Resoling your shoes

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by retronotmetro, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    I am considering the purchase of the "Polo Ralph Lauren" shoes on Bluefly that appear to be Edward Green-made RLPLs. One thing that occurred to me was: where would I get these resoled when the time came?

    I've had enough issues with local shoe repair shops that I'd prefer to send shoes back to the maker for refurbishment when possible. Will Edward Green take care of a pair of RLPLs? Would a Polo store have a channel to do it?

    Just wondering what other people do with their better shoes. I know Allen-Edmonds will refurb other makers' shoes, but I'm not sure how reliably that option would pan out.
     


  2. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    EG will refurbish RLPL's (they are made in the same factory). I asked EG about their service. Here's the text of the reply I received:

    "Dear Sir

    Thank you for your email. Our repair cost is £118 tax free per pair , plus return shipping £30. When you send the shoes to our factory please make sure the parcel is marked "worn shoes for repair, no commercial value" to avoid any problems with customs. Repairs usually take about 6/8 weeks but it is
    worth the wait because they are returned nearly as good as new.

    Kind regards
    Edward Green and Co"
     


  3. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    Thanks, kabert

    $300 USD for factory refurbishment and two way shipping. Ouch.

    I suppose that is the price of upkeep for fine English shoes, though it makes me think twice about the purchase.
     


  4. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  5. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    RNM,
    I wouldn't use the expense of EG refurbishing as a reason for not buying the shoe in the first place. You certainly don't have to use them. I fully intend to take mine to my local expert cobbler to put on new soles, same as I've been doing for years. Sure they don't come back looking quite as pretty. Some might go so far as to say the shoes have been "violated" by allowing a heathen of sorts (when we're among shoe dieties, such as EG) to lift the skirt and see what's underneath. But . . . it's not necessary and I don't think it'll void the warranty.
     


  6. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Senior member

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    Thanks, kabert.

    The last few places I've used have been pretty bad, which has made me start looking more seriously at sending shoes back to the factory for such work. I can't see putting a pair of EGs in the hands of someone who does lousy work on Johnston & Murphys.

    I will probably end up buying the shoes anyhow . . .
     


  7. Duveen

    Duveen Senior member

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    Hi,

    I'd guess that kabert, another DC resident, uses Sky Valet as his 'local expert cobbler' (correct me if I'm wrong, good sir...).

    If you don't have a good cobbler near you I believe that Steve B is constantly recommending a shoe repair place in NYC. It is not coming up on early searches, but I think that I remember it being called 'shoe hospital' or some such.

    In any case, you can send to a reputable place like Sky Valet or Steve B's NYC store for a quality resoling at a much more reasonable price.
     


  8. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Has anyone ever tried these folks: http://www.resole.com/ I doubt I would send my Edward Greens there (if I had any&#33[​IMG], but I have some lesser pairs that might be good candidates.
     


  9. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    The repair shop in NYC is 'Shoe Service Plus' and they are very good. Specialty is ladies shoes, but do work on mens equally as well. I sent them a custom remake of a 70's zipper boot for a customer to have Cuban Heels done and they did it just the way it should be. However, there used to be a family operation in DC with a spot around Farragutt North Metro stop (forgot the name, but was Italian I believe). Are they still there? They used to be very good as well. There is another point to be made here. Shoes are not made as they once were - even the highly regarded factories are using materials and techniques that would have not been employed years ago. We have a local guy who does most of my work and he inherited the shop from his father. He has been repairing shoes for many, many years and shakes his head every time I go back in the shop as he shows me examples of constructions and leathers that make it very hard to repair in the 'proper' way. Shortages in fine materials are probably mostly to blame, and a manufacturer can't control that, but many times there is only so much a cobbler can do, at the price most will pay. One example he deals with every day is heel lifts. Used to be a good shoe's heel base was built up of good quality (i.e. consistent) leather and was an easy and common job to remove the top-lift and replace while the customer waited - usually during lunch break. Now, you peel the top-lift off and it pulls half the heel base with it as they are using 'paper' layers that are mainly glue. 'Paper' meaning cheap, thin leather - splits that used to be discarded. He had a pair of Alden shoes yesterday he showed me where they had run the stitch so close to the edge of the welt around the toe that it is virtually impossible to stitch a new sole on. There is as much a chance of blowing out the welt as getting the job right. Now this customer thinks he has a great shoe - rightfully so - but what can the cobbler do? He explains the situation and the customer walks out thinking the repair guy just can't do the work, he's no good. So, it's not always the repair people. It's a combination of declining manufacturing quality, decreased customer awareness of quality and what is reasonable, tremendous decrease in availability of quality materials, while prices increase every season which makes the general customer that much more demanding of the product. It aint easy...
     


  10. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior member

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    Based on an AskAndyAboutClothes recommedation, I sent a pair of C&J's to be re-soled by Allen Edmunds with the Reddenbach soles. I am waiting for them to come back and when they arrive, I will let you know how they turn out. The service costs 60 dollars with soles and postage. The shoes are more than ten years old, and actually the soles were fine, but I am replacing them for aesthetic reasons.
     


  11. RIDER

    RIDER Senior member

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    Dr. B - this is interesting; did you speak with someone at A/E before sending the shoes to them? Factory repairs are done on A/E shoes only, but they do have a facility on the grounds that repairs other makers shoes as well as A/E shoes that cannot withstand the re-lasting process. They don't do anything different there than you might get in Phil. yourself thru a local cobbler. Maybe that is the reason for the 60.00 $ quote, as they charge much more for their factory repair work. Also, I look forward to your follow-up after the shoes are returned to you regarding the Rendenbach outsoles. Allen Edmonds uses an American company for their outsoles, Baker I believe, and Rendenbach are much more expensive. Also, Rendenbach, at least in the past, insisted on stamping the grain side of their outsoles with their logo, which I doubt A/E would want on their work. I could be wrong though, so let us know how it turns out.
     


  12. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Allen Edmonds offers a "repair" service for other brands (For their own shoes it is called "recrafting".) https://www.allenedmonds.com/webapp....0000001 I realize they cannot utilize the original last, but you would expect from Allen Edmonds a good standard of craftsmanship and the necessary machinery, which an independent shoe repairer might not have. (Because they cannot stitch the soles they just glue them on. You only realize afterwards, when your nice shoes are ruined, what a bad job they have done.)
     


  13. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior member

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    Does C&J not offer a refurbishment service? That would be sad if they did not.
     


  14. bengal-stripe

    bengal-stripe Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes they do, and that certainly would be the best solution.

    But sending the shoes back and forth the big pond, will add considerable extra costs.
     


  15. HRHAndrew

    HRHAndrew Senior member

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    Sadly, since I have to ship myself back and forth to England they can come with me. Have you ever visited the Northampton factories? When I come to England I fly to Heathrow and have to drive up to B'Ham where I work. It is worth a trip?
     


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