Breathe new life into old shoes

Apparently, the demand for shoe polish products has been on the decline.  One of the reasons is that you probably won't have to purchase more than one tin of black shoe polish in your entire lifetime.  I know this for a fact since I recently dug my parent's shoe shine kit (circa 1960) out of the basement to try and rescue my much-loved, but worn out shoes. 

The first challenge I faced was that my shoes are pink.  Either they don't make pink shoe polish or my parents never had a need for pink shoe polish (probably both). 

I was stuck with black or oxblood polish (because who doesn't want to look down at their feet and see oxblood?).  Obviously, I went with black.  But before I could polish the shoes, I needed to dye the leather black to make sure the color would be permanent.  I made a quick trip to the local hobby store and bought black leather dye for $3.69 using my 40% off coupon.

After cleaning my shoes and taping off any areas I didn't want to be black, I applied several coats of the leather dye with one of my children's paintbrushes.  This process is quick and easy, but it's important to let the dye dry between applications.

 When final coat of dye dried completely, I polished the shoes with the 25-year-old polish. 

I am pretty pleased with the results.  With a little effort, I was able to rescue my worn out shoes for less than $4.  Though I haven't always been so lucky- I've ruined more than one pair of tennis shoes trying to wash them in the washing machine.  Do you have shoe rescuing stories or tips to share? 

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

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