help you successfully dye the white -- or light-colored -- rubber soles of any pair of shoes. You can even mix different fabric dyes together to create almost any color you like to match your shoes with your favorite outfit.

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Measure the height of the soles on your shoes. To prevent the rest of your shoes from dyeing, you'll need to know the exact height of the soles.

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Pour 8 oz. of a fabric dye, in the color of your choice, into a bowl.

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Add 4 cups of very hot water to the bowl.

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Place a ruler into a bread/loaf pan. Then pour the dye into the pan so that the depth is the same as the height of your soles. For thicker soles, you may need to double the dye "recipe."

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Soak the sole of one of your shoes in warm water, then place it directly into the dye.

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Allow the rubber sole to soak for at least one hour. For dark or bright colors, allow it to soak for two hours.

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Remove the shoe from the dye, and run it under warm water to remove excess dye.

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Repeat Steps 5 through 7 with your second shoe. If the soles are not as bright as you had hoped, repeat these steps using a higher concentration of dye. (See Tips.) Keep in mind that the dye will not ruin the rubber soles, so you can dye them as many times as needed to get the color you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • 8 oz. liquid fabric dye
  • Bowl
  • 4 cups hot water
  • Stainless steel bread/loaf pan


  • For deeper, darker and/or brighter colors, combine up to two bottles of liquid dye (12 to 16 oz.) with 6 to 8 cups of hot water, and keep the rubber soles in the dye for two hours.


  • The dye can stain your workspace, so make sure you line the area with a garbage bag or newspapers.



About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.

Photo Credits

  • Taran Rai/Demand Media