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Shoe Resoling: Everything You Need to Know

If you own high-quality shoes, you know that the soles can wear out before the uppers do. Fortunately, resoling is a cost-effective way to extend the life of your shoes while keeping the uppers out of the landfill. In this section, we will go over when to get shoes resoled, what shoes can be resoled, how resoling works, resoling cost, and where to get shoes resoled.

When to Get Shoes Resoled

It can be challenging to determine when to get your shoes resoled. If the soles are coming loose or have holes, those are obvious signs that the soles need to be replaced. However, even if the soles look okay, they may have been worn thin, providing less traction and shock absorbency.

Worn-out soles can have adverse effects on your feet and joints, causing joint pain or discomfort, especially when walking long distances. Additionally, uneven wear can affect your stride, causing discomfort. Traction is also an obvious indicator that soles need to be replaced. If you notice that your shoes' soles have been worn down, you have the perfect opportunity to give them new life through resoling.

What Shoes Can Be Resoled

Not all shoes can be resoled. Whether a shoe can be resoled depends entirely on the design and construction of the shoe. Shoes that use a cup sole typically can't be resoled. The rubber cup outsole is permanently bonded to the leather uppers using cement, and removing it usually destroys the leather, making replacement impossible. Sneakers and casual shoes are commonly constructed using cup soles, which is faster, easier and less expensive than a Blake Stitch or a Goodyear Welt.

With a Blake Stitch, the shoe's uppers are stitched directly to the outsoles, with the stitches visible on the insides and bottoms of the shoes. Blake Stitch shoes can be resoled, but a cobbler will need a Blake Stitch Machine, which makes resoling more expensive and more difficult.

The Goodyear welt is one of the most common methods of construction, and also one of the most durable. With Goodyear construction, a piece of leather (the welt) is applied to the perimeter of the shoe where the outsole meets the upper. Two separate stitches are then used to A) attach the welt to the outsole and B) attach the welt to the uppers and insole (in some cases). Goodyear welted shoes are the easiest to resole.

How Does Resoling Work?

The resoling process involves removing the old stitches and detaching the outsoles from the uppers, midsole, and insole (if the insole is stitched in place). The area where the stitches attach to the outsole and uppers will be cleaned and prepared for a new welt and sole to be attached. A new outsole is attached using the same style of stitching that was present on the previous sole.

When resoling a pair of shoes, you should also consider replacing the insoles, which are likely worn as well. While insoles don't wear down in the same way that outsoles do, the insole material can start to break down and lose its structure.

Resoling Cost

The resoling cost varies by brand and model, and also depends on the type of construction used. Generally speaking, resoling will cost less than $100.

Where to Get Shoes Resoled

Consult with the shoe's manufacturer to ensure that the shoes can be resoled and find an approved resole provider. Cobblers are common in most cities, but due to the wide variety of shoe styles and construction methods, it's best to check with the manufacturer or ensure the resoler has experience working with the brand and style of your shoes. Your shoes take you everywhere, so it's worthwhile to take care of them.

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