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Shoe/boot repairs

Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,446
edited October 2021 in The potting shed
Does anyone do their own?  Is it successfull. Hubby has just put a tack in the heel of my "best"boots. I Don't actually know anyone who even bothers to have them repaired. I had a pair of leather biker style for 15 years,rigger soles/heels totally water proof and you could walk on icey ground. I don't wear them dog walking,have proper boots,but they need repairing annually costs about £30 and timpsons and the like don't do a good job. My boots are compfy, good condition about 5 years old,riding style


  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,029
    I remember watching my Granny mending her walking shoes with little hammer-in metal reinforcement thingies called, if I remember right, "segs" and "blakeys".  This would have been in the 1960s, I think.  We had shoes re-heeled regularly - I remember being told never to let the heels wear down beyond a certain level or the repair wouldn't be satisfactory.  There was a cobbler in St Albans, the nearest town to the village where we lived.  When my Mum died a few years ago, I found her walking shoes, probably 50 years old, mended with many layers of soles and heels...

    When we lived in Todmorden (west Yorks) in the late 1970s, there was a clog maker in the town, making & repairing wooden clogs, as well as a proper cobbler.  When we returned to live there again in 2006, the clog maker had gone, but the cobbler was still there.  He reckoned that a lot of the modern footwear either wasn't worth repairing, being very poorly made, or was made of materials which were very difficult to repair. 
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,883
    I remember having shoes and boots re-heeled and -soled when I was a youngster, and also my grandad hammering segs into his shoe heels when they started wearing down. And getting the tips of stiletto heels replaced with metal instead of rubber so that they lasted longer (and were better for discouraging persistent unwelcome advances in nightclubs etc). A lot of the footwear that I have these days has moulded rubbery soles - comfy, but not repairable when they wear down.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I go to may local shoe repair guy annually to repair various boots. I have some bog standard suede boots from Clarkes that have happily gone 15 years and look pretty much the same as they started. Also have bought various newish high brand boots on Ebay for a song (Prada, Russell & Bromley etc) and had the shoe guys help the boots work for me. One time they made knee high boots into ankle boots by cutting them down for £10. They also repair leather bags and handles for me etc. Very worth it.

    A fox chewed a hole through my Prada boots last year and the guys effectively and invisibly patched the gaping hole.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,987
    My dad used to put stick on soles on my school shoes,  I was very embarrassed by them, I’d make sure I never showed to soles and placed them well under the beck at PE times. I vowed I’d never do that with my children’s shoes, but we had more money then and didn’t need too. Times were hard back in those days. My dad never had shoes, only boots for school because they weren’t t allowed to go if they didn’t and his mum got vouchers for the shoe shop to get them. They took them of as soon as they came in from school. Out to play, no shoes. My mum had hand me downs, never fitted properly stuffed with paper until they did fit.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,899
    edited October 2021
    I have cr*p feet and finding 'hard' shoes and boots to fit is a nightmare (trainers and sandals are much more forgiving).

    If a pair of 'hard' boots or shoes are comfy I need to keep them going as long as possible so I often have boots and shoes reheeled, resoled, new zips etc etc. We have a local cobbler who does a decent job. Somebody with their own business (not a chain) and an interest in doing a good job to get repeat custom. He's tucked away in a residential street and only found him by accident.

    We also use him for replacing zips in bags and other leather repairs. He shortened OH's motorbike leathers (complete with ankle zips and poppers) the other year - no way I could have done that. He does all sorts of stuff like cutting keys, engraving trophies etc etc and he's one of the few places I can buy different colours of shoe polish.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,987
    I’ve had bags repaired and years ago was forever taking stilettos in for a new stud. 
    You don’t get many of those little shops around now @Topbird
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • steveTusteveTu Posts: 2,659
    edited October 2021
    I still have the clogs that were common in Yorkshire when my dad was evacuated during the war.  The soles are wooden with what are akin to horseshoes. - I think he called them 'sparking clogs'. Imagine queueing up at the blacksmith to get those re-shoed.

    In the 70's, Blakeys were common weren't they? I thought everyone in my era wanted to have the metal toe and heel tippers so they made 'that sound' - and had the same sparking effect. Brogues or penny loafers with Blakeys. I think I recall they were banned due to the damage being done to the hall floor at school.

    Edited to add: @lyn I was told in physics at school, that stilettos exert more pressure through the heel than a full grown heffalump exerts through its feet. Not sure how true it is (and I couldn't be bothered to do the maths) - or whether the woman (or man) had to walk solely on their heels for that to be true.

    Edited 2: My old physics master (Mr Bintcliffe) would be proud of me for remembering such a relevant 'fact' -

    UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,915
    An old family friend was a nurse in a central Sheffield hospital during WWII. There were a lot of steel works nearby and the men wore clogs like those to protect them from the red hot metal. She told me that the streets around the hospital were strewn with straw to deaden the noise of all the clogs going past the hospital so as not to disturb the patients.

    I just take my shoes to the cobbler in town. He’s a steady chap and knows his stuff.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,293
    edited October 2021
    Timpson’s have taken over the independent cobblers shop in Uppingham. Paul is a lovely guy and does a good job but, goodness me, prices are so much higher.

    Do folk remember street signs that said ‘Quiet Please: Hospital’. As kids we respected that and dropped our voices never once stopping to question how talking rather than shouting would have any impact at all on the nearest ward which was 100 yards and a building away.

    @steveTu, my cat has been reading that book. When he deems it to be breakfast time and wants me to get out of bed, the pressure being exerted through his tiny paws as he stands on me is very, very noticeable.
    Rutland, England
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 7,899
    Lyn said:
    I’ve had bags repaired and years ago was forever taking stilettos in for a new stud. 
    You don’t get many of those little shops around now @Topbird
    I know Lyn - it's a shame isn't it? Used to be a choice of several independent cobblers within walking distance of the house where I grew up. Through the 60's and 70's we always went to Mr Mapes and he'd probably been there since the 1930's.

    Much the same with haberdashers - there were usually several on every high street. I cherish the two small ones we still have in our market town but we had five until about four or five years ago. Transactions are usually less than a tenner (thread, needles and zips are still relatively cheap) which won't go far towards paying the business rates😢
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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