Custom Designs

I’d like custom shoes for my wedding.  What is the process?

 First contact me to discuss the design.  When the general design and price is agreed upon I will create a custom listing in my Etsy store.  If you haven’t already purchased the shoes that I will be painting for you I will advise what type of shoe will work best for the design.

I will then send you a questionnaire to gather all the details, colours, words etc you would like to include in the design.  I will not begin work on the design or on painting until full payment is received.

You send me the shoes to be painted.  This ensures that you have the correct style and fit for your feet.  As my work is custom there are no refunds if you change your mind once work has been completed.

I will then create drawings and sketches of the proposed design and send to you for approval before painting begins.  I will also send progress pictures throughout painting and get your final approval before sealing the finished design.

The entire process will take at least one month – more if I am busy with other orders.  Be sure to book in early and get your shoes to me at least three months before your wedding.  Allow even longer if you are not in Australia to allow for shipping times.

I’m a business owner and would love branded shoes to wear to work?



Can I order shoes based on my favourite movie/game/sport etc?



I found an amazing designer design but I can’t buy it anymore.  Can you help?



I know what shoes I want but I just can’t find them anywhere.  Can you help?




Do you paint new or used shoes?

Both!  Most of the shoes you will see in the shop are purchased second hand and then painted.  I prefer to paint used shoes and give them a new life as something beautiful and completely unique.  There is always plenty of really nice shoes with little to no wear sitting in the back of wardrobes or on the shelves of op shops.  Painting these helps keep my prices down and I get to be really creative as each pair is different.  If you would prefer to have me paint some new shoes simply purchase the shoes first and then post them to me for a custom order.

How long will the painted surface last?

As with any shoes they will last longer the better they are looked after.  The surface can be scuffed just like unpainted shoes so they should be worn with care.  The painted surface may develop creases just as a shoe does with wear.  While the paints used are designed for leather, synthetic leather, and textiles, excessive flexing is not recommended (so take them off before yoga).  The more coats of paint used the earlier they will show signs of wear and some paint colours are more opaque than others.  When you inquire about a custom order I will make you aware of the pros and cons of shoe choice/colour choice.

Transformation in Black & White

Transformation in Black & White

In rare cases a pair of shoes may have been too old and so the painted surface may degrade unexpectedly.  As I don’t know the history of the shoes I buy this cannot be predicted but I will give a full refund under those circumstances.  Also rare, but possible, is if the shoes have been treated by the manufacturer with a silicone based product this may affect paint adhesion and, again, cannot be predicted.  I will provide a full refund for my services however I cannot reimburse the cost of shoes you have purchased and provided for painting.


How much wear will my Brave Strides shoes already have?

I prefer to find old shoes that have only a small amount of wear and create something completely new from them.  You may find some marks or wear on the heel or sole, on the outside or inside.  Any shoes that have more than a little wear already have a discount taken into account in the listed price.  Do not hesitate to contact me if you want more information about the condition of any of my products.  If you prefer you can send me a pair of your own shoes (new or used) for a custom order.


Hand painted blue shoes

Hand painted blue shoes

What if the shoes don’t fit?

If you are concerned or have hard to fit feet the sure solution is to send me a pair of your own shoes that you are already happy with the comfort and fit.  The size stated on the website is what is stamped on the shoe and as the shoes come from all over the sizing is not consistent.  If you are concerned about the fit of a particular pair of shoes you can contact me for more information.  You may find it helpful to know the original brand of the shoe for example or want a specific measurement.  If you have purchased a pair of shoes and they do not fit you can send them back and I will refund the purchase price excluding shipping. 


I saw a great pair of shoes for sale but I can’t get my size.  What can I do?

Since I like to work with second hand shoes each piece I create becomes unique.  If you find something you love but it is no longer available or not in your size you can have, if not the same, something similar.  The design can be used as inspiration for a custom order for your own unique footwear.  I might find that I have a pair of shoes in my stash of unpainted shoes at here at Brave Strides HQ to suit what you are looking for.  Alternatively if you let me know what you are after I will keep an eye out for the right pair of shoes in my travels.  Otherwise the best bet is to put in a custom order and send me the shoes you would like painted.


Do you ship internationally?

While this may change in the future for the moment I am only shipping to Australian addresses.  There are a couple of  reasons for this:

  • Firstly, the shipping costs from Australia to overseas are very high.  I do not wish to subject my customers to such high costs relative to the item cost nor have them waiting weeks for their purchase.
  • Secondly, in my own small way I like to help the environment.  I like that rather than manufacturing a brand new product I am utilising existing materials that were otherwise unwanted.  Environmentally I prefer to be serving a local customer and keep my carbon footprint in check.

Shipping larger quantities mitigates both of these concerns and wholesale enquiries will be considered.

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