Author Topic: Shoe Repair is Awesome!  (Read 9934 times)

The Dutchman

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Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« on: July 12, 2013, 07:25:06 AM »
I wear dress shoes every day where I work.  I typically run through a pair of brown shoes ever year or year and a half.  I am hard on them and they walk through construction sites at times (though I try to wear my boots if it is an active job).  That is an expensive habit as a good pair of brown dress shoes will run you $130 each time.

Well 5 years ago I had a pair of brown dress shoes that I had completely worn through the sole.  I really liked the shoes and I had my foot worn perfectly into the inside (They were and still are my most comfortable pair of shoes).  I decided to look for a Cobbler to see if they could re-sole and fix some torn stitching.  My first visit was $40 bucks for new soles and some minor stitching.  When I got them back they were good as new.  I couldn't believe I had been throwing away shoes every year and a half. 

I now take the shoes to the cobbler every year and have them fix up the shoes as needed.  I currently have my shoes getting new leather on the interior of the heel (which has worn through after 5 years of taking my shoes on and off) and some minor sole repair for $30. I have had the same $130 pair of shoes for 5 years and have been to the cobbler 4 times (30 $/visit average). 

I would highly suggest finding a cobbler in your area and taking your favorite kicks for a little repair and you will be good for at least another year. 

PS - Ask your cobbler what brand of shoe's is most robust and easiest to repair.  Mine suggested Bostonians would be mid level easily repaired shoe; which will be my next shoe purchase.  You need to remember you can't take crappy shoes to the cobbler you need to start off with good leather and construction.  If not you will just be trying to polish a terd. 

PPS - Someone who does shoe repair is known as a "cobbler" and as such you should not call them a "shoe cobbler" you would basically be saying a "shoe shoe repair person."

PPPS - I think I can get another 3 years out of my shoes (8 years total). 
8y / 1.5 shoe/y = 5.33 Shoes
5.33 shoes x 130 $/shoe = $693 (Potential cost of new shoes every 1.5 years)
7y x 30 $/year = $210 (cost of repairs over 8 years)
Total Savings = $483

PPPPS - I know you are thinking I am being frugal as hell.  However, the shoes look new once the cobbler repairs and shines them every year.  So it is not like I am limping along with these horrible looking shoes.  I still get compliments on these shoes (usually after I get them shined up). 
-The Dutchman

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  - Winston Churchill

mpbaker22

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2013, 07:59:06 AM »
Do you not shine them on your own?  Mine look pretty good about one week out of every month, except mine are similar to these, same brand but my style is no longer produced.  $8 at the goodwill, though I've only had them for a year now.

Rural

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2013, 08:32:28 AM »
I love my shoe repair guy. I've been wearing some Mary Jane style Danskos as my primary "dress" shoes, and the elastic on the strap was dying after only a year. He replaced it for $20 with much better elastic, and now, two years later, the shoes a still going strong.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 08:40:21 AM »
PS - Ask your cobbler what brand of shoe's is most robust and easiest to repair.  Mine suggested Bostonians would be mid level easily repaired shoe; which will be my next shoe purchase.  You need to remember you can't take crappy shoes to the cobbler you need to start off with good leather and construction.  If not you will just be trying to polish a terd. 

Not all Bostonians, though! I had a pair I took to a cobbler and he said they couldn't be resoled. Granted, these were like list price $80 shoes.

I really like shoe repair, as well, but moreso because I don't have to go shoe shopping! I have horrible feet to shop for...

Scottma

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2013, 09:39:38 AM »
I love my Bostonians! Have had them for probably 2 years and they've not worn through. I'm no expert on shoes but the soles have seams where they are sewn on and appear to be easily replaceable. As NumberCruncher noted, though, you're going to be paying between $150 to $200 for a pair of shoes - but it's definitely money spent on quality over quanity.

FrugalZony

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2013, 12:26:49 PM »
I had a hard time finding a cobbler here, as people tend to throw stuff away.
But once I found him, I have given him quite a bit of business.
My favourite dress shoes have been redone three times
He fixed up a piece of broken luggage, out of which I got several more trips (I travel a lot), until something else broke
and I had to replace it
I currently have a pair of ankle boots where the heel broke of, I am considering to have them fixed,
they are not high quality shoes, but I like the looka nd they are comfy, beats bying new ones any time, I guess.
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olivia

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 12:40:12 PM »
Agreed!  I have several pairs of shoes I wear frequently, and since I live in the city I walk a ton.  I just got the heels on 2 pairs of shoes replaced and I got another pair entirely resoled for  the 4th time.  I've had them for about 6 years and they're my absolute favorite!

I also only buy shoes with soles and heels that can be replaced (typically leather soles with hard plastic/rubber heels). Otherwise when they're worn out, they're worn out!  I learned that lesson with a pair of fairly expensive Frye moccasins.  They were super comfy but the cobbler could only do so much to fix them, and once they wore out again I had to throw them away. 
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acanthurus

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2013, 03:21:23 PM »
My Johnston &  Murphy Meltons (cap toe oxfords) cost $150 and lasted me 8.5 years with the occasional half or full resole and occasional polishing. They took a long time to break in, but were fantastically comfortable once broken in with great support. They finally gave in a month ago with the leather cracking at the flex point of the shoe, but I'm buying another pair tomorrow to replace them. 

vern

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2013, 10:51:51 PM »
We have an amazing cobbler in the town I live in too.  He is worth his weight in gold to us!

The only problem I see is that he isn't getting any younger and I don't think he has an apprentice. 

Maybe this could be a good side gig for somebody?

« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 08:04:21 PM by vern »
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NumberCruncher

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2013, 02:00:58 AM »
The funny thing is when looking for shoes that can be resoled/repaired -- the cheap ones try to look expensive! They'll have faux seams, when really they're just glued on. This was the case for my $80 Bostonians, and why I thought they could be repaired. Tried to find a how-to online to check the difference, but this was the closest I could find: http://lifehacker.com/5980210/look-at-the-soles-to-find-quality-mens-dress-shoes-and-other-shoe-shopping-tips

2527

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2013, 05:48:17 AM »
I re-sole my shoes too.  Another advantage is this.  You already know the shoe is comfortable. 

dragoncar

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2013, 02:10:48 PM »
I took my shoes to a berry cobbler once.  They wouldn't fit my feet anymore, but they sure were delicious!

jamccain

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2013, 10:47:31 PM »
I was also on the $130 a pair every 18 months train. 

This weekend, I just got my first pair of Allen Edmonds shoes.  I learned a lot by going into the store and speaking with the salespeople.  I had also done a lot of online research to figure out which shoes were lasting the longest.  In the end, I spent $350 using a buy it for life philosophy.  The reviews say I should expect 12-15+ years out of the shoes, depending on wear, with the reconditioning the company offers. 

It may not be the cheapest solution I could come up with by the numbers, but I will save at least 50% of my current outlay and I will get to enjoy the quality of a premium shoe for one to two decades. 

Micheal

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2013, 11:33:52 PM »
If you are anywhere near a military base there is usually a cobbler on Uniform Row, near the PX, or the Dry cleaners.  When I was in a new pair of boots could eat $75 to $150 easy depending on style.  The cobbler on the other hand would resole and replace leather for a fraction of that.  I still have a pair of boots that were resoled with Goodyear tire tread. 

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2013, 06:49:12 AM »
The only problem is you need cobble-able shoes. This is an increasing problem on dress shoe-- like most working/hiking boots tend to be glued together (cheaply) in such a way that they are very difficult to affect much repair on when they start to fall apart, and it seems that's the trend. Our local fellow can completely rebuild an old-style all-stiched boot, however, so when he gives up on my current pair, that's what I'll be looking for. (Probably Red Wings, as I've heard very good things about the quality of the leather, sole, and general longevity.)

I suppose to be extra-mustachian you can in-source that and learn to stitch soles on yourself. I made a pair of moccasins once in an afternoon, so I suspect it's doable. (that or I just need to wear moccasins at all times)

Rural

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2013, 08:10:56 AM »
For cheap glued shoes, a tube of Shoe Goo will last through several pairs and extend their lives considerably. Combine with a cobbler for good shoes and you can really drop shoe expenses.

charles_roberts

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2013, 08:24:26 AM »
I've found I can get pretty far repairing shoes myself also. There's no better feeling than wearing an old pair of shoes that look good as new, then getting compliments off of people!
I've saved so much ££ by repairing shoes myself.

vern

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2013, 10:44:32 PM »
I was just reading through Thomas Stanley's Millionaire Mind.

A quote from page 291...

"Seventy percent of the millionaires surveyed have their shoes resoled.  This number is something of an underestimate because about 20 percent are retired millionaires who normally give up wearing their "dress uniform," which includes footwear that tends to be resoled."
"Of my fifty-seven years I have applied at least thirty to forgetting most of what I had learned or read, and since I succeeded in this I have acquired a certain ease and cheer which I should never again like to be without."  World Chess Champion Emanuel Lasker

Micheal

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2013, 10:57:39 PM »
I use a cheapo glue from the autozone or O'riely's thats oil, gas, and water resistant.  Sticks soles right back on, let it cure 24hrs and it provides a better bond than the original glue usually.  You or your cobbler can usually sew the uppers back to the shoe if the material is good enough quality or even replace the soles entirely if the uppers are good material, when I was wasting lots of money at one point I had a pair of old converse that I had leather soles put on.  Now I generally buy my shoes at garage sales and thrift stores for $0.25 to $1 every few months.  I make 1 exception about every 4-5 years I buy steel toed work boots, or have them repaired and spiffed up, my weekend hobbies and habits make them a necessity as a broken foot costs me more than the $50 outlay.  I only break out the Jungle Boots for camping and hiking, they are the only thing left besides paperwork from my Army days.

MrsPete

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2013, 10:12:44 PM »
Agreed!  Since I stand up all day long in my job, shoes are something upon which I never skimp.  I have a couple pair of just-for-dress-up shoes, and on the rare occasions that I wear them to school, my feet and legs always ache by the end of the day.  As such, it's better to buy top-quality shoes and have them mended when necessary rather than buying cheap shoes and paying the price physically each and every day.

I've replaced the soles of my hiking boots for much less than the cost of a new pair.  Additionally, I didn't have to wear in a new pair of uppers. 

A year or so ago I purchased a great pair of strappy black heels for $4 because one shoe was missing a portion of the buckle.  Fixing that cost $2 and was so fast that I waited while they did it.  Great pair of dress shoes for $6 -- yes, please. 

Nords

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2013, 10:31:50 PM »
Enjoy the shoe repair while you're working, but I suspect that after you stop dressing in office attire it'll be much more cost-effective to do your shoe shopping at Goodwill.

Assuming you're even buying shoes.  I do most of my footwear shopping at Long's Drug Stores every 3-4 years for the $3.99 flipflops rubbah slippahs...
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StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2013, 10:32:05 AM »
Enjoy the shoe repair while you're working, but I suspect that after you stop dressing in office attire it'll be much more cost-effective to do your shoe shopping at Goodwill.

Assuming you're even buying shoes.  I do most of my footwear shopping at Long's Drug Stores every 3-4 years for the $3.99 flipflops rubbah slippahs...

We can't all be Beach Bums, Nords. :P

Those of us who intend to become itinerant hikers, or follow MMM in taking up carpentry, will need sturdy boots, and we might as well keep on fixin' em. Those of us who don't live in such idyllic climes as you will need boots half the year regardless.... and I might as well keep fixin' em. 

jba302

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2013, 03:03:36 PM »
Part of my "shoe plan" is keeping some specificity in what I wear and making sure they are (nearly) all repairable / maintainable -

-dress shoes, only in the office and for "dress up" stuff (leather soles, etc)
-Sorels for shitty minnesota winter (super long life)
-birkenstocks as normal sandals  ($30 sole repair every... 4 years maybe?)
-single sole wrestling shoes for daily use (these are the only consumable)
-olympic shoes for lifting

The dress shoes don't see rain, and the olympic shoes never touch ground outside. If I could find a wrestling shoe that was re-soleable I think I'd be done buying shoes for life and it's about a $15/year maintenance budget for some really comfy footwear otherwise.

Nords

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Re: Shoe Repair is Awesome!
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2013, 07:54:15 PM »
Those of us who don't live in such idyllic climes as you will need boots half the year regardless.... and I might as well keep fixin' em.
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