Dyeable Shoe Colors

Written by andrea griffith
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Dyeable Shoe Colors
Dye boring white shoes any colour you like. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Dyeing your own shoes is an easy way to get the exact colour you'd like when you can't find it anywhere else. When dyeing your shoes there are a few things that you should take into consideration, such as colour and material. With the right colour and material, you can quickly dye your shoes any colour possible.


The best shoe colour for a successful dye job is white. White shoes will allow you to dye them any colour, from very light off-whites and creams to dark colours like navy or black tones. If you cannot find shoes in pure white, you can successfully dye different shades of white to any colour, as well. Off-white, winter white, light cream or antique white all work well to achieve light, bright, bold or deep colours.

Light Colors

Although white -- or shades of white -- work the best for dyeing a wide range of colours, you can also dye light coloured shoes. When dyeing light colours, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind: first, you will not be able to dye the shoes a lighter colour than they already are. Light yellows and very light pinks work the best for achieving true colour. Light purples, greens and blues typically can only successfully be dyed a darker shade than they already are.

Dark Colors

Dark colours should not be your first choice when it comes to dyeing, but they can be dyed. You will not be able dye dark coloured shoes a lighter colour, but you can dye them darker shades than they already are. For example, you can successfully dye red shoes deep maroon, wine or even dark purple shades, you can dye blue shoes navy, and you can dye green shoes hunter or forest green shades. Because fabric dyes will not adhere to bleached fibres, never bleach dark coloured shoes in hopes of dyeing them a lighter colour.


If you're not working with the proper shoe material you won't be able to dye the shoes at all, despite the colour. To successfully achieve the truest colour, only use 100 per cent cotton shoes. Shoes made of 100 per cent linen, silk or satin can also be successfully dyed, but they may not reach as bold a colour as cotton shoes will. Synthetics and fibre blends can also be dyed, but they will typically only be tinted in the colour of your choice rather than achieving a true, bright colour. Keep in mind that shoes made with more than 50 per cent polyester or made with water repellents (like rain/snow boots) will not be able to be dyed at all.


For the best results when dyeing your shoes, use an acid fabric dye. Acid fabric dyes can be purchased from any fabric or arts and crafts store and typically are under £3, as of the date of publication. These dyes -- like Rit, Dylon and Tulip -- can be safely used in your washing machine, sink/bucket or pot of simmering water depending on how many shoes you want to dye. You can also redye your shoes with fabric dyes to achieve brighter, bolder colours.

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