We're often asked for advice about best practices for shoe care and we'll soon be publishing some in-depth advice about in-home maintenance. But for the more serious maintenance and repair, we always recommend getting friendly with the local cobbler. Each of us on the Coclico team has a neighborhood hero in whom we entrust everything from seasonal spiff ups and resoling to repairing the damage of wear and tear. Those of us who work in our Nolita store and Tribeca office have been taking our personal shoes to Byron Valarezo of Cowboy Shoe Repair for over a decade. Situated on the corner of Broome and Lafayette Street, Byron's shop has become a mainstay in the Soho area. Patronizing your local cobbler is not only our recommended way to get years out of a favorite pair of shoes, but it supports dynamic, locally owned and operated businesses. Win win!
From repairing shoes to taking preventative measures to protect more delicate styles, today we're sharing advice and highlights from our recent visit with Byron when Daniella, our Production Manager, charged him with resoling a goto pair of booties, the WHIT from our 2015 collection.
My name is Byron Valarezo, and I am the owner of Cowboy Shoe Repair. I entered this profession with guidance from my uncle. The advantages of being in this job include running the business and making money to live decently, and the ability to service my clients so that their shoes last longer - that way they save money and time and their shoes last.
Why Shoes Need Repair
Based on my experience through many years of work, environmental conditions directly affect shoes. Another factor is continuous use which can destroy the heels and soles, making leather age more quickly. The best way to protect leather and shoes is to clean it continuously and condition it.
Advising the Coclico Community
The Coclico community should take care to protect suede shoes by not wearing them in the rain and to be careful of rubbing them against certain surfaces.
My best advice for people to maintain a good pair of shoes is to protect leather soles by reinforcing with rubber soles. Keeping an eye on your shoes' heel is also very important. Another good piece of advice is to clean and polish often or condition them which makes the skin of any shoes last longer. Finally, the best advice is to bring any pairs to me as soon as you can for repair!
Photos by Bridget Badore for Coclico