There were so many good times. That one New Year’s eve when you danced in the dawn of a new era together until the sun rose over the horizon. Your best friend’s wedding where you lunged, hurdled and tackled your way through seven bridesmaids standing between you and a mid-air bouquet. Your vacation in Italy, a candle lit dinner, the Mediterranean salt air flirting with your hair while you played footsie under a luminescent sky. And now…it’s over.
You’d been teetering on the edge for too long now, ignoring the truth of what was sure to come. Finally, that final step in the wrong direction, and SNAP!
Your heel and along with it, your heart, are left in pieces. Broken, with no hope of repair. If only you had paid attention to the warning signs earlier, maybe you could have saved what you’d had.
There is no better advice than to care for the ones you love, and the same holds true for your shoes. When it comes to properly caring for your shoes, an ‘ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ which means that finding a good cobbler is paramount to extending the lifespan of your shoes. When you find that pair you really can’t live without, don’t wait until the heels are scuffed, the straps are stretched, and the soles are worn to take them to the shoe doctor. With some preventive maintenance, you can give your shoes a long, healthy run. Here’s a few things the cobbler can do to keep your shoes in shape:
Condition, Clean and Protect: Leather, suede, and natural fiber fabrics can and should be protected with a product that will help maintain the original condition of the material. For leather, a spray-on leather protectant or a clear wax conditioner can do wonders for preserving your shoes in their best possible condition. Suede is really hard to clean once it get’s dirty, so go the extra mile and use a spray-on suede protectant to keep it in tip-top condition. Natural fibers like cotton canvas can be coated with a stain-resistant spray that will keep the fabric cleaner longer. Once you’ve taken preventative measures, don’t forgot to regularly refresh your shoes with a polish, wax, and regular cleaning.
Slip-Resistant Soles: Generally a rubber sole that reinforces the existing rubber or plastic sole of a shoe. This is a great option to help absorb shock in a particularly stiff pair of shoes and keep you from slipping.
Vibram Soles: Vibram is a brand of rubber soling manufactured in Italy that many cobblers use to protect the soles of designer and other leather-soled shoes. The sole of the shoe is filed down slightly to fit the Vibram sole, but the result is well worth it. Your shoes will go for miles with this durable sole in place and the traction these soles offer will keep you from slipping. The Vibram sole even comes in red for your treasured Louboutins!
Dowel Lifts on Heels: These are primarily found on stilettos and pumps. Your cobbler will replace the existing heel tip to make sure that you don’t wear your heel down to the base of the shoe. Think of changing the tips of your heels like changing the tires on your car- essential for your safety, the longevity of the vehicle, and the aesthetic appeal.
Reinforce Straps: This is a great option for any piece of footwear with ankle straps that are expected to keep your foot contained within the shoe. The strain of movement and weight of your body against the strap makes it only a matter of time before the clasp or strap itself will fail you. A good cobbler can stitch reinforcement into the strap and clasp to keep this from happening or repair straps that may have already failed.
Repair Buckles: Sometimes the best of preventive measures still leave us unprepared and your bound to eventually have a buckle or clasp break on one of your most treasured pair of shoes. In most cases, a cobbler can replace the buckle with a new one, sewing it back in to position on the strap, though you may have to change the buckle on both shoes to get them to match.
These tips will go along way in keeping your shoes working hard for you, looking and feeling good, and extending their wear for years!