Parisian leather care expert Talon Rogue show what a little TLC and elbow grease can do for beat-up, uncared for shoes. Their blog shows hundreds of restorations like these. Shoes coming in looking like garbage, then leaving the shop looking brand new. Imagine how much better these photos would be if Mr. Pierre-Paul-Marie Hofflin didn’t use a camera phone.
What I like about these photos is that they demonstrate how well-made things can be made to look new again if you know where to send them. Obviously, in Paris, there’s Talon Rogue, but for our readers in the United States, you can try B. Nelson or Cobblestone. You can also search the Shoe Service Institute of America for someone local, or try contacting the original manufacturer. Depending on the maker, they may have the capacity to do a full restoration service, beyond just a standard resoling.
To prevent your shoes from ever looking this bad, make sure you give them the proper care. Jesse goes through how in our first season’s episode on shoes. If you’re too busy (or too lazy) to do things like polish your shoes, I strongly recommend you at least do the bare minimum: Rotate your shoes (that is, wear each pair no more than every other day). Insert cedar shoe trees when your shoes are not in use. Always use a shoe horn when inserting your foot, so that you don’t damage the heel counter. And apply leather lotion every couple of weeks (or just whenever your shoes look dry). Your shoes might not gleam like they would if they had a little polish, but at least they won’t ever look as bad as the neglected pairs you see above.