Cobbler's Corner

Repairing Expensive Leather

August 22, 2014

There is only one thing worse than getting a scuff mark on your shoes: Getting a scuff mark on your most expensive pair of shoes! One of Zabellos customers came to us with just such a problem - he'd accidently scuffed his deerskin loafers and he wanted to know if we could help out. 

The answer, of course, is yes. Zabellos has been making and reparing shoes for decades. We see things all the time that we've never seen before... but we never see anything that we can't handle. 

So keep that in mind. Yes, the most common things we do are repair soles, heels, pumps, and the kind of things that we all need done to our shoes. But Zabellos can do so much more. We can clean and repair any kind of leather for you.

So if you have a scuff or imperfection on your shoes, your jacket, your purse, your belt... don't panic. Talk to Zabellos. Let us help you save money and keep your expensive leather goods looking like new. 

Shoe Repair & The Last Weddings of Summer

August 20, 2014

We mentioned the other day that summer is rapidly fading away and it's time to get your shoes repaired for the autumn. But there still is some summer left, and I know quite a few people who have weddings to attend in September. Including myself. 

And one of my best friends will be attending the wedding as well. She was telling me that her favorite pair of Coach shoes - the ones she would like to wear to the wedding - were completely worn out. So I told her to get them repaired by Zabellos!

She was dubious - the soles were in awful shape and the bows were hanging on by the flimsiest of glues. 

I explained two things to her:

1) They are in awful shape because you wear them all the time... which means you love them. Why wouldn't you want to save a pair of shoes that you love?  

2) Zabellos are masters who have been repairing shoes for decades, and making shoes for decades longer than that. It is extremely unlikely that they won't be able to save your shoes. At the very least, they will be much, much better than they were before. 

So she decided to have them repaired. Want to see the results? 

Zabellos cleaned the canvas and the leather, replaced with soles with a brand new (perfect-for-dancing-at-a-wedding) sole, cleaned the bows and not only re-glued them, but added a couple of (hidden) stitches so that they will never fall off again. 

My friend was so thrilled with the work that she is planning to buy a dress specifically to wear with these shoes. And she promised me a dance for introducing her to Zabellos. 


Repair Your Shoes For Autumn

August 15, 2014

Techincally, summer is only slightly past the halfway point. There are still about six weeks left, plus, if you live in Southern California, where Zabellos is based, we always get an extra couple of weeks of warm temperatures. 

But it feels like summer is more than halfway over, right? The other night I was sitting outside and it was actually chilly. Football is in the air. Kids are back in school. It feels like the last days of summer. 

So perhaps it's time to start thinking about what shoes to wear this fall. Here's a great article with two hot looks for this fall: The "Santa Fe" look, inspired by the American Southwest, and hiking boots. 

The great thing about hiking boots, of course, is that they will last forever if you take care of them. I have a pair that I have been wearing for half of my life. Most people have a pair. 

Of course, you may not have worn yours in many years, and they may be in need of a repair. So turn to Zabellos! We can repair your boots in time for fall. You don't need to spend any money on a new pair when you've probably got an old pair sitting in your closet. 

Crawfish Nikes & Gun-Heeled Shoes: A Crazy Shoe Week

August 13, 2014

One thing you know for sure about Zabellos: We love shoes! Not just our shoes, and not just your shoes that we repair (although we certainly love both), but we love keeping up-to-date with the latest news about shoes. And sharing them with you. 

Today, we came across two fantastic new stories that we had to pass along:

  • We've told you about the coming revolution in 3D, printed-shoes technology. Shoes are going to be made inexpensively, in (literally) any kind of pattern or style you can dream up. But we never considered something like this: A shoe featuring a detachable, 3D-printed gun. I'll be honest, I don't think I would want something like this, it would intimidate me, but I do have to shake my head at the ingenuity. 
  • Now, something I DO want... Nike is coming out with a pair of their sneakers in an homage to a crawfish boil. I don't know if you've ever been to a crawfish boil, but it's one of the most fun parties you can attend. The shoe has a steel cap, resembling a pot.The side paneling looks like newsprint. And of course the shoes are the bright red of freshly-cooked crawfish. 

What do you think of these two styles? Which do you prefer? And ae you now hungry for some crawfish?


The Most Expensive Shoes in the World

August 8, 2014

One thing that Zabellos is always pointing out to you is that expensive shoes really aren't nearly as expensive as they seem... because with a Zabellos repair every once in a while, the shoes will last forever. That initial investment is absorbed much more easily if it's spread out over the rest of your lifetime. 

But with some shoes... well, they are expensive no matter what. 

Today, the website has an article on some of the most expensive shoes in the world. If you're looking for $1200 boot-pants or $6000 Louboutins, this is where you will find pictures. 

Zabellos can almost certainly repair these items for you if you purchase them, keep that in mind. But we're not going to try to convince you that these are cheap. 

What do you think of these expensive shoes? Anything that you would like to own? 


Let a Zabellos Repair SAVE You Money!

August 6, 2014

I took my 16-year-old cousin shopping the other day for some back-to-school clothes. The shops all seem to have sales now. At one national chain, she found a pair of shoes that were marked down conserably. Why? 

Because they had a frayed seam and a couple of scuffs. So they were marked down more thn 80%. But even at that low price, she didn't want to buy the imperfect shoes. 

So I explained to my cousin that the master craftsmen at Zabellos could repair those shoes for her at a fraction of the cost that they would have been new. WIth just a simple repair, she would have a pair of shoes that looked brand new, and still cost much less than full price. 

So keep that in mind when you're out this month and looking at shoes that are on sale. Just because a pair looks a little worse for wear, it doesn't mean you should pass it up. Send the shoes in to Zabellos and it's almost certain that we can make them look new and save you a lot of cash!

Design Your Dress Shoes Online (& Get Them Repaired Online, Too!)

July 30, 2014

It can be hard to find a perfect pair of shoes, right? (One reason why Zabellos always encourages people to use our service to repair their favorite shoes - when you find a pair you love, you should try to keep them forever!)

Mens Journal has a great article on their website about a new company that offers custom-designed shoes for you. You go online and choose the exact specifications of your shoes - the look, the stitching, the leather... heck, you can even order different sizes for each of your feet! (There are reportedly more than 2 billion different ways you can have your shoes.)

Of course, the custom shoes are not cheap: The start at around $300. 

But then again, if it's a pair that you LOVE, they will last forever. Literally. How do we know? Because you can always send them in to Zabellos and have us do any maintenence on them that you might need. $300 isn't cheap... but for a pair of shoes that you love, and that Zabellos can keep in great condition for the rest of your life... it's really not that expensive, either. 

Smart Shoes That Tell You Where To Turn

July 28, 2014

Zabellos has shared many stories with you over the years about the "Smart" technology that keeps being implemented in shoes. 

Shoes that can make phone calls, shoes that record your steps, shoes that store your entire ipod playlist... we've read about some crazy stuff. But this is a new level:

The Huffington Post is reporting on a company in India that has paired an application with Google Maps to tell you how to get around! The shoe and the insole are paired with your Bluetooth, which causes either your left or right insole to vibrate when it's time to turn. Crazy, right? 

Even cooler, because the technology was originally developed for visually impaired individuals, for every pair of these shoes that are sold, the company will subsidize a pair for a person who is without sight. 

What do you think? Is it something you would be interested in?

Zabellos can repair any shoes we come across... but we probably won't be in the business of repairing these insoles! That's okay, though, we love everything having to do with shoes. 

Some Advice On Buying Inexpensive Shoes

July 25, 2014

We all like to find a good deal, right? Especially when it comes to clothing - something that often changes with the times. What's popular today might not be popular tomorrow. (Of course, it might become popular again the day after tomorrow. Such is the cycle of fashion.)

If you like to find a good deal on shoes, The Today Show's website has compiled a great list of places where you find deals.

However, as if often the case when searching for bargains, there is a caveat: A lot of the inexpensive shoes you will find are inexpensive because they are poorly-made and will fall apart. Often within a few months.

It's something you have heard Zabellos tell you before: "Cheap" and a "Good Deal" are not the same thing. I have a pair of loafers that I bought on sale for $30. I loved the way they looked... for about one week. Then they quite literally started falling apart.

On the other hand, I have a pair of $300 Allen Edmonds dress shoes that I have owned for more than a decade now and, thanks to a classic Zabellos repair, look every bit as good as they did 12 years ago.

So which was the better deal? I could have purchased ten pairs of those loafers for the price of my dress shoes... but all ten pairs would have been gone within a couple of years. My dress shoes that seemed so expensive at the time (I was 23 when I bought them and $300 was a HUGE investment for me) turned out to be one of the best clothing bargains I have ever bought. 

By all means, take a look at the discount shoe sites, and if you see a pair that you love, buy them. But just keep in mind that they might be poorly-made, and you might not be getting as good a deal as it first seems.

On the other hand, if you see a pair that seems expensive, keep in mind: They will probably last longer, and with a regular Zabellos repair every once in a while, they will last forever.

Some Shoes With a LOT of Mileage On Them!

July 23, 2014

One of the main reasons we at Zabellos are always encouraging people to have their shoes repaired - you know, in addition to saving you a ton of money over your lifetime - is that, when you find a pair of shoes you truly love, you don't want to let them go. Not just because they fit wonderfully, but because of all the memories associated with them. Think about your favorite pair, and think about how many stories you can tell about times in your life when you had them on your feet.

And you know what else would make for a really cool story? "Oh, these shoes?.... Yeah, they used to be part of an airplane. They've flown around the world."

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Southwest Airlines is doing exactly that: they are sending 16 containers of used leather from their planes to Kenya in anticipation of it being turned into bags, soccer balls, and shoes.

Isn't that cool?

Of course, it's possible that none of you reading this will ever end up owning a pair of shoes made in Kenya from airline leather. But what if every airline started doing this, including making some shoes right here in America?

We are looking forward to the day that Zabellos gets to repair something leather from an old plane.