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  • Writer's pictureIllya Sobtchak

Wear your boots or dye trying.

Your first pair of 'proper' boots are a big deal, you realise several things when you have the opportunity to upgrade; first and the most important thing being is that you no longer have to throw them away once they are worn out, in fact, a well-constructed pair of boots will last you a lifetime especially if you look after them properly and make sure to do routine maintenance.

You also realise the attention to detail in the workmanship and the materials used are of a different grade; the leather is full-grain and thicker than the split leather you find on your fashion brands, soles made from durable materials such Dainite or a Raw Cord.

The original colour of these boots when I first bought them in 2016

Although fit being subjective you will find that quality footwear will be more comfortable due to factors such as cork filling, shanks, leather midsoles, and better custom lasts being used.

So back in 2016 when I finally was ready to purchase a well-made pair of boots, I did plenty of research and back then Viberg was on everyone's fingertips on forums and places like Reddit, so I decided to find out for myself if they lived up to the hype.

And I was not disappointed, firstly one of the reasons Viberg boots have a lot of fans is because of the very svelte silhouette and flat toe box, which looks great with tight-tapered jeans which are the most common cut currently worn by the masses.

This should not be underestimated, and why the 2030 last which is utilised here has remained a firm favourite amongst the scene.

Secondly, Viberg picks some the best leathers from tanneries from around the world to work with, which means they have a varied output which will interest a lot of people.

Thirdly, Viberg has a heritage of producing boots since the 1930s which still counts for a lot in the age of marketing companies becoming footwear manufacturers.

Unfortunately over the last four years the leather lost its original vibrant colour and went a dull bluish-grey. Bearing in mind I made sure to look after the boots, by cleaning them when was necessary, brushing them down every so often and feeding them with a leather cream.

What the leather looked like in 2019

This got me thinking of a way to try and revive this pair and give them a second lease of life, and after talking with a good friend who has had experience with dyeing leather we decided to turn these into a black pair of service boots.

So next I will describe the steps that went into the process of dyeing them.

1. The first step is, of course, choosing the colour of the dye and which company to use, I went for the Fieblings brand as I have used their products and had good results from them in the past.

Choice of leather dye, we went with the Fieblings.

2. Make sure your boots are clean; wipe them down with a damp cloth, let them dry out and give them a good brush down.

3. As I didn't want the welt or sole to be painted we used masking tape to cover off those areas, so make sure you have covered the parts you don't to paint!

Using masking tape to stop of the dye reaching unwanted areas.

4. Make sure you have covered off the area where you are working on so you don't spoil anything, and it is advisable to use gloves as the dye is strong and you do not want to get marked up by it.

Make sure you have protective clothing and area to work in.

5. Start applying the dye evenly across all the areas, you can use a brush or a sponge to do so. Just take it easy and don't rush this process.

Applying the dye with a sponge.

6. Once the first layer has been applied, leave them to dry off for a couple of hours and then repeat the process as necessary.

Make sure the boots are dry between re-painting them.

7. We applied 3 layers in total, once you have done this I would suggest to leave them in a dry place for 24-48 hours so the leather has a chance to take in the dye properly.

The difference in colour between the original black on the tongue, and the new black.

As you can see from the results, the way the dye has reacted with the original leather and dye has resulted in a metallic finish with indigo undertones.

And whilst it wasn't the initial desired outcome, I have decided to keep them this way for the time being as the colour is interesting and has plenty of depth of hues and tones that will be interesting to watch patina.

Maybe in the future, I will decide to give them another few coats and make them jet black but for now, I'm going to enjoy the new chapter for these boots.

Seen here paired with a black leather jacket.

That will be it from for this post, hope you have gained something from it or maybe inspired to try and re-vamp your own pair of footwear.

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