You can give your expensive shoes a longer life by replacing the inserts

[#2 already knew this, but didn’t tell #1 because it never occurred to her that #1 wouldn’t know this]

I was doing some post-conference shoe shopping (I <3 pikolinos!!) because the naot maryjanes I bought two years ago weren’t as comfy as they were, you know, two years ago.  The salesman, after selling me on a new pair of pikolino maryjanes that I am completely and totally in love with noted that I could extend the life of my naots by replacing the inserts because the sole was still going strong, I’d just worn down the insides.  So he sold me a pair of inserts (and a pair of sandals that I’m not completely in love with, but are comfortable and fill another need, since I don’t know when I’ll be at another Euro shoe store).

And he put the new inserts in my shoes and indeed, I no longer needed to buy the pikolinos, but I did anyway because I love them.  I have two more pairs of Naot maryjanes that can have their lives extended with new inserts as well, so I’m planning on going online and getting replacements.  Now, replacements are not cheap– $55 per pair, but that’s a lot less expensive than fancy new shoes.

I knew cowboy boots could be resoled and I knew Birkenstocks could be recorked, but I didn’t realize there was such an easy fix for Naots.  And who knows, maybe my beloved Pikolinos at some point in the future as well.

Do you repair your shoes, or do you just buy new when they wear out?


20 Responses to “You can give your expensive shoes a longer life by replacing the inserts”

  1. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I know heels can be resoled but I haven’t worn my beautiful Ann Taylor heels in years. My knees and hips would never forgive me.

    I just outright replaced my running shoes because they were going on 12 years old and served most of those years as my everyday walking shoes so I’m guessing that I didn’t miss a huge chance to repair them (did I?). I miss them, except for that painful when walking thing they developed at the end, so now it does make me wonder – is there anything we can do to rehab or revive running shoes?

  2. Omdg Says:

    I’ve had my shoes resoled before, but it’s been years.

  3. yetanotherpfblog Says:

    I always buy new for sneakers since apparently they have a specific balance you can’t repair and there’s some sort of planned obsolescence for them after X many runs. For everything else I’ll replace the insoles. I’ll also resole my leather shoes when they get worn down.

  4. CG Says:

    I just replaced both my pairs of Naot mary janes after about 9 years. I was starting to get some heel pain, which I have never had before. The shoe salesperson said I could replace the insoles but the soles and the leather were pretty worn out after that long so I didn’t bother. With these new ones I think I will try to remember to replace the insoles after four years or so. I love, love, love my Naots! They are the first non-athletic shoe I’ve found that I can walk several miles in without pain.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, the sales person pointed at the soles and told me once those got worn down there was nothing that could be done. But insoles is easy!

    • Ally Says:

      YAY for Naots! Almost the only “comfort” brand that runs narrow enough I don’t look like I’m wearing boats. Sadly the one pair of heels I tried from them were still too “tall” in the toe box (I could have fit my fingers in on top of my toes) for me, but for casual shoes, they’re the best! (And I almost never stumble upon anyone else who wears them).

      Before I found Naots, I had two pairs of Finn Comfort that I had worn mostly in college/grad school (cause they looked like boats on my feet!), but still wore on occasions that had held up for about a decade before the sole finally completely disintegrated! So I can usually get quite a long run out of good shoes, but knowing about the insoles (and knowing that others have gotten as long of wear out of them) makes me very happy!

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Activism: Yesterday I donated to Doug Jones in Alabama . Today I called up my Republican senators and suggested they not endorse Roy Moore (I also protested a vote they’d made).

    For those of you looking for something more creative and less talking-on-the-phone, you can send post-cards to registered democrats in Alabama reminding them to vote in the special election. More information here: I *strongly* agree that we need to be focusing on turnout and gerrymandering and much less so on trying to change the hearts and minds of people who think it’s ok for 30+ year olds to date 14 year olds so long as they have their parents’ permission. UGH. Let’s vote in people who will enforce age statutes– it’ll be faster and more effective.

  6. hiding from a violent ex Says:

    Question: I called an elected rep last Sunday to give support to their position on a unqualified bigot judge (note: no judgements on my part). I gave my zip and no phone number address or name. Because Lists worry me these days about retribution and I understand what happened in WWII. Two days later I came home to find a message on my phone asking me to call back with my name and address as they do not count unnamed and addressed views. I think they want to ask me for money. (Limited fixed income here.)
    But it made me realize they are using some sort of computer tracking of incoming calls that gave them my phone number. I do not live with a violent other person of different political persuasion……. but if I did?! WOW. I was set up to be attacked. BUT my phone number was put on a list. Are ALL elected representatives doing this? How can I share opinions if they won’t count my opinion without a name and address? Do they compare against voter rolls? Can I use false ones? AND, WHAT ABOUT THE PERSON WHO DOES LIVE WITH A VIOLENT CONTROLLING PERSON? Scary!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I had a long conversation with one of the nice ladies in one of my senator’s offices about this after a rep had gotten someone fired from a bank job for hir political actions. My senators do not do this. When they ask for names, it’s so they can use them in anecdotes and they only ask for city/zipcode to make sure you’re from in-state. (My other senator never has a person on the phone unless I call a tiny regional office where they tell me things like if enough people believe something it becomes true so I just leave messages with my zipcode. Nobody has ever called me back.)

      I had a shorter conversation with the rep’s office (in which I said that he’s deluding himself if he thinks anybody outside of his district even knows he exists– he’s not that important) where they told me that they only use the information internally and to make sure I’m actually a constituent (my address is within the funky gerrymander shape). That is a lie, however, as they’ve sold my name to a mailing list to get contributions for evil Republicans (I call with my married name, not my maiden name and I doubt the K-12 school district has sold my info to politicians). A small number of representatives are doing this to intimidate, just like when they got that person fired from a bank. You can call them and yell at them about this. It is insane that they called you back without you leaving a number. And if you have an area code that is within the district, that should be enough (mine isn’t).

      Your opinion still counts even if they don’t tally it– they’re still hearing it. There’s no guarantee they would tally it even with your contact information.

      I am really sorry to hear that your rep is deciding to intimidate voters. I hope (s)he (probably he) gets voted out in the next election.

      And yes, the lists are scary.

    • Cloud Says:

      My rep just needs my four digit zip code extension, because my entire zip code isn’t in his district.

  7. SP Says:

    It depends on the cost/quality of the original shoe. I’ve re-heeled my favorite kitten heel black dress shoes. I have hiking boots that I will get resoled (need to ship them out for this…). I replace the inserts upon buying hiking shoes since they come with crappy ones and I like the SuperFeet ones. Cheaper shoes / flats usually just get discarded and replaced. Running shoes get replaced too.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      DH had his cowboy boots resoled several times until he let them go too long and the resoling made the boot too small. But that’s what everyone does with cowboy boots around here. I hadn’t really thought of it with other stuff.

  8. Cloud Says:

    I have a pair of Birkenstock mary janes that I have repaired so many times that I’ve lost count. They are now too scuffed for work wear- to the point that spiffing them up with polish doesn’t really even last a day. So I’ve been surfing around Zappos looking for a replacement. I find Taos brand shoes super comfortable and I usually like their styling, so that’s probably what I’ll get, I’m just debating which ones.

    I find that once I know a brand works for me, I can pretty safely buy online. And Zappos returns are super easy, so… that’s how I get most of my shoes now. Better selection and easier.

  9. becca Says:

    now accepting recommendations for cute, waterproof boots that will last forever, with or without replacing inserts…

    • Cloud Says:

      I love my Borns and they are wearing well, but they may not be waterproof enough for places that get real weather. (They are leather that I treated with mink oil, so also not a good option for vegans…)

  10. jjiraffe Says:

    Like SP – depends on quality and cost of shoes. Some shoes or boots I buy are expensive and made to last. I fix those. I have 15 year old black Tod loafers that were worth the $$ because I’ve used them so much! Ditto a pair of Prada heels (my go-to for events). Both of those have been re-heeled and re-soled. I’ve also fixed my black UGGS. I know they are not fashionable and I care not at all. I wear them a ton. But, I also buy cheap flats sometimes-those I give away to a non-landfill re-clothing service when they are caput. In general my philosophy on both clothes and shoes is buy to last.

  11. chacha1 Says:

    I tend to buy good-quality shoes (e.g. Clarks) on sale and then wear them to death. By that time I have worn them for years and am tired of them, so no, I don’t fix them. :-) Not worth it from my point of view, since shoe repair would typically run as much as buying a new pair of good shoes on sale, and would involve pesky vendor identification and interaction (i.e. much more complicated than just buying a new pair).

  12. Debbie M Says:

    I mostly wear sneakers, and I definitely wear out the sole. I used to wear Kmart sneakers but was given a pair of Reebok’s and they lasted me three times as long and cost only twice as much, so I’ve been wearing them ever since (um, 30 years). I used to also wear leather shoes to work, but not nice enough to resole and I’d also never heard of replacing inserts. I did add inserts for a while to make things more cushiony, and they definitely wore out, so this idea does appeal to me.

    In other news, this quote made me think of you and your readers: “The Trump presidency is basically a marathon. It’s painful. It’s pointless. And the majority of you didn’t even agree to run it; you were just signed up by your dumbest friend.” But “the stakes are too high for any of us to stop.” – John Oliver, (, ~19:20, 11/12/17)

  13. I now own more than 4 pairs of shoes… | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] maryjanes and one pair of brown semi-dress shoes.  All pretty expensive and extremely comfortable European varieties built for wide feet like my own.* Eventually I added hiking boots, for you know, hiking (though […]

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