Originally Posted by Docker
Ive found a pair of now discontinued church sydney monk shoes that have been well worn for £40 and i can get them refurbished direct fron church for £90 including the insoles, heelsocks and pads saving me £145 if i were to buy brand new. Do you guys think its a good idea?
It's tempting; I've never had a shoe completely refurbished like that by the maker. If you do it, I'd love to see a before and after.
My instinct is that "well-worn", especially on a plain-toe monk, may or may not come back to a fresh-looking standard. Assuming you're in the EU and paying VAT, then your sums make sense, but I might still be tempted to get some of the last new-in-box stock if you love the shoe. And that's the other thing: do you love it, or are you thinking "actually I wouldn't mind a monk in this colour" because it's cheap? If it's the latter, put your £135 towards something you really like instead.
If it looks fundamentally sound (no tears, or damage to the welt), and if you really like the shoe then I guess it's worth a punt for half the new price. But if you're just tempted because it's there, my experience suggests it won't get the wear to justify it, and you're better saving the cash up for something that keeps you awake at night.
Here's one more thought: for the same price as a maker's refurbishment, you might be able to get a restoration, resole and custom patina from someone like Alexander Nurulaeff at "Dandy Shoes" Italy. If you want something completely different but in that lovely classic 73 last shape, then perhaps that's the way to go? I've been thinking about that for a while; I'm just looking out for the right "base" shoe to experiment with.