I become really attached to items, and I love when I can make them last. I hate feeling like I have to get rid of something I still find joy in. I wanted to begin this series to share ways I preserve items I see value in.
I have purchased an embarrassing number of expensive shoes with the promise, “I’ll get my money’s worth from wearing them forever.” However, until I worked at a shoe store in college, that “forever” would end as soon as something happened to my shoes. Then, I’d throw them out and have to repurchase something similar. When I worked at Sophie, one of the most valuable things I learned was to utilize the cobbler. That the cobbler wasn’t just a storybook character. I thought the fact that Ashley referred people to the cobbler was so cool because she could profit from customer shoes being worn out, but instead she taught them how to get the most value from their purchases. By utilizing the cobbler, I can preserve shoes for longer.
Here are some things the cobbler has done for me.
In college, I dated a guy that told me he would have his expensive cowboy boots resoled to make them last longer. I thought this was such a great idea. I then took a pair of leather riding boots to the cobbler to do the same. They were great quality and a timeless style. By resoling them, I was able to get many more wears out of them. I’m still holding onto them because I know riding boots always come back in.
Replace Heel Caps
When I bought my first nude pump, the heel cap almost immediately came off. The shoe was already sold out, and I had an event I needed them for. The cobbler was able to replace the heel cap for an affordable price, and I was able to love on them a little longer
For some reason, my zippers are often in need of repair. I currently have an over-the-knee pair of boots I need to take to the cobbler for this reason. I’ve taken boots to the cobbler to fix this issue before.
Repair Leather Goods
Our local cobbler also fixes other leather items. One I had a purse strap break where it attaches to the purse. He was able to repair it by restitching.
Other times, I’ve also taken matters into my own hands. Here are some things I’ve done at home:
Depending on the material, I’ve touched up scuffs with various household items. For patent shoes, I’ve used nail polish in the same shade. My mom has used black markers to touch up black boots. This week I wanted to wear a pair of shoes that perfectly match my favorite dress, and I used a taupe eyeshadow to conceal where the faux leather had chipped. For tiny spots, these techniques have worked really well.
My mom uses a toothbrush to dust off dirt from suede. On of my favorite ways to clean sneakers in a pinch is to use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
A couple times my soles have come loose, and to temporarily fix the issue, I’ll use a hot glue gun to reattach it.
Let me know how you’ve extended the life of your shoes!