Talking Points on Shoe Repair

The goal of SSIA's press releases is not necessarily for the media to run them as is, but to entice them to follow up with an interview.

Nobody knows your store better than you. How long you have been in business, where you learned the craft, why you love your job, interesting or challenging jobs and the things you fix other than shoes are all interesting tidbits. If you need them, here are more talking points about shoe repair to keep the interview headed in the right direction.

The Potential of Shoe Repair: More than 90 percent of adults are aware that shoes and boots can be repaired, but only 25 percent regularly care for their shoes. Why? People are not aware of the variety of services available for both new and old shoes. Most adults own two or three pairs of shoes they don’t wear because they need repair. That’s 495 million pairs of shoes.

Shoe comfort: Ninety-five percent of people wear shoes that don’t fit properly. Shoe repair shops provide stretching services along with a variety of fitting aids to make these shoes more comfortable.

How to buy shoes that fit: Your feet grow five to eight percent in volume by the end of the day.

Cedar Shoe Trees: You have 125,000 sweat glands in your feet, all of them pouring 1/4 cup of moisture into your shoes every day. Use cedar shoe trees to help absorb the moisture and keep shoes looking their best.

The beating your shoes take: For every step a person takes, the impact on their shoe’s heel is 25 times the person’s weight. In an average day, a man will walk 8,000 steps. If he weighs 170 pounds, the daily force that accumulates on his shoes is about 1,000 tons.

The Green Benefit: Repairing footwear helps keep 62 million pairs of worn shoes and boots out of landfills each year.

Quality materials: Ninety percent of the original heel tips on women’s new shoes, even expensive shoes, are made of plastic. Shoe repair professionals can replace these with rubber heel tips which are more durable and make the heels less slippery. The replacement materials used by shoe repair professionals are often better than the original materials used to construct the shoe.

Time Savings: A trip to the shoe repair shop takes an average of 15 minutes. Selecting and purchasing a new pair of shoes takes an average of two hours.

Sloppy Shoes Stumble on the Corporate Ladder

Business recruiters rate good grooming as very important to becoming a senior executive. Furthermore, these same personnel experts said the poorest-groomed people in their companies tended to be young male executives, and the best groomed people were the middle-aged or older executives.

The most common mistake — and the most damaging — was unshined shoes. It shows no attention to minor details, disorganization and that they, “don’t have it all together.”

The number one complaint about female job candidates was an unfirm handshake. Number two? Unkempt shoes.

If you want a date, shine your shoes

Young women are more critical of young men wearing scuffed shoes. Two out of three young female professionals indicated that unshined or scuffed shoes suggested negative characteristics. Half of the young men felt the same.

Negative character traits suggested by unshined shoes were sloppiness, indifference to good grooming and to detail in general and carelessness.

Your shoes are a reflection of your personality

Well kept shoes stand for professionalism, attention to detail, ambition, efficiency, conscientiousness, organization, confidence and friendliness.

Unkempt shoes make the wearer appear disorganized, sloppy, lazy and careless.

Go Getters Get their Shoes Shined

Ninety-seven percent of ambitious young professionals recognize shined shoes as important to the way they look on the job.

Ninety-eight percent of people interested in rapid promotion said they wear freshly shined shoes most or all of the time.

Of course, it’s not just about polish. You have a number of products consumers can use to keep their shoes looking good, feeling better and lasting longer.

Shoe Repair: It’s More than You Think

People need to know shoe repair is more than soles and heels.

  • Shoes can be stretched for increased comfort.
  • Shoes can be adapted to fit unique feet.
  • Shoes can be professionally waterproofed to protect from salt stains.
  • Heel tips can be changed from hard to non-skid rubber.
  • Heel savers can be applied to prolong the life of the heel.
  • Protective soles can be applied to prolong the life of the leather soles.
  • Eyelets and other hardware can be replaced.

When shoes are new:

  • Protective soles can be applied to extend sole life and increase slip resistance.
  • Shoes can be dyed if a color change is necessary.
  • Shoes that are too tight can be stretched up to a quarter size.
  • Plastic heels can be replaced with slip-resistant rubber.
  • Shoes can be weatherproofed for added protection in wet or oily environments.

Shoe repair shops’ services also include:

  • Zipper replacement
  • Belt shortening
  • Luggage repair
  • Relacing baseball gloves
  • Purse/handbag repair
  • Repairing jacket tears
  • Refinishing leather coats
  • Replacing buckles

This is not news to you, but it is to the media and their audience, so make sure it’s part of your message.

Finally, use SSIA as a reference. Refer interviewers to the media contacts on SSIA’s web site (, have them e-mail or call 630-866-8164. SSIA will be happy to support your story.