1. Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.

Resoling

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by EZB, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. EZB

    EZB Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    265
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2018
    I am not an expert, but I am an engineer by trade, which makes me curious to analyze all sorts of things. One thing I am not sure I understand though is resoling of shoes and boots. Now, don't get me wrong, I do understand the basics. Resoling a quality shoe means you can restore an old shoe to near-new condition, maintaining some of the break-in aspects of it that you love. However, I am not sure I believe that resoling a shoe makes sense in many cases with "cheaper" shoes and boots.

    For example, say you have a quality AE shoe that retails for $425. You may have gotten it on sale for $250 or as a factory second for cheaper, but let's not consider that too deeply here. You love the shoe and wore it pretty heavily. The leather is well broken in, and the shoe has molded to the shape of your foot. But the sole is gone. You can send this shoe back to AE and have it recrafted for $125. The leather will be restretched and refinished, and the outsole will be replaced with a brand new one. Your shoe will retain its molded shape to your feet in the insole. With the exception of the refinishing of the leather removing the patina, this seems like a terrific deal. For $125, you get back your shoe in nearly $425 condition. Yes, I realize some creases will remain, and some things are not redrafted; but, in all, you are getting a lot of value back for that $125. Getting a new shoe would cost $250 on sale and $425 regular, so this makes sense.

    Now consider another example. You have a pair of $200 Thursday boots or shoes. Thursday products are also goodyear welted and resoleable. I am not aware of an internal Thursday recrafting program, so I assume you have to pay an independent cobbler. I assume you won't be taking it to Kirby Allison for the $165 tag, so perhaps you can get this done for $100 elsewhere. You would be restoring the shoe to a like-new condition, but is it really worth it? The brand new shoe (no sale pricing needed) is $200. For $100, you are not getting the manufacturers original sole. Your shoe isn't being worked on by the company that made it and understands that shoe the best. Why would you do this instead of just buying a $200 new shoe?

    Then the question becomes--why would you AT ALL buy the Thursday shoe? Let's say the $200 Thursday shoe is identical to the AE $425 shoe, though I admit AE is higher quality generally. For a one-time price of $425, you can recraft it several times for $125 each time with the AE. But with the Thursday shoe, you will spend $200 each time, since it just isn't worth it to recraft. After three recraftings, with the AE, you have spent $425 + $125 + $125 + $125 = $800. After three "new" purchases of the Thursday shoes, you have spent $200 + $200 + $200 + $200 = $800. It's the same cost! It would seem then that buying the AE makes more sense if it is actually a better shoe anyway.

    Thoughts?
     

  2. dluce76

    dluce76 Senior Member

    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    144
    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2016
    That's why I put on rubber topy half soles on all my shoes (and metal toe taps too on some).

    When the rubber topy wears through, costs much less to replace - and I actually just do them in my basement with some simple tools, so it costs me about $10 (the cost of the topy on Amazon).
     

  3. NoNameNecessary

    NoNameNecessary Senior Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    65
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    That’s impressive. You have a big grinder wheel at home?
     

  4. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior Member

    Messages:
    820
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    Location:
    New York City
    I agree that it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense to spend $100+ to resole a $200 shoe. The exception is a $400+ shoe bought at $200.

    One of my late friends used to buy shoes for below $200. I believe that it was Bostonian. His maintenance would be limited to shines and perhaps a re-heeling. In any event, he viewed the shoes as disposable, and he was prepared to buy a pair or two a year.

    Also, it is unlikely that one would get a pair of Allen Edmonds resoled three times. I think that after the shoe has been re-soled twice (i.e., it has had three soles in its lifetime), the shoe would be pretty shot. Of course, there may be AE fans and the bespoke customers who re-soled three or more times and refused to depart with their shoes. But I think that two re-soles are the reasonable expectation.
     

  5. NoNameNecessary

    NoNameNecessary Senior Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    65
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    First, there is a certain point where higher quality cost less. But like already been said, no one will resole AE more than 3 times. I think AE factory will refuse the shoes after 2nd or 3rd resole. You can find a independent cobbler after that, but they won’t be able to guarantee the shoes won’t fall apart.
    Plus, new shoes are better than resoled ones. I would prefer new shoes at lower bracket than resoled higher end shoes
     

  6. breakaway01

    breakaway01 Distinguished Member

    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    429
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2013
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    The assumption here is that throwing away three pairs of boots has no cost. I would argue otherwise.
     

  7. NoNameNecessary

    NoNameNecessary Senior Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    65
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    What’s the cost of throwing garbage?
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.