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  • What is the instep on a shoe? Can the instep be stretched?
    The instep is the upper part of the shoe between the crook of your ankle and the big toe's metatarsal bone. It is the top side of your foot's arch, in other words. People who have high arches likely have tall/high insteps and they may need shoes or boots without adjustable laces or Velcro to have the instep stretched. This process is done slowly over one to two weeks. Check out our services page for some other common costs and fixes. Ultimately the cobbler will need to see the shoes in person to provide a consult on what repairs are needed. Bring them in during business hours to get started!
  • What is a half-sole?
    A half-sole is the layer of leather or rubber material that is on the bottom of your shoe or boot, it extends from the toe to the arch of the foot. The length varies based on what type of shoe you have. It can also be referred to as the out-sole. It is possible that when removing the half-sole the exposed midsole could be very old and deteriorated. If this is the case, additional midsole repair work will need to be done.
  • How do I know when to resole my shoes? 
    It's important to check your shoes out about once every few months, looking at the layers that make up the sole and see if there's any place that is thin and potentially getting close to wearing through a second layer. The most common areas to notice this are on the end of the heel and the toe of the shoe or ball of the foot. There's often a preferred side when walking, or one side that drags on the ground a bit more, so check both shoes for abnormalities or thin spots. You want to send them into your cobbler before wearing through a layer. Once you wear into the welt, there might be need to replace the welt; similarly, if you wear through the bottom layer of the heel into the heel stack, you may need to have the heel stack rebuilt. These are doable if the shoes are not too old, but they will cost a pretty penny extra and are ultimately avoidable if you check your shoes regularly. Other preventative measures are to keep your leather shoes saddle soaped every few months to clean and condition them, preventing drying and cracking, and helping them last longer. And per usual, we recommend buying a recommended brand of shoes that are quality made, so they last longer and can withstand repairs.
  • Can my zipper be fixed?
    Zippers with sliders and teeth in good shape may need to be cleaned and that is all. Zippers with teeth that are bent out of shape or peeled away from the fabric they're attached to will need a full zipper replacement. Zippers with teeth that are not damaged may simply need the slider replaced. Zippers are complicated to some extent and it's best to bring them in so the cobbler can assess what needs to be done. 
  • Can I stretch my shoes? 
    You can have your shoes stretched by width, instep, toe box, or length. Shoe stretching effectiveness depends on the material of the shoe. Leather shoes and boots will have the most give and success. Sneakers and cheaply made plastic or cloth shoes will have the least give and success with this process. Check out our services page for some other common costs and fixes. Ultimately the cobbler will need to see the shoes in person to provide a consult on what repairs are needed. Bring them in during business hours to get started!
  • How much does it cost to fix my boots?
    The cost of fixing your shoes or boots depends on what needs to be done. The most common repairs are to replace the bottom layer of the heel ($20-40 depending on the size of the heel) and put new soles on the front part of the shoe (not including the heel, $35-$65). Full resoles, including the heel, costs $100 and comes with a courtesy cleaning. Check out our services page for some other common costs and fixes. Ultimately the cobbler will need to see the shoes in person to provide a consult on what repairs are needed. Bring them in during business hours to get started!
  • Can Birkenstocks be repaired?
    Birkenstocks can be repaired of various issues. The most common repairs are resoling and gluing down any delamination of the leather from the cork bed. The delamination is often caused from water and or heat exposure. Check out our services page for some other common costs and fixes. Ultimately the cobbler will need to see the shoes in person to provide a consult on what repairs are needed. Bring them in during business hours to get started!
  • How do I know if my item can be repaired? What's the risk of repairing an old item?
    Generally speaking, your item can be repaired if the material is structurally sound and it is not crumbling. Sometimes the only way to tell is to open up the item and see what it looks like inside- unfortunately if your item's interior (e.g. under the sole of the shoe, or inside of the purse's seam) is crumbling, falling apart, breaking or cracking, then it is too far gone to repair. This means you took a risk and you will not be able to have the item return to the state you brought it to us in, AKA your item will likely need to be thrown away. This is not our intention and we recommend you make this decision carefully- do you want to wear those favorite boots 5 more times until they fall apart, or do you want to risk opening them up for a repair that could make them last another year or 5... but could ruin them now if they aren't structurally sound enough to actually complete a repair.
  • What is a welt?
    The welt on a shoe is a piece of material that is used to attach the upper part of the shoe to the sole. The material used is an indicator of the quality build of the shoe: leather is higher quality and tends to have real stitching through the upper, welt, midsole, and sole, whereas a rubber or plastic (the latter being the worst quality) may be stitched but can also be fake-stitched and only glued. These materials run the risk of cracking, too, which means they will need the welt to be replaced in order to resole them.
  • Do you sell Valley Shoe Repair merchandise?
    Come February or March 2023, we will have T-Shirts with a great design by Emily Meehan. If you are interested in reserving a shirt, send us an email at info@valleyshoerepair.com ! Tell us your size, name, and phone number and we will be able to ship it to you when we receive the shirts or we can keep it for you to pick-up in the shop!
  • Do you sell cleaning and polishing supplies?
    We sell cleaning and polishing supplies for leather and suede and patent leather goods. We have saddle soap for cleaning and conditioning, mink oil, polish of various colors, shoe cream of various colors, and the application and finishing brushes. Come in to check out the full stock! Tax included in the price.
  • How do you use saddle soap?
    Start by putting a little water in the cap/lid of the metal saddle soap container (or a put water in a small cup/bowl if your items are larger). Wet your application brush with water so it is wet, but not dripping. Move the brush around on the saddle soap bar until you see suds. Apply the sudsy brush in circular motion (and along the edges of the seams) around one section of your item at a time- then immediately wipe off with a clean cloth. Continue this process for each section of the leather. The leather will darken, but it will dry and return to normal in a few minutes.
  • What is the best thing to use for cleaning my leather goods?
    We always recommend using saddle soap for cleaning your leather goods. The benefit of saddle soap is that it not only cleans, it conditions your leather. Applying saddle soap is something we can do for you, but it will be more cost effective and empowering if you have your own supply and application brush to use a few times a year. It doesn't take long and it is really easy to DIY! Applying saddle soap to your leather will prevent cracking and drying, ultimately making your leather last longer. You can see comparison photos below. The small round brush is what we use for application.
  • Do you take payment upfront for repairs?
    We do take payment upfront to ensure that we are paid for the work we do. There have been instances where we completed work without payment upfront and the customer never came to pick up the item. We will determine if a partial deposit is allowed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Do you take returns or give refunds?
    VSR does not accept returns of any used boots that we sell. VSR does not accept returns of products sold, like insoles, shoe laces, or cleaning supplies. If you received a repair service from us and you found it unsatisfactory or faulty within 30 days, please bring them into the shop to show us and let us discuss options, including possible refund. Give us a chance to make it right before leaving a poor review. It is our intention to provide the best services for you.
  • Can Birkenstocks be repaired?
    Birkenstocks can be repaired of various issues. The most common repairs are resoling and gluing down any delamination of the leather from the cork bed. The delamination is often caused from water and or heat exposure. Check out our services page for some other common costs and fixes. Ultimately the cobbler will need to see the shoes in person to provide a consult on what repairs are needed. Bring them in during business hours to get started!
  • Can I add height to one of my shoes after a surgery?
    You can add height onto one or both shoes, as well as remove height. This sometimes depends on the type of shoe, as the structure and materials of each shoe are different. Orthopedic builds are one of our services. You can Check out our services page for some other common costs and fixes. Ultimately the cobbler will need to see the shoes in person to provide a consult on what is possible and the specific costs. Bring them in during business hours to get started!
  • Do you work on collaborative personal projects? 
    The short answer is no. The cost/benefit has never worked out in such a way that the business has made any profit in the slightest. And we do live in a world that demands some margin of profit in order to continue to exist... We will consider a $20 dollar consultation, with no guarantee of working on the project together, if you are still interested and it is within our realm of expertise.
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