The shoemakers deliver an artisanal shoe restoration by mail
These are the prettiest dress boots I’ve ever owned, but they looked like I ran a few marathons with them. The soles had bald patches, one heel was slightly crooked, and the leather ankle seams were unraveling.
I knew I needed to get the boots fixed, but I didn’t trust the local shoemaker to do the detailed work these babies needed. This is why I was delighted to hear about Shoemakers, an online service that offers the shoe crafts of yesteryear by mail. The Miami-based company has a team of master craftsmen with credits from brands like Christian Louboutin and Bruno Magli. Shoemakers clean, repair, restore and customize high quality men’s and women’s sneakers and shoes, matching leather handbags and clothing. I took a deep breath and started the process of giving my boots a makeover.
The website makes it easy. Choose your shoe type, the service you are looking for (repair, clean, protect, etc.), then go to the microphone on your service request, until you find out if you want replacement eyelets or custom crystals added to your shoe. new metal cap toe cap.
All I needed was new heels and soles and a few touch-ups on the back of a boot. They ask for photos of the shoes to be uploaded and then The Cobblers ships a box and jiffy bag so you can send your shoes in. All of this took about a week and the company was delighted with the regular updates, including ‘before’ photos of the shoes as construction started.
Here is my sad sole on arrival:
Ten days later, after a lot of fanfare on the tracking app about a pending delivery, my shoes arrived in a beautiful box with a black ribbon. The shoes were wrapped in black paper and each had a plastic insert to maintain their optimal shape during shipping. It was like shoe eve.
I couldn’t wait to see what the shoemakers were doing, although I was a little worried that the repair would compromise the integrity of the originals. Would my new soles have a soul?
I shouldn’t have worried. The shoes looked amazing and the new heels and soles had a sophistication and style that made my almost ten year old shoes feel like a new pair. The company uses Joh. Rendenbach soles tanned with oak bark, among the best leathers in the industry. Stitching, shine, patina and the iconic JR logo added elegance and matched the original vibe of the shoe I loved so much. The boots even smelled good.
Here’s a before and after.
Awesome, isn’t it? What’s also good is that you keep the shoes in circulation. As they say at The Cobblers, “We are saving your shoes from their tragic death,” and it helps you avoid further clogging the landfills.
It might sound strange, but it was actually quite touching to put them on. I thought I was done with these old beauties and there I was, walking with a new spring in my step. Now for my Following stage? Walk into my closet to see what old sneakers and dress shoes need a refresh. I think I’m addicted to Cobblers.