I just swapped my leather shift boot and e-brake handle boot with suede ones, and thought I'd make a DIY in case anyone is interested. I went with the dark suede with M-style tri-colored stitching, but you can get any color stitching. I purchased my set from eBay, seller the-tuning-shop
for only $27. They also offer the shift boots for automatic transmissions, but I don't know how to swap that out, so this shift boot install DIY is only for manual transmissions. Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for any damage done to your car or yourself while performing this DIY. I am simply showing you how I did it myself.
Here's a before and after to see what the final outcome looks like:
Things you'll need:
1) Shift boot and/or e-brake boot
2) Zip tie, included with purchase (only needed for e-brake boot)
3) Super glue, ideally with a precision application
4) Scotchgard, optional, for an added level of protection to your new suede
5) About 1.5 hours of time
Step 1: Removing stock boots
Removing the leather boots is very simple. To remove the shift boot, first remove your shift knob, and then carefully unclip the boot by getting a hold of the small edge and prying up with your fingertips.
For the e-brake, first open your center armrest. Then slide the leather boot upwards and lift away from where it is held by the clips. Use the same technique to unclip as you used for the shift boot. Then, once unclipped, simply grab the e-brake handle and pull. They should be held together; you'll see later that they are held together by a zip tie.
Step 2: Separating leather boots from their frames
This step is the most time consuming and frustrating part of the DIY, that is, if you'd like to retain your leather boots. If you don't care, you can just pull it off easily, but it will rip in various locations. Otherwise, you will have to carefully remove the boot from the frame. It is bonded by a very strong adhesion. Once you have a nice grip, it gets easier to take off and remove. Refer to picture #3. But until then, try to remove it as best as you can with your fingernail or an x-acto knife. You'll find that the boot is bonded so firmly to the frame that when removing it, a fine layer of the original leather tears off the boot and remains stuck to the frame. This is fine as it doesn't affect your install or your ability to put the stock boot back on at a later time.
Now do the same for your e-brake boot. Once done, there is an added step to removing the e-brake handle from the boot. Turn the leather boot inside out, so the handle is no longer visible, and you will see that the leather is 'bonded' to the handle with a zip tie. It is on there quite tightly and in a nice indentation. I couldn't get my scissors or wire cutter in there to cut it of, so I did so with my x-acto knife. Be careful not to slip and hurt yourself! Or your leather boot. After cutting it loose, your handle and boot will separate. REMEMBER WHAT THE CONSTRUCTION LOOKS LIKE SO THAT YOU CAN EASILY INSTALL THE ZIP TIE OVER THE NEW BOOT IN STEP 4.
Step 3: Bonding your new shift boot to the frame
The suede shift boot has the same holes as the OEM boot to allow it to connect to the frame. After doing so, apply super glue to the edges of the frame in order to bind the edge of the boot. It doesn't have to be perfect as it will all be tucked away after install. But make sure that you do not cover the clips with excess suede. Do the same for the e-brake boot and frame.
Step 4 (Only for e-brake boot): Connecting e-brake handle to the boot
This step is quite simple, but difficult to explain. But you should know what I mean after completing step 2 and removing the original zip tie. Examine the stock leather boot and its construction. Basically, once turned inside out, you can see it is folded over and then restricted snuggly by the zip tie. Do the same now once you fold over the suede boot in the position you desire.
Step 5 (Optional): Applying Scotchgard
Pick up some Scotchgard for Suede and Nubuck from your local Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. It costed me about $7, I believe. Spray the suede parts with this. Be generous. Wait about 10 minutes for it to dry.
Step 6: Re-installation
Now you're ready to install your suede parts. You will do so the same way you removed the originals. Just firmly press until they snap into place. It helps to press over the clips, so remember where they were. You can add a small piece of masking tape to remember where they were, but it's not necessary.
Step 7: Enjoy!!!
If anything is unclear, please ask. I'll try to explain as best as I can.