Three Reasons to have your shoes repaired:

1. The environment. Less shoes in the landfills.
2. Support your local economy instead of buying a replacement pair made who knows where.
3. It’s less expensive than a new pair.

I actually own and have worn through many less pairs of shoes since I began buying leather shoes instead of plastic and canvas. One of my buddhist vegan professors in college used to curiously lecture us that it was okay to buy and wear leather shoes since they are bio-degradable, don’t require petrochemical production and last longer requiring less consumerist behavior.

I recently did a favor for my best friend while she was out of town. She has asked me to take three of her favorite pairs of leather heels in for repair. I had to locate the best place in town, get a price and decide if it was worth the money. I had never thought of having my shoes repaired other than my tap dancing ones. These were, in fact, regular leather heels appropriated for her career as a burlesque dancer and teacher (high class theatrical strip tease). She is Miss Indigo Blue, Seattle’s Sapphic Sweetheart and I was in charge of three precious pairs of blue shoes.

Being very similar in femme nature to my best friend, It started me thinking about how much I adore and covet certain pairs of shoes and should they ever fall apart, I shall have them repaired instead of trying to find impossible replacements. I remembered this one pair of gold-colored leather sandals that I had while in tears, thrown in the trash not knowing I could just have them repaired.

They can put entire new heels on making them higher or lower, change rubber heel caps, form clear toe caps if you keep scuffing the toe, put a new sole over the old one for years more wear, get scuffs out, stretch them, tighten them, dye them, replace eyelets, waterproof and more.

You can find out where to get your shoes repaired by an industry member close to your home by putting in your zip code at the Shoe Service Institute of America website.

But couldn’t you fix your shoes at home? Well, let’s take heel repair. My mother used to try to do this with wood glue or stick-on heel pads as an 80’s working girl. It always wound up looking sloppy and not lasting. says heel repair at home will require:

  • shoe glue
  • shoe nails
  • tack hammer

Well, let’s just say you can try to find all of these things which will probably take over an hour of your precious time and at least fifteen dollars. Or you can have them done well for between $3 and $12, depending on the store and the repair needed. In a fancy part of town, my friend’s bill on three pairs was a whopping $40 which included a toe cap, a re-soleing, four heel tip replacements and tax. That’s less than half of the price of one replacement pair.