Why I Love Old Shoes

Purple and Black Kitten Heels by Brave Strides
Iridescent Heart by Brave Strides

Teal and lilac colour blocked leather heels with attached metal heart motifs. By Brave Strides.

There are so many reasons I prefer to work with ‘old’ shoes when I am working on a makeover.  Pre-loved, second-hand, used, donated, worn, handed-down, nearly new; there are lots of ways to describe them just as there are lots of ways to describe what I do: upcycle, makeover, refashion, restyle, overhaul, recycle.

When I decided to start this business I had to make many choices about the direction it would take.  My choice to work primarily with found shoes was decided for several reasons and has not always been easy to maintain.

If you walk into a shoe store you will find one brand or perhaps a few brands and their current styles for the current season.  This inherently limits the variety available. When I find a pair of unwanted shoes that are interesting and that I haven’t seen before and then I get to turn them into something completely unique it is a special thrill.

The colour blocked heels shown here were purchased at an Op Shop.  The size 6 white leather heels were certainly interesting.  They looked like they hadn’t ever been worn and the square cutouts across the toe section made them different.  With a teal and lilac hand painted makeover and some hand sewn embellishments they have become a one of a kind piece of wearable art.

Pink Crystal Flats by Brave Strides

Pink Leather Flats hand painted with stripes in pink, white and silver by Brave Strides.

These pink size 8 leather flats were already so unique.  Such an elegant shape is rare in a flat shoe.  They had a little wear around the heel but some tidying up and a couple of coats of matched paint made a marvellous improvement.  I’m a big fan of delicate stripes and the style of these shoes were ideally suited.

Stripes and Dots by Brave Strides

Black White and Silver Stripes on a White Pump with Black Polkadots by Brave Strides.


A pair of plain pumps can become statement footwear.  Add a swathe of black, white and silver stripes and some cute black polkadots and you have a completely unique pair of shoes.  You can even choose the colours to match a special outfit!



Another one of a kind pair of shoes created.  I enjoy the challenge of seeking out interesting shoes that have the potential for a new life.  You might be surprised at what potential you have for a completely unique pair of footwear just sitting in your wardrobe.



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