Wardrobe Curation: Extending the Life of a Shoe.

It took me a while to settle upon the right pair of black heels for my wardrobe. These are probably the most comfortable pumps I own. The footbed is padded, the pointy toe adds length to my stumpy leg line, and the subtle d’orsay cut makes the shoe a little more interesting while still being work-appropriate. At 2 1/2 inches, the heel also allows me to break 5’0 and still manage to walk around the office quickly and comfortably. I bought these about two years ago on super sale for $46 and the cost per wear at this point is down to pennies.

After two years of consistent (daily) use, the heel caps have slowly worn down to the extent that I could see the metal nails holding the plastic caps onto the rest of the heel. I’m reluctant to chuck a pair of heels that have worked this well for me for this long, so I decided to find a cobbler stat. The challenge? I’ve never used a shoe cobbler before. Ever ever.

I’m not sure about how others go about finding a decent shoe repair shop, but I used Yelp– ah, so many choices to wade through, so many mixed reviews!  Ultimately, I chose a cobbler based on both average Yelp reviews and personal convenience (i.e., close to my house, open during the evenings on weekdays, and open on the weekend).

Here are photos showing how run-down my heels looked beforehand…

And three days later, voilà! The shoes came back good as new:

The heel cap replacement job cost $12– I’m not sure if this is a typical price, but it seemed reasonable to me given the quick turnaround time. Just make sure you get a price quote when you bring your shoes in and discuss what you want done so that you’re not hit with any surprises later on.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this repair since it is basically extending the life of my well-loved heels for another 1-2 years (not to mention, investing in this sort of upkeep just feels less wasteful). I will definitely consider doing this with my other shoes when they start going shabby. To be honest, I don’t know why I’ve gone this long without ever considering a cobbler! Consider my mind blown.

– j.

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