One of the things I miss most about London (seriously, and I know this is a bit sad) is my shoe repair. Classic Shoe Repair was run by a Cypriot family and they were the best shoe repair in London. How do I know this? Aside from the fact that they always did an amazing job on my shoes, many high end shoe stores in London (Jimmy Choo, Gina, and nearly every single designer brand) trusted them to do their repairs (each time I walked in there I had a shoe heart attack just staring at the huge piles of designer shoe boxes they were working on.) These guys were amazing, and I miss them like crazy. The shoe repair I found in Vancouver (Quick Cobbler) is WAY more expensive than Classic Shoe Repair in London, way slower, and they have screwed up a few of my repairs. On top of that, they always try to put rubber soles on everything I have. That drives me CRAZY!!!! So here are a few tips on taking care of shoes.
1. Store your shoes properly. I mean in a box with a shoe tree (particularly with pointy shoes) or in a shelving unit and not in a giant pile next to your front door. I take good care of my shoes, and they last me 20 years (want to see the shoes I bought for grad? They are still in perfect condition.) This is particularly important for your expensive shoes. I’m quite happy to leave my Converse in a pile at my back door, but my expensive shoes deserve to be well taken care of so they last longer.
2. Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. This is a tip I got from Salvatore Ferragamo (not personally, I wish) and it makes sense. The leather needs to rest between wears. (Note. This does not apply to rubber boots and Converse.)
3. Don’t stick rubber soles onto everything. Everytime I go for a repair in Vancouver, they try and put a rubber Topy sole onto my shoes. I will not deny that these rubber soles are useful for shoes you wear every day (ex. leather boots.) But for very special shoes, even if you do wear them frequently, rubber soles may not work. A good pair of shoes is delicately balanced in a specific way so that it fits properly and supports your foot. What would happen if you decided to add an extra shoulder pad into one of your favourite jackets? A disaster. Same thing happens if you add 3mm of rubber onto the sole of your beautiful shoes. Rubber soles are only good for shoes that you know are going to be worn very, very frequently. And don’t worry, your leather soles will survive if they get wet, just let them dry naturally and don’t wear them two days in a row.
4. Don’t let your heels wear down. My pet peeve! If your heel tip is wearing down, replace it! If not, the whole heel gets ruined! And THAT is a travesty.
5. Protective sprays are usually pointless. I never use them on my shoes. The best protection is not to walk in the mud with your pink silk satin shoes, and not to wear your leather-soled Manolos in lieu of rubber boots. I honestly think those sprays are the equivalent of those extended warranties stores try to sell you: a waste of money.