Best Place to Save Your Sole

Sappington Shoe Repair

If only they'd last forever. You know -- the heels you prowl the weekend in. The work boots, all broken in, with the butter-soft leather that, when new, grated like burlap. Usually, once a pair of shoes has a run -- sometimes several years -- it's time to complete the consumer cycle and throw them away. Memories, comfort and all. That, or enter Sappington Shoe Repair. Since 1956, it has been a shoe lover's paradise, a potential second chance for our favorite footwear. The business is "mostly dress shoes, soles and heels," says Tony Sisson. "Patch work, too -- rips and stuff." Sisson worked for the original owners 11 years and has been owner/operator for the past 12. Sometimes, however, salvation proves impossible: "I've had people bring 'em in with holes all the way through 'em," laments Sisson. "They should've brought 'em in a long time ago. It's way too late. They destroyed the foundation of the shoe, and there's nothing you can do about it. You basically gotta build them a new shoe. I don't build shoes, but you basically gotta have a new shoe made, so you might as well buy a new one." Sappington also saves boots. "We have lug soles. Remember the old waffle boots? That's the kind of sole I can put on you," says Sisson. "Sometimes I have to modify the boot to make it work. The way they're made nowadays, almost everything is molded on those type of boots. You can't just glue on the new sole. Sometimes you have to grind the old sole off. You gotta use your brain, actually." Not exactly surgery, but most certainly resuscitation.
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