When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

08 June 2005

A few words in favor of shoe repair

But first, a note from our sponsor -

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So, shoe repair.

Weird topic for a blog post? Maybe. But I have long maintained that among the list of top-quality professionals and specialists that every adult needs access to (accountant, analyst, attorney... and those are just the a's) a really good cobbler is high on the list.

I don't have extravagant tastes when it comes to fashion, but one thing I learned long ago is, Be Kind to Your Feet and They Will Be Kind To You. I just won't wear cheap or poorly made shoes. That's an area in which you are almost guaranteed to cause yourself pain if you try to save a few bucks.

Given a choice, I'd live in my New Balance gym shoes, but five days a week I do have to dress sort of semi-nicely for work, and a good pair of men's shoes is expensive.

Yeah, fine: call me Imelda. But I won't be limping around town with blisters or fallen arches, sucka.

The Shoe Guy in our neighborhood, a true prodigy at the cobbler's bench, closed his shop down a few years ago. It was replaced by a chi-chi new luggage store (sigh), and ever since I've been lost and adrift, footwear-wise.

My genius wife, however, located a shop near her workplace that looked promising, and with anxiety and misgivings, before I split town for Phoenix I turned over four pairs of dress shoes in desperate need of professional attention. They all needed resoling, new heels, and in general some serious cosmetic surgery.

(One pair of shoes--an ancient set of Florsheim Imperial wing-tips, referred to as my "twenty pounders" because of how sturdily they're built--is actually over twenty years old; my dad bought them for me to wear to my high school graduation, and as goofy as this must sound, they actually have considerable sentimental value to me.)

The rehabbed shoes arrived over the weekend. It wasn't cheap, but for about the price of one pair of good new ones, I have four good-as-new, thoroughly broken-in and molded-to-my-feet pairs of dress shoes. Resoled, new heels, polished to a shine that even a drill sergeant couldn't fault. And already broken in! Did I mention that?

It is the official editorial policy of this blog that shoe repair is a Very Good Thing and an industry that is vital to our national interest.

Dino's Shoe Repair of Columbus Circle in Manhattan, we salute you!

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