Can you resole your own dance shoes?
Yes! Here’s how.
A good while ago I got tired of paying £10-£12 a pair for resoling dance shoes. When you have as many pairs as I do, that adds up! But here’s the good news: it isn’t rocket science, you can do it yourself, and it costs a fraction of the price.
Where to buy resoling materials
The suede used on dance shoes is called chrome, which refers to the fine and short nap (or pile) of the suede.
You can buy pre-cut dance soles from outlets like International or Freed, or if you’re really tight on time you can buy an adhesive sole and just stick it straight on. But bear in mind you’re still going to have to do the work of cutting down to size (many are sold as men’s soles only), so we want to do this as cheaply as possible!
A cheaper option is to buy suede soles from a cobblers’ supplier. In the UK, I bought them from T. R. Lawman, and they cost £3 a pair!
You can also buy chrome suede pieces from your local leather supplies shop. Most towns have one, and they know they type of suede dancers are looking for, so they will help you pick out a decent piece. It still works out an awful lot cheaper than the cobbler.
You’ll Also Need
Glue – something gummy that will be pliable and bend, i.e. not superglue, which dries too hard.
Something heavy to weigh the shoes down while they dry.
So this was my first attempt to resole my own dance shoes, featuring a beloved tiger print pair of International dance shoes, which by the looks have them have walked in water/beer a little too much!
I won’t bore you with the Blue Peter breakdown of how to glue the soles on, it’s as simple as it sounds. Simply cut down your soles, glue on with some decent glue, and weigh them down with a pile of big books until they’re dry. Sure, they don’t match the originals, but they often don’t if I take them to the cobblers, either. They are a little thicker than usual, but actually that’s just extra padding! Tried and tested on the dance floor, and they are absolutely fine. Even if I have to resole these twice as often, I’m still saving money!
Done and dusted! It’s also great to keep some spare soles or suede lying around so I don’t have to fuss around going off to the cobblers when my favourite pair of shoes suddenly gives up. Now if only I could redo my own heels, I’d be set.