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Monday, October 10, 2011

New Soul

Last month I had posted about how my favorite burgundy work shoes had holes in the soles.  Since I was not in the woods last weekend,  dropping off my shoes at RJ's Boot, Shoe, and Saddle repair was on the top of my list of things to do.
Shoe repair is one of those old world professions that seem to either come or be going with time.  These professions would include Tailors, Jewelers, and Metal Recyclers.   Growing up as a kid in Bethany Oklahoma a suburb of Oklahoma City there were three shoe repair places within walking distance of my house.  My father had the same four pairs of dress shoes my entire life until he retired.  He would take them in to get repaired and re-soled every three years or so.  With men's dress shoes fashions have changed little and slowly, and a classic pair of oxfords will look good now or a hundred years from now.
Times change, and with that change what you get are new materials, cheaper products, and a change in culture.  The ebb and flow of certain professions starts with new materials.  With dress shoes they originally had leather soles and leather tops.  Now you can get a faux leather shoe that lasts longer than leather and costs half as much with the same look.  Then rubber and glues advanced and dress shoes can have no leather and minimal stitching.  Once these new materials start out they are expensive but, prices come down in time once they are widely used.  As products come down in price with technology and materials they go from cherished rarities to disposable commodities.  This change in product alters the landscape of service.  Before I moved to Texas in 2001 I could not tell you wear the nearest shoe repair shop was located.  As times change and people want the classics they start to appreciate hand made products that can be serviced, so the shoe repair place comes back as the market place settles into a new norm of repairable shoes and disposable shoes.
The world of diabetes is vast and wide.  One of the big areas diabetics deal with is care for their feet.  I had a bone spur back on 1998 on my big toe that caused ulcers on my feet so I know first hand how the right pair of shoes makes the feet.  At that time as well the book  "The Millionaire next door" was hitting the used shelves so I picked up a copy and read it in my spare bathroom time.  There were many points of the book that struck me as life changing and one of them was how he described how people should buy clothes and shoes.  The book talks about how when buying clothes to stick with the classics, not the new trends and buy half as much as you planned on getting and pay twice as much as you planned.  With shoes the book discussed spending 200 dollars or more on top end quality product.  This way you can get them serviced and they will last a lifetime.  I am of course butchering the chapter but if you want to see how it really goes, get the book.  The problem I always had with diabetes and shoes is that when it came time to getting a new pair you had to break them in and that can cause issues with your nasty diabetic feet.  Now with resoling my shoes they look new and are already broke in for me.
Look at how nice my new soles are.  I almost didn't want to wear them they look so good.  This is the fourth sole I have had put on these shoes since 1998 and probably the best looking yet.  Now I have another three to four years before they go back to RJ's.
The burgundy now pops right off the shoe along with the black on the sole and the heel now is a full heal not worn down and cracking.  I love to get new soles on my shoes just like I love to get new tires on my car.  The feeling that they can now go for another 50,000 miles with no worry gives me the warm and fuzzies inside.


  1. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards, (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  2. How nice for you to have a quality shoe repair business nearby. You're right, maybe this is a profession that will return as we all look for ways to be as frugal as our grandparents were.
    May you enjoy many more miles on your "new" shoes.