How to Paint Rubber Soles on Sneakers: Best Guide (2022)

Sneakers are a great way to add personality and comfort to an outfit, but what happens when they start to look a little too worn? One way to give them new life is to paint the rubber soles. This is a guide on how to paint rubber soles on sneakers with some basic supplies.

Why do you paint sneakers soles?

How to Paint Rubber Soles on Sneakers

You may ask yourself, why paint my sneakers at all? Typically, sneakers are made out of rubber and should be able to weather the elements just fine. The reality is that they’re not as durable as we would like them. A lot of running shoes and hikers will develop a sheen on the rubber soles.

Every time you walk, your foot strikes the ground with a force of 1 to 2 times your body weight. That’s a lot of feet striking! Over time, some areas will end up wearing away while some areas may look new. The result can be an odd mixture of sheens that doesn’t look good at all.

So what are you supposed to do? How to paint rubber soles on sneakers? You could buy another pair of sneakers but why not upgrade the ones you have instead? Paint allows you to get creative and add personality while making sure everyone knows who they belong to.

Painting sneakers is not something many people have experience or knowledge with so here are some tips for getting started.

Also Read:

Best Methods How To Wash Muddy Shoes? Step By Step Guide! 2022

How To Clean Rubber Soles Of Shoes 2022

How To Stretch Rubber Shoes In 3 Best Ways

How To Paint Rubber Soles On Sneakers?

1. What you’ll need

Materials Needed:

  • Flat black spray paint (Krylon)
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Rubber gloves if you’re sensitive to solvents. If not, then just regular kitchen gloves should do.

Step 1: Prep Work        

Take your old sneakers outside and clean off the outsides with some soap and water. It doesn’t need to be perfect but it should be reasonably clean before you begin. You may also want to wear some old clothes as this process can get messy!

Step 2: Apply Painters Tape        

The first step is masking off the areas that you do not want to be painted using painter’s tape. This will dramatically simplify the process and make sure that you don’t accidentally paint any little areas by mistake.

Step 3: Spray Paint Soles        

Take your sneakers back inside, and put them on a flat surface. Then take off the laces from both of them because you aren’t going to want to get paint in there.

Shake up your can a bit before beginning and begin painting with nice even strokes over the entire sole. Repeat steps 1-3 for the second shoe if necessary and let dry completely overnight. If it’s not raining out this is best done outside since most paints are quite smelly when drying.


  • Paint fumes can be toxic so it’s best to apply paint in a well-ventilated area.    
  • Make sure to wear rubber gloves if you’re sensitive to solvents. If not, just use regular kitchen gloves.

How do you paint the bottom of shoes?

The steps above outline the basic process for painting sneakers. I do have a few tips to share though.

Paint outside if possible

Painting soles are going to make a mess of your floors and it’s best to avoid this if you can. If not, lay down some plastic or newspaper in case any paint seeps through.

Wax before paint          

It’s a good idea to wax old rubber shoes before starting because it makes them easier to clean when you’re done with the project and improves adhesion from your next coat of paint onto the existing one.

Wipe off after each stroke        

Keep wiping down your shoes after each pass with the spray paint can ensure that there are no droplets or puddles. This also helps to ensure an even finish.

How long do you paint the bottom of shoes?

You can probably get away with 2-3 coats if your surface is completely flat, but otherwise, 4-5 coats should be fine. I did 6 for good measure because my surfaces aren’t totally level and it improved adhesion too. Don’t forget to let them dry overnight after each coat!

How to paint shoe soles black?

If you want Paint sole in black follows these steps to learn how to paint rubber soles on sneakers with some basic supplies.

How to paint shoe soles black?

1. Clean the surface        

Give the typical rubber shoe a good wipe with soapy water and let dry. If you’re painting on top of existing coating it’s best to sand down the area first because color won’t stick well over un-sanded surfaces.    


Don’t use anything too strong like solvents as they can damage sneakers and even remove some material entirely! Also, make sure to air out your shoes before wearing them again once everything has dried or else you might end up with some unpleasant chemical smells wafting about.

2. Mask off areas that you don’t want to be painted

Painters tape works great as it will prevent paint from seeping under and ruining the rest of your shoes!

3. Spray paint bottom of shoes        

Use quick and fairly even strokes with the spray paint can over the whole area you wish to be painted black. Don’t forget to wear rubber gloves if you’re sensitive to solvents as they can irritate your skin or cause other issues. You may also want to wear some old clothes as this process can get messy!

4. Clean up              

Wipe off any excess paint on the outer surface of the shoe after each coat so that it doesn’t build up and create a mess. This is especially important for making sure your shoes look nice and clean afterward – nobody wants to see gobs of dried spray paint everywhere!

5. Let dry            

Let shoes completely dry overnight before wearing them again. This might require some extra time if you did a lot of coats because the paint needs to fully cure and set before moving on to the next step! I waited 24 hours after the final coat was applied before wearing mine again and everything turned out fine.

Also Read:
Best Ideas Of Jeans And Sneakers Outfit For Ladies In 2022

How To Clean Shoes With Oxiclean

How Often Should You Replace Work Shoes?


Sneakers are a great way to add personality and comfort to an outfit, but what happens when they start to look a little too worn? One way to give them new life is to color the rubber soles. How to paint rubber soles on sneakers? This is a guide on how to do it yourself with some basic supplies.


  • What kind of paint do you use on rubber shoes?

    I use either all-purpose polyurethane paint or spray paint on sneakers depending on the look I’m going for. The former is more expensive but it’s easier to apply, has better coverage, and won’t damage your shoes if they accidentally get wet.

  • Why are my new shoes already starting to peel?

    It could be that you didn’t allow them enough time to dry after painting which can cause some of the dye to separate from the underlying surface area and flake off over time. Make sure to let everything cure well before wearing again!

  • How do you paint the sole of sneakers?

    This is done exactly the same as with regular shoes – put on some gloves, cover your work surface to avoid getting material everywhere, spray color in even strokes and be careful not to overload the boots with color!

  • How long do you paint rubber soles?

    Usually for between 2-3 coats of paint which should improve adhesion quite a bit. Allow time for everything to dry thoroughly before wearing again though! I found that 4-5 coats were necessary because my sneakers are never completely flat so more material was needed over bumps and wavy areas.
    WARNING:- If you have sensitive skin it’s best to use actual shoe paint instead of regular spray paint since regular cans are usually filled with chemicals that can irritate or damage your skin.

  • Can I spray paint rubber soles?

    Yes, the process is pretty much identical but it’s a little easier to use spray paint since you don’t have to worry as much about holding the boot in place. Spray from multiple angles and make sure everything’s well covered!

  • How many coats of paint do I need?

    It depends on how absorbent your sneakers are versus how much paint covers them when applied. Most of mine take between two and four coats for best results which helps improve adhesion and makes things look extra shiny!

  • Can I spray paint shoe soles?

    Yes, the upper and midsole of your shoes can be painted too. The process is still similar but I would highly recommend using painter’s tape to mask away any areas that you don’t want to coat as it can be quite difficult to remove afterward!

  • Can you paint the bottom of sneakers?

    Yes, this is actually a really easy project that just requires some quick prep before taking spray cans or shoe color out with you.

Leave a Comment