Thursday, October 21, 2010

Save Your Soles

I'll admit it: I'm hard on my clothes. In order to claim a spot in my wardrobe, an item has to stand up to dog hair, cooking splatters, weird cleaning concoctions, and very cramped conditions in my tiny NYC-sized closet. And, arguably, my shoes get it twice as bad (since they have to deal with all that, plus being walked on).
It's that time of year where I'm putting away my sandals until spring (so long, my darlings!), and pulling out my boots and winter heels.  In fact, in my misspent youth, I used to just buy cheap shoes, wear them until they were destroyed, and throw them in the garbage at the end of the season.  But ever since I met JM, I'm rethinking this strategy. My dapper husband only buys about one high-quality pair of shoes per year. He keeps them carefully shined and taken care of, and has them resoled from time to time. It turns out that cobblers are nothing short of footwear miracle-workers. I swear to you, my husband has eight-year-old pairs of shoes that look brand new (meanwhile, I have eight-month-old pairs that don't even look like shoes anymore).

Before you rush out to buy a whole new fall shoe wardrobe, take another look at those kicked-around shoes in the back of your closet. Here's just some of the things a good cobbler can do for you.  No sole-searching required.

Stretching: If your shoes are too tight, you can have them stretched (up to a full size) for short money. No more pinched toes!

Leather Repair: A quality tailor can fix cracks, tears, scuffs, and scratches in leather to make them almost invisible. And they can clean and revive battered suede.

Resoling: If you find yourself with a Charlie Chaplin-style hole in your shoe, it's probably because you love those shoes. Fear not- a cobbler can replace the whole sole for a fraction of the cost of a new pair.

Reheeling: If you just can't stop yourself from wearing stilettos to a garden wedding (I've been there, sister), you probably have torn and grass-stained heels. A good shoe repairman can totally clean and patch those heels. So you can wear them to another garden wedding.

Dyeing: If you have a pair of white pumps leftover from a wedding (or the '80s), but you still like the shape, you can have a cobbler dye them any color you want, whether they are fabric or leather.

So give those shoes a new lease on life.


squidravioli said...

This is excellent advise. I have been rocking the same pair of "office" shoes for 4 years now.

Tania Asnes said...

Just found your blog. It's great! I just wanted to share something I heard from a person who worked in a shoe repair shop. When they stretch shoes, they often use really toxic chemicals to loosen the leather. Maybe not worth it...