Save 75% on $400 shoes – a.k.a. learn to re-sole footwear

OK, this title is a bit misleading.

It’s not a discount code – rather it’s a strategy I teach my cost-conscious friends who want great shoes but are on a very limited budget.

In this article I explain to you how to get an great pair of dress shoes at 1/4 to 1/5 the retail price of new ones by utilizing a rarely used service called shoe repair.

Yes, in our disposable society they still repair shoes out there. The key is your shoes have to be good quality footwear – cheap glued shoes made from plastic and cardboard are meant to be thrown away.

Quality leather footwear however can be maintained for decades and sometimes a man’s whole life.

Let’s dive in shall we……

Why Repair Your Footwear?

1.  Repairing old quality footwear is more cost effective than buying a new quality shoes.

2.  It’s better for the environment as less leather is used – the uppers are re-used.

3.  Quality footwear that’s comfortable is better for your back, posture, and overall health.

shoe repair sign

The sign says “Buy quality and take care of it.

What Types of Shoe Repair Services are out there?

These are very general categories, as every shoe is unique and the care it needs is often between these categories of service. However businesses have to price their services, and these are the most common shoe repair service packages you’ll run into.

Shoe repair basic – Cosmetic repair to include removing and polishing out scuff and deeper marks on the shoe, application of heel protection and small spot repairing of sole or upper damage. These repairs can be performed on a $25 pair of plastic dress shoes or a $2500 pair of John Lobbs. Any cobbler worth his salt can do these blind folded and hanging upside down.

Shoe re-soling – A more costly repair that includes removal and replacement of the shoe’s original sole with a new one that can be an exact replica of the original or perhaps something new the client wishes would have come with the original.

This service is performed by companies such as Nushoe for a reasonable price, and in my opinion a good option of your shoes is of good quality but not at the Alden or Allen Edmonds level.  Think Rockport or a designer brand.

Shoe re-crafting – The most costly repair but one that basically has you owning an almost brand new shoe.  Allen Edmonds is a great example of a company that not only makes an excellent shoe that will serve you for a lifetime, but a company that backs up its product with unmatched service.


2 Allen Edmonds Shoe Recrafting Options

When the your $400 shoe’s sole is worn out after 10 years of hard use, they take it back and completely rebuild not only the sole but the inner cork, strip/refinish the leather uppers, and provide new laces.

All for 1/3 the cost of a new pair.  And the best part is they are guaranteed to fit just like your favorite dress shoe of old…..because they are your favorite shoe given a new lease on life.

Allen Edmonds provides its dress shoe re-crafting service starting at $99 for re-crafting.

Alden, another great American shoe company, provides this shoe re-crafting service for approximately $150

How to save 75% on a pair of $400 dress shoes

Time for me to back up what I said in the title!

Simply look for a discarded pair of Aldens or Allen Edmonds with decent uppers.  You can find them in thrift stores, online, and at garage sales for pennies on the dollar.

I spoke with a man who found a great pair for $2 recently.  And ask around – your father or uncle may have what you’re looking for sitting in his storage unit (these companies have been around a long time!).

Once you find a pair of shoes that fit you well – send them back to the original shoe manufacturer using one of the links above to have them re-crafted.

3 weeks later you’ll have a timeless pair of shoes for 25% the cost to buy them today new. Now that’s something any man can afford.

  • Shane

    A few months a go I bought some hand made brown Italian monk-strap shoes with leather soles. I found them in a charity shop and paid just £4 I think. recently I had them re-heeled and resoled (with rubber) for £18. The cobbler was quite impressed at the quality of the shoe. I am very pleased with his work and so chuffed at the ridiculous price I paid in the end for what must be a pair of shoes worth in excess of £300.

  • Anonymous

    Shane – thank you for sharing this. Real stories like yours show that what we write about is something every man can apply. Feel free to email me the pics anytime – would love to see them.



  • Real Men Real Style


    Tank you for sharing this story – it just goes to show what you can find when you know what to look for and what you can do with good shoes if you take them to the right cobbler!

  • MikeD

    Antonio, thanks for the information and site and articles.

    Just a word of caution. Not all Allen Edmonds shoes are “Recraftable” The current models that are, are identified as such on their website. For older models you can call them and they will tell if they can. Don’t know about all the Alden models but my models are. Finally, if you get recraftable shoes in classic styles and you son happens to wear the same size then you can start him off with a touch of classic style. Looking almost new but with just that right touch of patina. (Well what I think looks nice at least). Finally you keep jobs and craftmanship in the US.

  • Real Men Real Style

    Mike – thank you for this note of caution. I wasn’t aware of these limitations. Someday I’ll drive over to their factory (just the other side of the state of WI for me!) and ask them in person!

    Have a great day Mike! – Antonio

  • David Dial

    I’m so happy I found this article. I’ve recently switched back to wearing dress shoes on a daily basis after 20 years of wearing sneakers and athletic shoes. I have a pair of Allen Edmonds dress shoes that are the only pair of shoes I own that are actually my size (size 14AA, long skinny feet). Unfortunately, although the uppers look great, the tippy-toe end of the soles and the heels are marginal at this point. Checking a number of shoe sites online, I learned it would cost $375 for an exact replacement for this pair. I don’t remember where I bought them. I think I got them at a closeout store back in the 1990s. I’m so relieved that I can get them rebuilt for a relatively low cost. Thanks for the info.

    BTW, my wife and I have a teacher friend in Covina, CA named Rocio Centeno, married to vice-principal Hugo Moreno. You’re probably no relation to them, but I thought I’d mention them just in case.

  • VegaOrion

    Just got my Zappos specials resoled locally for under $40 locally. When I can afford a quality shoe I’ll keep this in mind. Thanks for the tip.

  • rmrstyle

     @VegaOrion I’ve had some of my older, cheaper shoes resoled a couple of times now – I think these days I’m mostly doing it to keep myself from buying another fancy pair! Once you get up into the realm of shoes costing several hundred dollars or more a more extensive repair might be a worthwhile investment, but it sounds like you got just what you need.