Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Mending: Shoe Repair!

As a person who 1) can sew, and 2) is cheap, I have developed quite the personal pride in being able to fix my belongings that I use regularly if something goes awry. Usually this means I patch holes in clothings and whatnot, but I'm also no stranger to fixing my shoes. In previous years, that has always meant various types of glue - e6000 and ShoeGoo are favorites - but this time, it required a bit more sewing prowess to make some of my favorite shoes wearable again.

Back in March of April, I noticed the little elastic pieces holding the buckles on my beloved SoftSpots Huaraches had stretched out and lost its elastic. This didn't prevent the shoes from fastening, but it made the buckling process a major headache and made the shoes loose enough on my narrow feet to be annoying and I stopped wearing them. While I was at home during quarantine in about May, I decided to finally buckle down and fix my comfy shoes that went with everything. Luckily, I had already purchased the 1/4" wide elastic from Hobby Lobby before the elastic raze happened, so I had everything on hand to get this done.
I started with the broken right shoe of my black pair. I used my seam ripper to carefully unpick the top stitching beneath the elastic - I then had to use the seam ripper to separate the outer leather from the inner layer as it was glued together. I used the old elastic piece to cut a new one, put the buckle on, shoved the excess elastic into the shoe, and then worked on top stitching the new piece in place. I was careful to stitch through the same holes that were already in the leather to keep it clean looking. 
I repeated the same process for the white pair - I had to fix both shoes here. Sadly, I only had the off white colored heavy duty button thread and didn't realize this pair used all white, so once I got it stitched back in place I was slightly bummed, until I buckled it up like it would be worn:
And as you can see - the color of the top stitching thread is a complete non-issue once the shoes are put on and buckled :) 
So I was able to salvage 2 pairs of my regularly worn shoes all by myself with just a little sewing knowledge and some elastic and thread :) I was pretty pleased with myself. I've worn these shoes at least once a week since fixing them and the repair has held up great, even without redoing the glue between the layers. This is why I love leather shoes - it's a material that will last and therefor it is worth the effort to fix them when they break. This little fix saved me a couple hundred bucks, honestly. How can you argue with that?

So I hope this helps inspire others to try their own shoe repairs in the future. If it's not something you want to tackle, why not go to a shoe repair shop? The repairs are usually very affordable and then you keep using good shoes instead of them ending up pin a landfill somewhere. 

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