Closet 101 Money Style

Taking Care of Your Things

In this post, I mentioned the degenerate state of my heels. These Louboutin Simples are one of my favorite pairs and I think I bought them around 2007? Anyway, they’ve been with me everywhere and have been caught in the street grates of New York K-Town in the wee hours of the morning, drenched in one of the biggest rainstorms of my life in Moscow and worn for dozens and dozens of meetings and interviews (except those where I think the red sole would be too flashy).Anyway, I ended up taking the shoes to my cobbler, and as promised, here are some before and after pictures:

Before: heel is super trashed – leather is peeling, heel tips worn down, metal showing

After: “almost” good as new!

This trip was probably this particular pair’s third visit to the cobbler’s and the job cost me $15 (plus the heel tips which I gave him). My prior visits were to do similar fix ups, and to add the rubber Vibram sole, which I do for all of my shoes after they’ve been worn down a bit.

To me there is something very satisfying in taking an item I love and treasure in for repair, and extending its use for as long as possible. I feel even better when I get it back then if I were to buy an entirely new item. It reminds me of something my husband always says:

“Take care of your gear, and your gear will take care of you.”

*Wanted to add a clarification after some questions/comments – I don’t put on the Vibram sole myself, the cobbler does, and he stocks the red color in store. If your local cobbler doesn’t stock them, you can order them on eBay (search for red Vibram sole) and then bring them in for them to be put on. Mine charges around $30 for the sole + job. 

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  • pjlatte
    February 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Yay! They're fixed. He did such a great job on them. I'm glad you have your fav pair back to work! I am definitely the same way. I rather fixed up what I love than finding a new one. This way you know that it's good for sure!

    Pjlatte's Bag Book ♥

  • Ugly Duckling
    February 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    That's good advice. I agree it's important to take care of your stuff. You can get far more wear out of things that way too 🙂

    They look almost as good as new!

    Amelia @ UGLY DUCKLING x

    Come say hey at!

  • PetiteLittleGirl
    February 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Your cobbler did an amazing good. They look great! I am pretty bad at taking care of my things too. Although, I am getting better at it. Have a great week, Kat!

  • dietingfashions
    February 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I have had my shoes fixed before too. It just extends the life of the item. I'm planning to bring in a pair of wedges to help fix the edge of the soles. It seems to be peeling off. I guess I scraped it against something.

  • Adele
    February 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    This happened to me with a pair of heeled boots I love to death & I was also pleased with the results. Bet you wished you'd taken them to be mended ages ago!!

  • Anna
    February 13, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Your husband is right! It`s a great thing to stick with the old loves, and saves you money. Love the shoes, and you can always say THESE were the ones that were in that ugly rain and storm, THESE were the shoes that I travelled the world in. Great memories.
    And it adds to the cost per wear.

  • kittenmasks
    February 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but Santana of Santana Creative in Atlanta does a really good job restoring designer shoes. If you ever have a disaster that might need some fixing, I recommend sending them to him. He also restores the red soles of Louboutins to absolute perfection.

  • Katrina
    February 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Truer words have not been spoken! The transformation is remarkable.

  • Chocolate, Cookies & Candies
    February 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I couldn't agree more. I sent my Hermes boots to a cobbler in London who did such an amazing job. I've worn them to the ground but after 3 years, they're still going strong.

  • Chocolate, Cookies & Candies
    February 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I couldn't agree more. I sent my Hermes boots to a cobbler in London who did such an amazing job. I've worn them to the ground but after 3 years, they're still going strong.

  • Chocolate, Cookies & Candies
    February 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I couldn't agree more. I sent my Hermes boots to a cobbler in London who did such an amazing job. I've worn them to the ground but after 3 years, they're still going strong.

  • Dressing Up For Me
    February 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I agree about taking good care of your things and a good cobbler in the neighborhood definitely counts a lot! 🙂

  • Mary Ann
    February 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    This is great – I've taken in plenty of shoes like this for repair! And it's especially nice to extend the life of a costly pair of shoes. Makes the initial investment so much more worth it! 😉

  • wei72637
    February 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I totally agree! You spend so much on your gear, so why not take care of it to increase its longevity!
    Btw, which cobbler do you use? Ive been meaning to go to a new place! Thanks!

  • newpetite
    February 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    So true!! Can you tell me more about the Vibram sole?

  • pink horrorshow
    February 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Turned out great! I'm always surprised, as clumsy as I am, that my stilettos aren't totally jacked up and going in and out of the cobbler's store. Guess the shoe gods are usually on my side haha.

  • Lindsay @ A Walk in the Closet
    February 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    This gives me hope! I have 3 pairs of black loubies waiting for some time on the doctor's table. I've been hesitant to take them in for fear that they'll turn out pretty much the same as before minus a wad of cash.

    The after looks great in your photos! I believe I'll go give them a chance soon. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the before/afters.

  • LC
    February 13, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    your pictures make me feel more relieved to send mine in! i thought mine were bad..haha. thanks for sharing your pictures!


  • Beautygirl24
    February 13, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I like your husband's saying 🙂 I definitely agree. You want to keep these treasures for a lifetime, especially after paying good money for them. I think your shoes look great!

  • FairyFiligree
    February 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Such good shoes are worth the extra care. One of the worst ways to wear out heels is on rough rubber car carpets. The heels are just destroyed. So, I have come to the conclusion that I should keep a flat pair in the car to change into for driving and then just wear my heels before I pop out of the car… does that sound complicated?

  • Lily
    February 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    I always add the rubber soles and take my boots every season to get new heels and a nice cleaning !! Really makes such a difference.


  • Alterations Needed
    February 13, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Poor little Loubs! They certainly did take a thrashing. Thanks for the before and after pics! They look ready for more adventures now. =)

  • Lindsay K
    February 13, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Woohoo! They look great! A good cobbler is invaluable.

    "Take care of your gear, and your gear will take care of you."- Such a wonderful motto.

  • Tabitha
    February 13, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Oh he did excellent work, I send my "good shoes" down to London, there's one there that CL recommends.
    I had one pair almost ruined by a cobbler up here.

  • Lisa
    February 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    wow i'm seriously impressed.. i haven't needed to take any of my shoes in for heel tip repair yet.. but it's reassuring to know that when i do they can really do some major improvements!!

  • Alexandra
    February 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I fully agree! It's such a satisfying feeling to get well-loved shoes fixed. So impressed with how your cobbler entirely fixed up those heels!

    Alexandra xo

  • alison*elle
    February 13, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I love getting shoes back from the cobbler because it's almost like getting a "new" pair of shoes back. Your "afters" look so good!

    xo, alison*elle

  • luvvleighb
    February 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Very impressive! I usually end up super gluing my shoes before I finally throw them away. If I love them enough to totally wear them out, it's usually for a reason and definitely worth fixing. After I throw them out, I usually can never find a pair that is "just" right 🙁
    Luvv, Leigh B

  • ❤ Quynh
    February 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    can you please do a tutorial on how to apply your vibram soles?

  • Kira
    February 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Katherine, you never did full review of your black isabel marant boots. Are they worth the hype?

  • Katherine
    February 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Hi! Vibram is just a brand of rubber sole, and they happen to make a great red color (instead of the normal black) that you can put on the bottom of your shoes to extend their life (and make them less slippery!) I highly recommend them.

  • Katherine
    February 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Hi Quynh, I don't put them on myself but amended my post (see bottom for details) about where to buy them/how much my cobbler charges.

  • Katherine
    February 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Hi Kira, I love mine but don't wear them as much as I thought I would. They are really really comfortable though and I always receive compliments. That being said, there are a ton of "inspired" booties on there that look almost identical for way less. I heard that some are less comfy though!

  • Samantha
    February 13, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Oh yay!!! So glad your cobbler could fix them!! And it is a nice feeling to extend the life of your shoe! 🙂

  • Champagne Cocktails, Cashmere Dreams
    February 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    such a great tip your shoes look like new!

  • homestilo
    February 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I recently got a new pair of boots and had considered taking them in to get soles and things added before starting to wear them. Is that something you ever do? Sort of a 'preventative' care?

  • Call me M
    February 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    I'm glad your cobbler managed to fix them, cause they are really nice shoes. Every CL pair should be worn with pride! 🙂

  • DSK Steph
    February 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    This is the sexiest before and after pics ever! 😀

  • Katherine
    February 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Sometimes I do that if I feel the soles are too slippery, etc – but I typically wear them for a bit before resoling just to wear down the sole for a little bit, if that makes sense..

  • R.L.
    February 13, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Great post! I like that you actually WEAR your CLs. I know some women who hardly ever wear or use expensive items, which I can understand but then their items end up collecting dust. But for the price and quality shoes like that definitely deserved to be worn.

  • littlemissandrea
    February 13, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Yay, just about good as new! For something you shell out quite a bit of money for, it's good to know they can be fixed up and have their life prolonged just a little more 🙂

  • KateSouth
    February 14, 2012 at 1:08 am

    I'm so hard on my shoes and my cobbler makes good money off of me! Still, it's great to see them all looking almost as good as new when he finishes.

  • Girlie Blogger
    February 14, 2012 at 2:18 am

    we really need to take care of our heels.
    Girlie Blog Seattle – Beauty Tips, Makeup How To, Seattle Lifestyle

  • Anonymous
    February 14, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Please give me the 411 on where you get your used shoes!

  • Annette
    February 14, 2012 at 4:48 am

    the vibran sole is the best. i have my cobbler put it on even before i wear my heels, which seems to work better than waiting until the soles are worn down. plus, i find the rubber sole softer than without!

  • ShinyPrettyThings
    February 14, 2012 at 5:07 am

    wow your cobbler did a great job! it really pays off to take care of your things, esp when they cost so much. and it's great you've gotten so much wear out of your louboutins. 😀

  • Jessica @ Here(and)Now
    February 14, 2012 at 5:50 am

    oh my goodness… a good cobbler is so key. I found one that is seriously a miracle worker!
    looks like you have yourself a great one too! one day, i hope to afford such lovely luxury shoes!

  • Fashion-Bridge
    February 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I absolutely agree! Plus every girl truly in love with fashion and respecting her own wardrobe should have a) a good cobbler b) a good tailor c) a good clean dryer …as a minimum to start with.



  • Diva In Me
    February 14, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I'm sure these are your darlings. I can totally understand how you feel when your fav shoes are broken and you wouldn't wish that to happen at ALL! I take good care of my shoes too and I wore them for the longest time!

  • Anonymous
    February 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Finding a good cobbler is really key! I also live in the Bay Area and was wondering if you can give me the name of your cobbler. Thank you!

  • Katherine
    February 14, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Hi! I go to Galettis in the financial district – they do get swamped and have to deal with lots of people so be nice and they will take care of you 🙂

  • Anonymous
    February 15, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Thanks for your prompt response!!!

  • LurkerHere
    February 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Not really. I drive a manual (standard) transmission Golf GTI and you can't really drive with heels (you have to hold the clutch really hard and you can snap the heels if you're not careful. I keep a pair of squishy flats in the side magazine rack that are easy to slip on and drive in, in the event that I'm wearing heels to work. It's not that hard to do and it saves your shoes (plus makes your driving safer/gives you more control) 🙂

  • Katherine
    February 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I also have destroyed some heels from driving … also it just isn't comfortable for me, so I try to keep a pair of flip flops and some loafers (driving shoes!) in the winter.

  • Chloe
    February 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    They look great! Thanks for the tip about the red Vibram soles. Will have to check them out.

  • miss sophie
    February 17, 2012 at 10:19 am

    i just did a post on this too! your shoes look lovely and like new again…a great cobbler can work miracles, eh? heartily recommend Vibrams. they make the best soles! 🙂

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  • Magpie
    August 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Katherine, thanks so much for sharing this. A good cobbler is worth his weight in…if not gold, then Manolos at least.

    That said, would you mind sharing the name of your cobbler? He does sound like such an old pro (and an artist I’m sure)… I’m a new transplant to NYC and feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of hunting someone out!

    (I’m also a new blog reader–apologies if I’ve missed this info in a previous post. I tried to click the link to the original post above, then to search it, but it didn’t work for me.)

  • Ashley
    February 13, 2014 at 10:45 am

    I have a similar pair! I use a product called Still-ettos (, which slips right over the heel tip, when walking through the streets of NYC. It increases the surface area and adds a protective layer that keeps my Loubs from being damaged. When I reach my office building, I just take the Still-ettos off. I highly recommend. I haven’t had to have my heel tip replaced yet!