Oxfords. Derbys. Loafers. Monks.
True Gentlemen Repair Their Dress Shoes.
Even in a world that is seemingly becoming more and more casual, nothing beats the look of classic men’s dress shoes under a great suit or favorite pair of jeans.
Laces or no laces. Wingtip or medallion. Plain toe or cap toe (or apron or split). There are so many marvelous choices. When you finally land on just the right color, fit, and style, a nice pair of dress shoes is an investment that should last you a lifetime. That’s where we come in.
The craftsmen at Cobblers Direct know how to re-craft men’s dress shoes just as the brands originally manufactured them.
Whether your shoes just need a new sole or a full factory recondition to make them look like you just brought them home from the shop, we’ll get them back on your feet and ready to sport in no time.
The Anatomy of a Dress Shoe
(Oxfords & Loafers)
When we approach a dress boot repair project, we focus on structural preservation. There are 5 primary areas of concern when we evaluate any damage:
The Upper is the top of the shoe.
The shoe Insole is the part your foot actually sits on.
The Welt or Midsole lies in between the sole and the upper. This is a critical component that is stitched or glued directly to the upper and serves as the foundation for the sole to attach to.
The Heel Base lies in between the heel cap and the sole. Similar to the welt, the heel base is attached directly to the sole and serves as the foundation for the heel caps to attach to.
The Sole and Heel Cap are the components of the shoe that make contact with the ground and give you the traction and support you need while walking. The majority of your wear and tear occurs here, and basic repairs can be maintained. However, if you wait too long wear through these layers, you risk damaging the welt, insole and/or upper, which will result in more extensive repair needs.
Heel Cap Repair
One of the most common repairs on men’s dress shoes is heel replacement. The heel is an integral part of the whole shoe and should always be protected from wear.
After carefully evaluating your shoe, we’ll replace and install new, protective rubber heel caps in order to preserve the heel base shape and integrity. These rubber caps also provide extra comfort, durability, and traction—similar to a brake pad that protects the rotors and calipers on a car.
If you have heavy wear on the heel, you’ll most likely have significant wear on the sole as well.
Read on to learn more about how we’ll diagnose and repair your soles.
If the soles of your dress shoes have been worn down into the welt or midsole, it’s time for a sole replacement!
Shoes that have a severely worn sole, or even a hole in the sole, can be repaired. We can complete a half-sole repair without replacing the heels, or a full-sole repair which requires a new heel. Usually, if the sole is heavily worn, the heels are as well.
There are several reasons a sole replacement is so important. Once a hole has been worn into the sole, it can mean that the insole of the shoe is getting damaged. The insole, which every shoe is built around, is critical to protect and preserve, because unfortunately, it can’t be replaced if damaged. Additionally, when soles are heavily worn at the toe or sides of a shoe or boot, it’s likely that the upper itself is getting scuffed and damaged with each step.
Lastly, the welt—what holds the shoe together—should ideally never see wear at all, as it’s a key component of the shoe’s structure.
We will look at your shoe carefully and determine the best repairs to make your shoe like-new again.
To repair a sole, our cobblers will remove the old worn out sole, re-cork the inside filler, and then cement and/or carefully stitch a new leather or rubber sole onto the shoe.
Since most “shoes” are level with a flat arch, we prefer doing a full sole with no half-sole splice so that your shoes look fantastic.
Sole & Heel Color Customization
If your sole is worn down (or even if it isn’t!), we can completely replace it with nearly any color or tread you want.
Shoe Shine, Cleaning & Factory Refinish
We can beautifully shine, clean, and/or completely refinish your dress shoe uppers whether they’re leather, suede, nubuck, or any other fine finish.
Every repair order comes with a free professional shoe shine (a $9 value)!
Shoe Shine: A shoe shine consists of first cleaning off all the dirt, grime, and old polish, and then deep conditioning the leather until its buttery soft. Next, we hand rub a wax or cream polish to provide stain and color, and last, we buff the shoe to bring out the highest shine possible. The friction and heat we produce with rigorous buffing activates the shoe polish and produces a gorgeous sheen that makes your shoes look fresh and new.
Deep Clean & Refinish: If you want your shoes to look similar to the day you picked them off the shelves (or likewise, if they are made of suede, nubuck or fabric and can’t be “shined”), you’ll want what’s called a Deep Clean & Refinish.
At the time new shoes and boots are manufactured, they receive a special custom finish that is applied at the very end of the process. This provides a beautiful long-term coating. When our cobblers complete a refinish on your shoes, we reapply the same gorgeous finish the shoe or boot had when it was made new.
For a full refinish, we first deep clean to remove any stains. Next, we’ll generously condition the shoe leather with pure lanolin (when needed), and then apply permanent color over worn and damaged areas. Lastly, we put on a new-shoe custom topcoat.
Suede and nubuck must be dry cleaned or finely sanded when cleaning to ensure dirt and stains can be removed. By using special suede-cleaning stones or our delicate sand-blasting booth, we remove the stains gently without harming the suede or nubuck. After cleaning, the suede or nubuck is lightly brushed and waterproofed for longer protection.
Voila! Your shoes are like-new, and this process outlasts a regular shoe shine up to 10 times.
NOTE: There are some stains, creases, cracks, etc. that may not be able to be removed in this (or any!) repair or restoration process, but we’ll always do our very best to make your shoes look as “new” as possible!
Shoe Stretching and Liner Replacement
Our cobblers can provide stretching if your shoes feel too snug. Leather shoes can be stretched up to ½ size and are stretched in the width, which helps with length as it allows the toe portion of the foot to spread out, relieving pressure. We can also stretch fabric and other dress shoe materials, just not always as easily as leather.
We can also install a brand new leather sock liner—unwrinkled and fresh—inside your shoes that will provide both extra comfort and a refreshingly clean new smell.
Additionally, we can replace the heel liner at the back of your shoe to ensure you have just the right amount of cushioning.
Oxford & Loafer Custom Repairs
Our cobblers can provide a myriad of custom repair work for any damage that you have on your favorite shoes. Here’s just a glimpse of some of the things we can do:
- Toe and Heel plates
- Pull straps and loops
- Custom stitching / rips / tears / patchwork
- Zipper repair
- Elastic repair
- Hardware (e.g. rivets, buckles, hooks, rings, etc)
- And so much more…
To purchase, simply add “Additional Repairs” when building your repair order and provide a brief explanation of your needs.
My Dog Ate My Loafers!
So your dog thinks those amazing dress shoes are chew toys, does he? Don’t panic!
You’d be surprised how often we see shoes that have been chewed up by dogs. Let us take a look.
9 times out of 10 we can fix them right up. No need to be upset at Hooch for long.
Dress Shoe Repairs & Services Re-Cap
- Sole and Heel Repair
- Sole and Heel Customization
- Factory Finish Top-Coat
- Shoe Shines
- Heel and Sockliners
- Custom Repairs
- Dog & Puppy Damage Repair
If you’d like to discuss your repair needs with a cobbler, please contact us. We’ll Zoom call or email you to discuss your repair needs prior to getting started.
You can even send our items into us for a free repair consultation and we’ll provide you with pricing once we’ve evaluated and discussed your items.
We look forward to meeting your favorites and getting them fixed up and back out to you to enjoy!