There's an awful lot you could tell about a person by their shoes
August 23, 2011 8:31 PM   Subscribe

[Sydney Filter] Where in Sydney can I get my leather shoes repaired/resoled at a reasonable price?

My feet are a bit broader than the typical dimensions of shoes for my size, so it is pretty hard for me to get comfortable shoes that (a) don't pinch me, and also (b) don't keep falling off. I have a pair of black leather formal shoes that I wear to office every day. I bought these about 3 years ago in Moscow[1], and they are incredibly comfortable. The insoles, as well as the bottom surfaces (outsoles?), are now getting worn out.

I have seen insoles at supermarkets, so I guess I could put those in. But is there a good place to get the bottom soles repaired/replaced? Is that something that is even done?

Alternatively, is there a place in Sydney that does custom-made shoes for a price that ordinary mortals can afford? I saw a website for one such store in Paddington that gives an estimate of A$2000 for a pair. I was thinking more like A$300 (maximum).

[1] Long shot bonus question: I could also try to buy the exact same shoes once again, if only I knew the brand or if I was in Moscow (the store, IIRC, is in the big mall right next to Kievsky Vokzal). Unfortunately, the insole is quite worn out and I can only make out "_OODS" written on it. I tried to find WOODS shoes, but Tiger Woods and wooden shoes have ruined those search results, no matter what google query I craft. Every heard of such a brand? Available in Sydney?
posted by vidur to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There is a good place that can do this, it's in the arcade at the bottom of the pitt st mall (circular quay end) that has Pumpkin Patch in it (on the right if you're facing circ quay). I can't remember if they are ground or first floor but they will be able to do all this, probably for around fifty bucks, give or take.
posted by smoke at 8:36 PM on August 23, 2011

Best answer: Vidur, I would suggest that you take the shoes to a decent shoe repairer and see what they could do.

I recently used the one in the MLC Centre in Martin Place (Wally's Shoe Service, Shop 608).

They did a reheel job for about $35 and did a neat job of it.

There is also an excellent shoe repairer at the bottom of 1 O'Connell Street in Wynyard, next to the Flight Centre. I haven't been there in a couple of years, but they did a cheap and good job.

You're not getting bespoke shoes for $300 anywhere in Australia, sadly. But I have broad feet, and Florsheim seems to do a decent range in broad dress shoes, for about or under your price range.

The most comfortable shoes I have ever worn are from The Horse. Their 'Ernest' shoes are pretty broad, and the leather is soft enough to mold to your feet.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:43 PM on August 23, 2011

Best answer: I can recommend Relief Shoes in Marrickville. It's right outside the station. Frank is a real, old-fashioned shoemaker. He's lovingly repaired shoes for me that the 'Mr Minute' guys told me were unfixable, and his workmanship is terrific. He also makes custom shoes - he once offered to make copies of my favourite pair, and although I can't remember his exact quote, I think it was probably under $300. Here's a story about him by a local blogger.
posted by embrangled at 8:52 PM on August 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

He also makes custom shoes - he once offered to make copies of my favourite pair, and although I can't remember his exact quote, I think it was probably under $300.

I am happy to stand corrected.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:59 PM on August 23, 2011

Best answer: He also makes custom shoes - he once offered to make copies of my favourite pair, and although I can't remember his exact quote, I think it was probably under $300.

A thought, Vidur; if Relief can copy your shoes, then get two pairs made.

Alternate between them on a day to day basis. Giving the leather a day to dry out between wears will mean that both pairs will last longer than if you just wore out one pair, and then the next.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:04 PM on August 23, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you, all. That was quick. I'll see if the shoes can be copied (and yes, will get two pairs for sure), and will check out the repair places too, starting with the closest one - O'Connell. Looking forward to happy feet, I'm marking everything as best, and the question as resolved! Thanks!
posted by vidur at 9:21 PM on August 23, 2011

Response by poster: UPDATE: I visited Relief Shoes (new address: 8 Station Street, Marrickville) and got my old shoes repaired and put in an order for a new pair.

The old pair has been handsomely repaired, and a trial of the new pair was quite comfortable as well. In terms of design, the new pair might not be the best-looking shoes (I'd wanted the edges a certain way, but Frank strongly recommended a different design for comfort, so I went along with the idea), but it is so, so comfortable and totally worth it. I should be getting the finished new pair next week. Total time taken for a new pair is about a couple of weeks. Repair was done by the next day, but I decided to pick them up when I went for a trial of the new pair.

The repair cost me A$60 (includes new bottom soles as well as insoles), and new shoes are going to cost me an amount somewhat less than A$450 (that's the asking price quoted by Frank). You can get the price reduced with a bit of bargaining, and Frank told me about some medicare thingie which can get you a discount (I don't have medicare, so I didn't bother finding out more).

I'm not putting the exact price I'm paying for the new pair here on AskMe because I don't think it'd be fair for Frank to held to a certain amount like that (shoes have options about soles, leather etc. that impact the price).

Before going to Frank, I'd tried a couple of CBD shops for repairing the old pair, but all of them suggested simply putting in slip-in supermarket insoles. For the bottom soles, all of them wanted about A$40-70, so I thought I'd see what Relief Shoes is all about.

Thank you all, once again!
posted by vidur at 8:01 PM on September 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

posted by smoke at 8:35 PM on September 28, 2011

Thanks for updating us, I'm so glad you had a good experience with Frank. He's wonderful, isn't he? I'm sorely tempted to get some custom shoes made myself now.
posted by embrangled at 10:03 PM on September 28, 2011

Bang. Brilliant.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:03 PM on September 28, 2011

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