The Do's and Don't's of DIY Shoe Repair
One of the worst things to happen when you are on the job is for your footwear to get damaged in some way or another. After all, your footwear is one of your most important assets. Not only do they protect your feet (both from things falling on them or from you stepping on something dangerous), but they also enable you to walk for longer and more comfortably. For those of you who are already crafty and good at doing it yourself, this article might not be for you. This is more for all of those burgeoning craftspeople out there who want to get a leg up (or foot up, as it were). But hey, you will never know everything about any one thing, so for you experts, you might find one or two new ideas that you never considered before.
Practice makes perfect
One of the first and best rules you are going to hear is “practice makes perfect.” While that may be a bit of a simplification – not everyone is going to be able to be good at everything, no matter how much they practice at something – but it often works out for people, at least for simpler things. Shoe repair is something that people tend to learn how to do over time. A person may be able to quickly pick up on things on the simpler end (or even more complex things if they take to it like a fish to water), but other things will require a lot more practice before you get even remotely competent.
When you are trying to learn how to do it for the first time, your best bet is to try a cheap pair of shoes. This is due to the fact that the odds are high that your first attempt is not going to be nearly your best attempt. In fact, your first attempt at shoe repair is doubtlessly going to go relatively poorly. Even when you are following the instructions to a 'T', something can still go wrong, such as merely one of the instructions not being the clearest even. By practicing, by trying things out, by determining what your strengths are, you may become a pro at shoe repair in no time.
Fixing small blemishes
Not all shoe repair is going to be for serious damage. Sometimes, you may want to just make your footwear more presentable, to fix cosmetic issues like scuffs and nicks. Granted, your work shoes might not matter for that – after all, a lot of work situations, your footwear is just not going to go without a scuff and a nick here and there. However, at the same time, you likely have footwear that you wear when you are not on the job, that you still want to look good in. In that case, there is a wide variety of household items that you can use to fix these. These include items such as using toothpaste, vaseline, nail polish remover, and even hand sanitizer. These can be a great way to cover up these minor blemishes. If the blemish(es) are too big however, you should look into more heavy-duty methods of repair.
When the repairs need some extra effort
Sometimes, our footwear will be busted in such a way that you cannot just try to hide the damage with simple household tricks. When this happens, the fixes are not as complicated, though you will still need to be mindful about doing it right. One damage type that you might face includes the soles coming off, which can be a huge pain for mobility. The easy solution for that, and one that you do not have to have a ton of experience to do well. When it comes to holes, the process is a fair bit more complicated. You have to make sure your footwear is clean first and foremost. After you're done with that, seal the affected area with duct tape on the inside, and apply shoe glue on the outside. Then you can use an adhesive, spread it carefully, and once dried, remove the duct tape.
One of the key reasons why you should look into learning shoe repair, beyond it being an interesting and useful skill to have in general, is that you can save a decent chunk of money. As it is, shoe repair can be costly if you get a professional to do it. If you can pull it off and can do it well, it will prove to be a long-term benefit. Not only in avoiding having to go to shoe repair places, but also to avoid having to replace your footwear more often than you reasonably need to.
Shoe repair is not for everybody
Ultimately, no matter how many times you try, and no matter how many tips and tricks you may have taken away from this, there are just some people who are never going to be able to get good at shoe repair. And that is okay! As we discussed earlier, not everyone is going to be good at everything, no matter how much they may want it. At some point, if you find that you are not able to progress any further than you have with your attempt at the craft, your best bet is to try and move onto other hobbies or trades.
In situations like this, you are going to be better off seeking out the assistance of a professional for your shoe repair needs. You can either choose to seek out someone else who has learned the craft, or you can seek out a professional company. Whether that company is local or not is up to you. Ultimately, if you need to get the best quality of shoe repair, you are reasonably going to have to pay for it if you cannot do it yourself. But no matter what, it can do a world of good to try out something, even if you end up failing. After all, it is better to have tried and failed than to never have tried in the first place.