A good cobbler can transform your shoes into something that very closely resembles “new.” Before you buy a new pair of shoes, consider the services a cobbler can offer:
Basic Shoe Repair:
- Replace heels and soles
- Install a protective outer sole
- Replace or repair inner sole (tip: Don't repair, just replace the insole!)
- Cleaning and reconditioning
- Stretching – this is key for people, like me, who have one foot slightly larger than the other.
- Repair the heels
- Recover a heel in new fabric (suede, leather, etc.)
- Waterproof the outside
- Stretch or tighten the shaft
Beyond the Basics:
In addition to the basics, a “luxury” or “upscale” shoe repair outfit may offer the following services:
- Change a wide heel into a stiletto
- Additionally, can widen a stiletto into a traditional heel
- Lengthen or shorten straps on your strappy sandals or sling backs
- Have shoes dyed to a new color (tip: Many women do this to their wedding shoes.)
If you're not sure where to find an upscale cobbler ask around at the most high-end stores in your area. My friend Meghan, a confirmed fashionsita on a budget, once needed a pair of J Crew pants hemmed. She asked the store and they sent her to their own tailor who works independently at a store front in her neighborhood. Score!
TIP: Once you get your shoes back, don’t expect them to fit exactly the way they previously did; think of them like new shoes you need to break in.