Shoe cobblers: Healing soles since 1572
Deal Diva Kim's post mentioning her poor, taped-together gladiator sandals and Deal Diva Stephanie's post on how to get the absolute most use out of things made me think of the best money saving tip I've learned over the last few years. I'm talking about shoe cobbling, the time-honored trade enjoying a crazy comeback, thanks to everyone being poor and stuff.
Back before Payless Shoes and TJ Maxx clearance shelves existed, ye olde maidens and minstrels would wear one pair of everyday shoes for their entire adulthood. When the soles got worn or the straps broke, they'd simply take them to their local shoe cobbler, who would make their shoes good as new in no time.
As someone who would rather burn her white linen jacket in the yard than take it to the dry cleaners, I've always been inclined to just toss shoes when the heels wear down to the nail nubs or the soles come apart. But times have changed. Like everyone else, I no longer have the fashion budget I used to have, thanks to this neverending recession and all of the little financial stabs that come with it. If my favorite pair of black patent leather heels break down, I can't just go to Dillard's and buy three more pair to replace them. But I was happy to discover the cheap joy of shoe repair.
I can't speak for every shoe cobbler in town, but let me tell you about Holmes Shoe Repair in downtown St. Petersburg. This place has revived countless shoes for me, mostly repairing heel tips that break off due to my chronic foot-shuffling habit. It's typically around $6 a shoe and they've done it in as fast as an hour before, though sometimes they take 24 to 48 hours. I usually give them the broken shoe and its mate so they can see what it's supposed to look like, and I often can't tell the difference when I get them back. The folks that work there are super friendly, and there's something kind of cool about walking into a rustic, no-frills, old-timey shoe cobbler shop.
But Holmes isn't the only repair shop in town. Look up shoe repair in your local Yellow Pages and you'll probably be surprised at how many of these places are near you and you just never noticed them.
Deal Diva Emily
Photos: Times staff photographer Tristan Wheelock, Whitehouseblackmarket.com.