For the past month I've spent more time than normal thinking about, lifting, sorting, and collecting shoes. (You didn't know? Check out my posts about the Soles 4 Souls Flippin Good Deeds Challenge here, here or here). So last week when the sole on the heel on my brown dress flats fell off on the train, I decided to take action rather than pushing them to the back of the closet hoping they would fix themselves. A week or so one of my co-workers took his shoes to the cobbler.
Cobbler. Apple Cobbler. Peach Cobbler. Blackberry Cobbler. Shoe Cobbler? It's an image I associate with Disney movies, fairy tales and picturesque German villages. In our "throw away" society, I didn't really think about people who repair shoes. But then I started to think about my shoes. I invest in my work shoes. Payless shoes don't cut it for very long.
Let's say I paid $50 for my shoes at Nordstrom Rack a year ago. I work 48 weeks per year (gotta love my 4 weeks of vacation). I wear them twice a week. Then this past year, I've paid $.52 each time I've worn them. Considering that same $50 would only buy me about 11 peppermint mochas at Starbucks, I'm getting a lot more value from my shoes. Hopefully the $12 I paid my local cobbler today will keep my shoes in business for another year. Now (according to my wildly scientific shoe math) I am paying roughly 13 cents per day worn (assuming I still wear them twice a week 48 weeks per year) to recoup the costs of repairing my shoes. If I didn't repair them I wouldn't be wearing them at all, and it would cost me much more than $12 to get another pair of similar quality.
The moral of the story? It's cheaper to find your local cobbler and repair a pair that you love than to buy a new pair. But....if you have gently used pairs that you aren't going to wear, please donate them to someone who will.