How to Dye Nike Shoes

Dye your sneakers whatever color you'd like.
Dye your sneakers whatever color you'd like. (Image: sneakers image by Antonio Oquias from

If you've bought a basic pair of white fabric Nike sneakers, you can easily dye them to match your wardrobe or add a funky touch to your newest outfit.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric sneakers
  • Fiber reactive dye
  • Gloves
  • Plastic bucket
  • Soda ash
  • Urea
  • Water

Test your Nikes by quickly running the front tip of your sneaker under running water. If the water rolls off in beads, your shoes are most likely water-resistant and dyeing the material could possibly ruin the shoe. Fabric shoes are easiest to dye because the fabric absorbs the color. If your shoe soaked up the water, they are fine to dye.

Remove shoelaces and the insole from inside the pair of shoes.

Fill a bucket with warm water and add in soda ash. There should be 1 cup of soda ash for every 1 gallon of water. Soda ash ensures that the chemical in the dye bonds to the fibers of the sneakers and help bring out the desired color or effect your looking for. Soak your shoes in the solution and leave the shoes in for 20 minutes. Remove the shoes from the soda ash solution and let them partially dry.

Fill a bucket with warm or hot water and add in the fabric reactive dye. Mix well. There should be 2 to 4 teaspoons for every cup of water. Immerse your shoes in the dye and use the spatula to swirl the shoes around in the dye. Leave the shoes in the dye for 30 minutes to an hour.

Remove the shoes from the dye, place them flat in a plastic bag and set them on a flat surface in a room that's room temperature. After 24 hours, rinse out the excess dye and them dry on on a flat surface covered with newspaper at room temperature.

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