This is an almost-love story. A tale of missed opportunities and what could have been.
Several years ago I ordered a pair of classic Oxfords. I never wore them as much as I thought I would — they came with frumpy bows and weren’t in style at the time. I wore them maybe twice a year for several years, and then the soles cracked. I kept the shoes around with a vague idea of repairing them and replacing the bows.
Fast forward to now, and Oxfords are back in style. I set out to update my now-stylish shoes with new soles and simpler laces, hoping to add a standard back into my shoe wardrobe with little investment or environmental cost.
I took the shoes to a well-known repair shop and learned I would need to pay $70 to have the shoes resoled. I was shocked, considering that’s about how much the shoes cost in the first place.
Unwilling to abandon the shoes, I tried a smaller shoe shop across town, where the cobbler told me he could repair the shoes for $50. After examining the shoes further, the repairman guessed that even with new soles, the shoes would crack again due to manufacturing defects. He recommended I throw away the shoes.
I was so sad. The upper portions of the shoes still looked nice, but the structure of the shoes was so poor that they couldn’t be repaired effectively. I ended up donating the shoes to Soles4Souls in hopes they could be re-purposed for someone in need, even though I’m generally wary of companies that ship American used goods to other countries. Honestly, donating the shoes was a desperation move because I couldn’t bear to throw them in the trash.
What I hoped would be a beautiful story of revival turned into a fashion and environmental fail. I’m taking my sad shoe story as a reminder to purchase quality products that can be repaired rather than thrown away. Those shoes and I just weren’t meant to be.