It’s called “chroming” and is named after the type of leather.
1. Shoes (close fitting, non-wiggly, comfortable. Little sole is best. Consider if you need arch supports.)
2. Suede (Can be thick or thin. Thin will be easier to cut. Thick will last longer. My thin suede lasts about a year of hard wear.)
3. A dremel tool (if needed)
4. An exacto knife
5. Industrial strength rubber cement (aka barge cement)
6. Leather scissors (if leather is quite thick, not always)
7. Stiff wire brush to scuff up leather (your dance studio probably has a few around)
1) Grind soles smooth with dremel tool. (I find that smooth grooves that the leather can fit into are fine, just chrome over.)
2) Cut leather so that there is a good (perhaps an inch) margin of overlapping leather past the sole of shoe.
3) Go to someplace you will not suffocate or become high from glue fumes.
4) Scuff leather and/or shoe bottom with wire brush.
5) Apply glue to both leather and shoe. (I find it doesn’t matter which side is out, leather or suede. If the suede is out, it will get mashed flat on the dance floor anyway. It has more binding surface with the suede in.)
6) Let dry for 15 mins. Reapply to both. Let dry a bit more.
7) Unite shoe and leather.
8.) Pound with rubber mallet to encourage bond and smoothness if desired.
9) Take home and let dry overnight under something heavy or with something that encourages the glue bond (like binding it somehow; putting the shoes in a pair of old socks works well).
1) Cut off margin of leather. You want it to *fully* cover the bottom of the shoe or the shoe will unexpectedly stick while you are dancing.
2) Touch up the glue around the edges of the leather. If this is not done the free leather edge will catch on the floor and your suede will come up off the shoe very soon.
3) Bind (or weight) the shoe as it dries overnight again.
1) Check to see if you need to touch up and do so if necessary. Wait to dance in them if you do! It will be worth it!
2) If they are ready, dance, dance, dance!
By Karen R. Smith