The Frugality of Shoe Repair

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Right now you’ve probably got one kind of cobbler on your mind: apple. Today I’m going to talk about the other kind. Not peach. The kind who do shoe repair services. I heard a report on NPR this morning about the booming business cobblers are doing, and it reminded me that I picked up a pair of shoes from my local cobbler just this weekend. Instead of buying new shoes, my local shoe repair place saved me $20 and a pair of shoes I love.

Types of Shoes that Can Be Repaired

Most people consider shoe repair only for the most expensive shoes, but you can get affordable shoes repaired too. My local shop repairs these types of shoes, regardless of the original price:

  • High heels
  • Men’s dress shoes
  • Women’s flat dress shoes
  • Casual shoes
  • Loafers
  • Lace-ups
  • Boots

What can a Shoe Repair Services Do?

The majority of shoe repair service involves replacing soles and fixing heels, but they can do more. They can also repair luggage, handbags, and leather jackets. So what can a shoe cobblers do or what are some of their shoe repair jobs?

  • Resole, including half-soles, full soles, and three-quarter soles
  • Repair a broken heel
  • Replace plastic heel soles with rubber
  • Protect heels with a scuff guard
  • Extend the life of a leather sole with a sole guard
  • Restore the original color
  • Change the color
  • Shine them
  • Stretch heels and toes
  • Replace Velcro
  • Replace or repair zippers

My Shoe Repair Experience

I have a pair of Skechers that I love, but the insoles were worn out and the Velcro straps weren’t holding. I spent weeks checking my nearby discount shoe store for a replacement pair, but they never had my size and the style has changed slightly. I much prefer my original style.

I drive past an old-fashioned shoe repair place every day and one day the sight of it triggered an idea. I took my shoes in to find out if he could fix the Velcro. He certainly could and for only $10. I stopped at CVS to pick up a pair of insoles, too. For a total of $20, my favorite weekend shoes are good as new. A replacement pair would have cost at least $20.

When Not to Repair Shoes

There are certain shoes you shouldn’t repair, like heavily-used athletic shoes. I buy new gym shoes every six months because the insoles are completely worn out by then. I need much more support and cushioning than even the best gel insole can provide. Even though new gym shoes cost around $50, it’s worth it to keep my feet strong and injury-free.

It may not be worth it to repair cheap shoes, either. If the cost of the repair is more than you paid for the shoes, then it’s probably best to buy a new pair of shoes. Of course, it’s a different story if they’re designer shoes you picked up in a thrift store.

Now that I’ve had one pair of shoes repaired, I’m checking my closet to see what else needs fixing. If it can be repaired instead, I’ll save money and be helping the environment by reducing waste. Everyone wins.

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