A Lament for My Shoes

When it happened the first time, I said: I’m not going to blog about that. When it happened for the second time in a single week, I sat down and took a blog photo of my shoe. Note the water damage to the toe and the heel (despite my use of the expensive water-treat spray the store insisted I purchase). Although not as visible, the front of the shoe is flaking and the sole has come detached after it caught on a cobblestone. I bought these shoes in August. They represent just one of the two pairs of  my shoes that fell apart this week alone. And so here I am, writing a blog post about how the Netherlands (or, my lifestyle therein) ruins shoes.

In the US, I used to give shoes away periodically to Goodwill. Usually they were in good condition, and the offense was that they were uncomfortable or no longer suited my taste. A few times I sold shoes on eBay, because they were so pristine that even donating them seemed premature. But since we moved to the Netherlands, what happens? I ruin shoes. Wear them out. Holes in the bottom. Soles coming separated from the shoe body. I have thrown shoes in the garbage, in pieces.

It makes sense, and it is a sobering commentary on how much I used to rely on a car. Riding in a car, your shoes will last quite some time. Here I walk or cycle everywhere, rain or shine, so the shoes get weather damage as well as high mileage. On Saturday, the day I discovered a penny-size hole in the sole of my brown boots, I went to den Haag to do some shopping and see Sinterklaas arrive. According to Google Pedometer, I walked about 3.5 miles that afternoon alone.

The brown boots are a leather pair I bought in the US about five years ago, and I hardly wore them until we moved to Europe. They were expensive when initially purchased, and the uppers are in good condition, and so for the first time ever, I find myself considering having my shoes resoled instead of giving them away. Do any of our Delft friends know of a good cobbler shop? And while I’m at it, I’d also take a recommendation on a place I could have the zipper replaced on a leather jacket. And maybe some shoe stores…



Filed under Our Dutch Adventure

2 responses to “A Lament for My Shoes

  1. Mathieu

    There is a small booth next to the HEMA that does leather/shoe repairs.

    At least, there certainly used to be. There have been a number of changes in the booths and I’m not sure if his was one of them.

    Otherwise the diamanten schaar on the choorstraat does clothing repair and can probably hook you up.

  2. Elio

    There is a show repair guy in Nootdorp if you want the address and a couple in Gouda.

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