Cobbler's Corner

Waste Less. Repair More.

April 16, 2014

We've become a society that has no problem throwing things away - things that our parents' (and especially grandparents') generations would have never considered junking. I remember when I was a kid, driving two towns away with my grandmother so she could drop off her automatic can-opener at a repair shop when it stopped working. These days, everyone I know (and, if I'm being honest, I too) would just throw it away and go buy a new one at Target. 

My father had a 1971 vehicle that he kept until 2001 because he loved it. He had the engine replaced at least once and sure he had to take it to the mechanic at least a couple of times per year, but that seemed to him a small price to pay for maintaining the car he loved. By contrast, only one of my friends has a car more than ten years old (and she thinks of it as being really old). 

On one hand, the cycle of buy-use-discard-buy-anew keeps the economy chugging along. As long as there is a market for new goods, there will be jobs to make those goods. 

On the other hand, every time something gets discarded, it most likely sits in a landfill (and is most likely non-biogedradable). And every time a new product must be created, so is pollution. Our natural resources are diminshed, and they are not always replaced. 

We're certainly not going to say that one side is right and one side is wrong. There are benefits and drawbacks to both ways of thinking. 

However... one thing we WILL say is that shoes just aren't made like they used to be. Zabellos is a continuation in a long line of family shoemakers who were schooled in the old world, European art of cobbling. We have skills that most people just don't anymore. So if you have a pair of shoes that you love, don't mess around - if you throw them away, you might not ever see their equal again! Keep them going as long as you can by sending them in to us for repair. 

Because in addition to having your shoes look like new, you will be doing your part to reduce waste and pollution in the world. 

Boots Should Last Forever (And With Repairs - They Will!)

April 11, 2014

We've mentioned to you before that we at Zabellos are always surfing the internet and reading trade publications to find our all we can about shoes. Part of it is that we want to be up to date on all the latest styles - but really, the heart of the matter is that we just love shoes. It's in our blood. 

If ever there was an article that was meant for us, it is this one in the Newcastle Herald: "Nothing as Tough as Old Boots." The article bemoans the fact that boots - which are by their very nature workhorses meant to take abuse and keep performing - just don't last as long as they used to. It's something that we have written about many times: In this day, things aren't meant to last. They are used, discarded, and replaced. There is no incentive to make things that last a long time because no one seems to care. 

The author goes on to mention a hike with his better half, who was wearing a pair of boots made 27 years earlier that were still in great condition. (This did not surprise me - my father has a pair of boots that are literally 50 years old and it looks like they could be worn on a hike tomorrow.)

If you don't want to be a part of this society that throws things away after only a bried period of time - and ESPECIALLY if you've found a pair of boots that you love (like mine above, which are my favorite shoes I've ever owned) - then you definitely want to keep your shoes and boots as long as possible. With Zabellos master repairs every few years, you will be able to. You will save a lot of money and you will hang on to the shoes you love forever.  

High Heels - Only Torture If You Don’t Keep Them Repaired

April 9, 2014

High heeled shoes are not the most comfortable you'll ever wear, but as an article on reminds us, many women in the professional world love to wear them. They look great - but they can hurt! Wearing high heels can cause callouses, bunions, and especially back pain.

A large part of the problem is that wearing high heels creates unnatural movement for your feet. (Most people understand this and do it anyway.) But what a lot of people do not seem to realize is that high heels have to fit properly, or they will never, ever be comfortable. 

This, of course, is where Zabellos comes in. If you have a pair and you love the way they look but they don't fit quite right, let us know if we can help you. Do you need some work done on the heels to even them out? Maybe one of the pairs needs to be stretched a little? We can do that for you. 

And, obviously, if you've found a pair of high heels that work well for you, you'll want to keep them forever. Choose one of our repair packages - or let us know if you have a custom question - and we promise your high heels will last forever. 

Dress Shoes Can Be Comfortable (Especially with the Right Repairs!)

April 4, 2014

Sometimes - especially when you've just started wearing them on a regular basis - you assume that dress shoes HAVE to be uncomfortable. And let's be honest: Anyone who has ever spent a long day at work (or dancing at a wedding) in a new pair of shoes knows that they certainly can be uncomfortable. 

But the truth is many people (including myself) are lucky to find a pair of dress shoes that they love, that are actually comfortable, especially after the shoes are broken in. (We were reminded of this by an article today extolling the virtues of comfortble dress shoes.) 

This is why we are constantly preaching about the importance of shoe repair. Yes, it is far cheaper to get a pair repaired than buy a new one and can save you thousands of dollars in your lifetime. Yes, it is better for the environment. But really... when you find a pair of shoes that you love... when you find a pair of dress shoes that are actually comfortable... why WOULDN'T you want them to last as long as possible? Why would you ever let a pair of comfortable dress shoes fall apart - or worse yet, throw them away - when a company like Zabellos can make that pair last your entire lifetime?

When you find a pair that you love, let Zabellos help you keep them going forever! 


Toe & Heel Taps - Protect Your Shoes!

April 1, 2014

I was talking with a friend of mine at dinner Sunday night, and she relayed a problem she's been having: Her mom has a particular medical condition that often makes it difficult for her to lift her feet when she walks. As a result, she sometimes slides her feet with her steps. 

Very few things wear out a sole faster than sliding on them. My friend complained that she had gone to two different cobblers in her hometown, and neither offered the service of adding taps to the bottom. I assured her that Zabellos would not only add high quality taps to her mom's shoes, but we would do it at no extra charge!

Sometimes people don't realize that when they send their shoes in to Zabellos for a repair, they can add on a number of services for no additional charge. Need new laces or some weatherproofing? No problem, just check the box when you fill out your order.

And if you find that your soles are wearing out because you've been dragging or sliding your feet, be sure to get some protective heel and toe taps. You will be surprised how much life they add on to your soles. 

Baseball Season Is Back - Need Your Glove Repaired?

March 29, 2014

When people hear the name Zabellos, they think shoe repair. We don't mind that, because we love our job... but Zabellos does a lot more than shoe repair. Our skills at shoemaking mean that we are able to repair pretty much anything that is made of leather.

Jackets, wallets, belts, handbags... you name it. If it's made of leather, we have probably repaired it at some point. Torn leather, busted zippers, weatherproofing - we've done it all!

And that definitely includes baseball gloves. I don't know about you, but I am certanly excited for the season to start. It's time to get my gloves out of the closet, find a friend, and play some catch. I think my glove is in good shape, but if it turns out that it needs some repairs, I will be sending it in to Zabellos.

How's your glove? If you need a custom quote for glove repair - or for any other non-shoe item - you can always contact us!

Opening a Bottle of Wine? You’ll Definitely Need a Repair After This!

March 26, 2014

You may have seen this trick going around internet - if you don't have a bottle opener, you can open a bottle of wine with your shoe! We'll be honest with you, as much time as we at Zabellos have spent thinking about shoes, that never occured to us. 

The folks at NPR put the theory to the test, and it turns out it works. Apparently it's simply physics: the sole of your shoe transfers the force from the wall to the liquid, which then pops out the cork. 

Of course... just because using your shoe to open a bottle of wine is possible doesn't mean it's a great idea. There is always a risk of broken glass, and who know how much damage you will do to the sole of your shoe by repeatedly slamming it against a wall. We would recommend you always know where a bottle opener is and don't waste the life of your soles by openin wine bottles. 

Still, if you want to try this (or you have to) and you find your shoes in need of repair, you know Zabellos can always hep you out. (Trust us, we've seen people needing repairs for stranger reasons.) 

Spring Is Finally Here! Need Shoe Repairs For Any Reason?

March 20, 2014

Today is the first day of spring. Does that make you happy? It makes us happy. Now that spring (and hopefully the nicer weather) has arrived, what are your plans? 

More importantly, in what shape are your shoes? Have you been thinking about what kind of repairs they might need? 

Personally, I have three things coming up. Two friends (or rather, two separate couples) are having weddings this season. That means I absolutely, without question, must send in my Allen Edmonds to Zabellos for a repair job. They are the best dress shoes I have ever owned, but I have not had any work done on them in years. This year, I have to. Zabellos will get them looking as good as new... for only a fraction of what they cost when new. 

I also just this morning received an email from a friend who is planning a big mountain hike next month for his birthday. My hiking boots are in pretty good shape, but one piece of metal is coming off and needs to be replaced, and, even though spring is here, this hike will be at such a high elevation that there is guaranteed to be snow and water. I should look into Zabellos repairing the boots and waterproofing them for me - it's been over a year since they were waterproofed. 

What are you spring plans? 

A Shoe News Roundup

March 18, 2014

As much as we at Zabellos focus on shoe repair stories a lot of the time, the truth of it is we love pretty much all shoes. As we have written many times, shoes are in our blood, and we're always reading up on the newest shoe stories in the news. We thought we'd pass along some of our favorites to you today:

If you have any shoe news you've heard or read, please pass it on!


Repair Your Shoes Before You Put Them Away This Spring!

March 15, 2014

It's almost spring and I'm sure you're glad. For most of the country, it's been a brutal winter. How have your shoes held up? 

It might be tempting, now that the weather is getting nicer, to just throw your leather boots and heavy shoes into the closet and say "Good riddance!" But it's not the best idea. 

If you've gotten mud, dirt, and particularly salts on your shoes this year during the bad weather, you definitely want to get them repaired and cleaned before you put them away. We promise you, they will not magically be cleaner when you need them again in the fall. And it could very likely damage your shoes if you leave them in bad condition for months. (It will also make them more difficult to clean down the road.)

So, we know how much we all want to turn the page on this winter, but let Zabellos help you out with your shoes (and leather coats, too, of course) by repairing and reconditioning them for you this year.