Friday, October 29, 2010

Project 333: Good Nick

When faced with a limited wardrobe it is essential to keep what you have in good nick.  That is, make repairs and alterations when needed, but also, perform maintenance on your most heavily used items.  Most fixes are cheap and take little time. (Remind me to tell you the story some other time wherein I say to a complete stranger "I need a screw, quick!)

But, yes, my Phoebe Dansko clogs.  While peering down at my feet yesterday I realized that I was looking like an urchin. There is a reason the saying "down-at-the-heels" means to look sad, worn, and even impoverished. In the case of my clogs, it was the toes, not the heels that needed immediate attention.  Since these shoes are a major pillar in my Project 333 experiment it is important to me that they continue to look good (especially since they are nearly indestructible).

Before - Urchin toes

After - Moneysworth Best Shoe Polish.  Yes, indeed.

A quick application of shoe polish can make just about any shoe look almost new.  Leather dries out as it ages, and polish adds oil and colorant back into the leather to cover the scuffs and scrapes.  This not only helps your shoes look better, but can actually prolong the life of your shoes as well.  The oil in shoe polish can help repel water and salt stains, and since I have been known to wear my clogs out in several inches of snow (by-the-way clogs offer no traction) this is important to the longevity of my shoes.

I used to be on very friendly terms with my neighborhood cobblers in New York, Albuquerque, and Cambridge.  Cobblers are wonderful people - they can resole shoes, change heels, replace stitching, and even fix leather jackets and luggage.  Their shops will have a treasure trove of items you never knew existed and shoe polish for almost any color leather imaginable.  Shoe whiteners, shoe laces, shoe horns and trees, shoe bags, caps for your toes and heels.  It can be a wonderful experience.   In a throw-away culture such as ours, perhaps it is no surprise that almost all cobblers I have used are foreign-born: Mexican, Armenian, Hungarian, and Indian.  My cobbler (Armenian) in Cambridge had the following written on his business cards:

I will heel you, save your soles, and dye for you.

I should mention his shop was covered wall-to-wall with religious icons.  He took his work seriously.

I haven't sought out a cobbler since I moved to the mid-West, mostly because I am no longer wearing high heels since leaving the art world behind. But I do have a pair of dansko sandals that need some TLC, and I have been told the general proximity for a good cobbler.  

With some extra care my sandals may just be around for next summer.


  1. There's no doubt that a good cobbler can provide you with great salvation.