Apologies for the pictures, the iPhone isn't a great tool, but its all I have at my office.
So my shoes are a pair of high-shine black monkstraps that have been worn for about 4 years 4 days per week. Purchased when I first arrived at university and needed some shoes for work in retail. Although kept with shoe trees in, they haven't been very well looked after and are firmly into "beater" territory, none the less they are structurally sound and recrafting them was cheaper than a new pair of shoes.
It starts with a call to the Cheaney factory where I asked for instructions regarding destination, cost and details. Cost was £70 including shipping and the time scale was about 5 weeks (they came in dead on the 5 week mark). On the website they ask that you include a cheque in the box, but since cheques stopped being used before I was old enough to get a proper bank account I simply included a letter asking them to call me for credit card details when the time was right. They were more than happy to do this for me.
There were the shoes at the time of being sent away:
As you can see they were long overdue and starting to suffer from neglect. Hey ho, I suppose it just better serves to illustrate the wonders of well made shoes.
These are the shoes I received back this morning:
New sole, heel and interior heel pads are well put together, very neat and with no visible damage or pigment transfer to the uppers.
True to their word, 5 weeks to the day.
Thorough revitalising polish - makes a difference even on the high-shine leather.
The fit is as good as before, any change in shape has been so minimal that I haven't noticed it.
Attention to detail hasn't been flawless; small amounts of the edge dressing has curved round onto the sole.
In some instances the "stamped" Cheaney logo is slightly wonky.
5 weeks is a very long time given the factory is about 1 hour from my house, but I suppose anything that is done by hand will incur delays.
I certainly couldn't have picked up a pair of shoes this comfortable for £70, and for a shoe entering their 5th year of service I am more than happy. Would I have had better or quicker service at C&J or some other more expensive brands? I don't think so. There are many horror stories on these boards of recraftings that have been let down by sloppy work, and I honestly don't believe that this has been in any way worse than any other brand.
I will definitely by using and buying Cheaney again, and certainly encourage other Europeans to do the same. For those in America, you will have to judge for yourself whether the postage costs are worth it after exchange rates.