Vince's Village Cobbler Blog


Updated: Nov 6

If you live on the East Coast, or anywhere with colder climates, you may understand the struggle of keeping your boots in good condition during the wintertime. Like most things, there is some up-keep required to maintain or even pro-long the lifespan of your boots. Even if you are investing in a quality pair, your boots (no matter the fabric or material) are not immune to the threat that Mother Nature may pose during this time of the year.

Black And White Boots

Taking Preventative Measures

One of the misconceptions about bringing your footwear into our shop is that there already needs to be some visible wear and tear. In actuality, we recommend bringing your boots in before you've even worn them. Taking preventative measures are key when it comes to making sure you get the most out of your newest investment. The first way to do this is by weatherproofing. This can be done on most types of materials and can help prevent or lessen the damages caused by rain and snow. This includes leather, whose water-repelling qualities diminish quickly as it begins to dry out and crack.

So what exactly does "weatherproofing" entail? While it is different depending on the material, it basically creates a thin barrier by sealing the shoes in a water-repellent coating (made with materials such as wax or silicone). While the name suggests that the service will leave the footwear completely safe from water damages, it is more "resistant" than "proof." As with most repairs, how long or well the service works depends on how often you wear the boots or how much moisture they are exposed to. We always recommend trying to stay clear of wearing your leather or suede/nubuck when possible during wetter climates and rotating your footwear often to give them time to dry and rest in between wears.

Another way to prevent or lessen the damages is by applying rubber sole and heel guards to the bottoms of your new footwear. This is especially important when it comes to leather soles, as these tend to be the least water-resistant type of soles. Sole and heel guards will not only help with water damage, but damages caused by the rock salt laid out to melt snow.

Restoring Damage That's Already Done

Depending on the severity of the wear and tear, there is some hope in attempting to reverse or restore your footwear damaged during the winter months. While we recommend bringing your boots in for weatherproofing and sole/heel guards prior to wearing them, it can still be done after being worn. Sole and heel guards can help prevent further damage and cover up existing damages. Along with this, there are other actions that can be taken to try to save your footwear. If your boots develop salt stains, water stains, or etc, do not let them sit. We recommend immediately taking your boots to be cleaned. If the stains or damages sit for too long, it becomes harder to remove them. Along with this, leather will begin to crack after allowing the damages to dry it out. If this happens, there is little that can be done to reverse it.

Investing in your winter boots is important if you are hoping to wear them for years to come. Whether you decide to take preemptive measures or post-weather damage control, we will be ready to take on the challenge of keeping your winter footwear as good as the day you bought them. Stop by our shop in SOHO, NYC or feel free to request a quote and ship us your footwear from anywhere in the United States to make sure your favorites are ready to combat Mother Nature's winter wrath.

Updated: Nov 6

One of the most popular services that we provide are our Louis Vuitton restorations. Specifically, we are most widely known for replacing the leather on LV Neverfull bags.

The leather quality on a Louis Vuitton is one of the most important and crucial aspects of the bag. They are made with a special, untreated cowhide leather known as vachetta. Unlike other leathers, vachetta is unprocessed, untreated, and therefore has a buttery soft finish.

Over time, this light colored leather used on the handles, trim, and side-straps on the Neverfull oxidizes and darkens to become a beautiful deep brown color. While many love the look of the worn-in leather, it also poses some threats to the bag's condition (including ripping, tearing, and leather-breakage). The bag shown to the left is just one example of this. There are many instances where the handles break in half or the trim starts to crack off.

With our restoration services, we are able to replace the leather with similar quality vachetta leather that has the same color-oxidizing effect that Louis lovers want.

We are also able to replace the trim, handles, and side-straps with brown-leather Neverfull purses. In the photo example to the right, we replaced the brown leather with a more matte finish leather per the customer's request. We are, however, able to provide this service with a finish that resembles the original.

We are also able to accommodate more unique and creative requests, such as replacing the leather with black or another color (such as red or orange).

Other Neverfull services that we are able to provide include interior cleanings and conditioning.

We always recommend a conditioning on any Louis Vuitton to keep the leather moisturized. This will maintain the leather for longer and keep your bag looking healthy, while prolonging the need to replace the leather all-together.

Updated: Nov 6

One of the most common questions that we get asked is "why not just buy a new one?" in regards to repairing certain footwear and handbags. While it may seem like more trouble than it is worth in some cases, there are actually many benefits to bringing your pieces to a repair shop.

1. Sustainability

Repairing your already-loved pieces is environmentally friendly! In a world of "fast fashion" and "throwaway culture," millions of shoes, purses, and high-end accessories get tossed in the trash each year. These items are difficult to recycle (due to being made from multiple materials) and more often than not, are not biodegradable. When you choose to save your luxury items, you choose to save the planet 🌎

2. You Can Save 💰

When you throw out your damaged or well-loved pieces, you practically toss your hard-earned money into the trash! Depending on the condition, restoring your luxury purse or pair of shoes can cost a fraction of the price it would take to buy a replacement from a department store. We always recommend consulting with us before deciding to toss your pieces in case it is worth saving or can be salvaged & turned into something new. That is why we have developed an online evaluation form that allows you to get in touch with our expert cobblers 24/7 from anywhere in the United States. The best part? It's always FREE.

3. Vintage, Rare, or No Longer in Production

Sometimes they just don't make them like they used to! Sometimes they just don't make them at all anymore. Other times, there are pieces that are only produced in limited quantities. In all of these cases, it is important to show these pieces some TLC by having a cobbler maintain or restore them to their original state (or as close to as possible). Often times these pieces re-sell for more than their original value or are worth saving to keep a unique piece in your collection and stand out from the crowd.

4. Sentimental Over Monetary Value

Sometimes the sentimental value is more important than its monetary value. Whether the piece has been passed down from generation to generation or has memories attached to it, this is a valid and common reason for visiting our shop or sending us your items in the mail (click here to get started on an online repair of your own).