Posts Tagged ‘repairs’


Footwear feats

August 11, 2009

Feat the first: it appears that near-new shoes trade at a steep discount on Trademe. And so I acquired a pair of barely-worn Loake loafers for $70 instead of three or four hundred. I was careful to measure up some well-fitting shoes I already own and check them with the seller, since shoes sizes are a confusing mess in New Zealand. My intuition is that these were some old dude’s shoes from the back of the wardrobe: the style is vintage, even though the soles were barely scratched. Some people might be a bit squeamish about dead men’s shoes, but I would hate for my best shoes to go out to the tip and I’d like someone who appreciates them to have them.

Feat the second: my favourite black shoes are being resoled. I had thought they were past saving, because they’re rubber-soled and the soles have worn through at the ball, but the cobbler said he can do it for $85. Since the uppers are in beautiful nick, I regard this as a saving, because replacing the shoes with their new equivalent would cost more than twice that.

I’m also stoked to have found a good shoe repairer. (At least I hope he’s good. I’ll report back in a week when I pick them up.) This means that if I spot a good shoe at the op shop, and it needs some love, I’ll have someone I can take it to.

I think I’ve mentioned Vimes’ Theory of Economic Injustice before, but it seems apposite to repeat here:

Vimes reflects that he can only afford ten-dollar boots with thin soles which don’t keep out the damp and wear out in a season or two. A pair of good boots, which cost fifty dollars, would last for years and years – which means that over the long run, the man with cheap boots has spent much more money and still has wet feet.


Getting good sox

May 18, 2009

Now this is a serious matter. Decent socks make all the difference this time of year, especially when your best chance to recover from a cold is to stay warm (it’s also a good way to avoid them. It’s called a cold for a good reason.)

The trouble is though, the majority of socks on the market these days at the low end are made of acrylic/cotton blends with minimal amounts of wool. This makes them cheaper, but they wear out really rapidly. This results in the need to buy more socks, and you might just as well have bought flash woolen ones.

I’d solved this conundrum by going the middle ground but for one fact. The art of darning socks seems to be rapidly disappearing. Certainly I could condemn myself or my partner to an hour of sock-darning, but seen as neither of us is skilled in this matter it’s simply not worth the needle-pricks.

But… +$30 for a pair of something like Norsewool is just so damn much. Especially when you need at least 3 pairs to get through a week of sitting in shonky office airconditioning.

Tips? On either decent value socks? Or on getting darning up to scratch (including on the cheap Farmer’s ones)