Downtown Victoria shoe and boot repair shops are busy getting you ready for Fall! Here's a few tips and places to pick up some new kicks.
The boots are back. And how’re your summer shoes doing? Looking a little worn down, frayed, scuffed? Maybe it’s time to send them in for a revamp, or maybe time to reheel that incredible pair of boots you’d forgotten about until you caught that chill in the air over the weekend.
“It’s my busiest season,” shares Mike Waterman of Olde Towne Shoe Repair. Self-taught, Mike has been in business for 31 ½ years. His grandma’s bread box perches on the counter, amidst hundreds of shoes and boots, McIvored with light bulbs inside, to slowly heat vinyl glue for effective use of this fussy adhesive.
I ask how to tell if a pair of leather shoes/boots is worth saving. “Do you like them?” he asks, “The upper is where you get the most wear,” demonstrating the flex and point on a boot. He checks the soles to confirm which foot I favour, where I strike and assesses what work needs to be done. He handles shoes with the ease and familiarity of a master. “Do you like the stressed look or did you want a polish on that?” Mike walks me through the work that needs to be done, and I’ll come back in a bit with the cash deposit. “In the summer, I’m just pushing a broom around, wishing I was at the beach like the rest of you,” he smiles, “and now, sometimes I have to redirect work to others. It’s good to be able to pass on work to others whose work is also solid.”
Stevenson’s Shoe Clinic is the next destination. Established in 1925, it’s been family owned and operated for four generations. With Victoria’s most extensive selection of shoe care products and polish, and an exhaustive wall of different lace-styles. Julie Phillian and her husband John, the most recent owners, make it easy to care for your shoes and boots. “Ideally you would spray with an all-protector every six to eight weeks to keep footwear in great shape, but most people don’t do that.” I hand over my Spanish heels for a resole. Summer shoes, there’s no rush now. We peek into the backroom, with a pair of men are bent over their work, “Yes,” Julie agrees, “It’s the season.”
As I update my calender with the boot and heel pick-up dates, I mentally note that next summer, I should get my Fall footwear in sooner. I don’t, however, put that in my calendar, so chances are slim.
Olde Towne Shoe Repair
605 Johnson Street
Stevenson’s Shoe Clinic
714 Fort Street
If you’re reluctant to fix those boots, pass them on to a local thrift store and get your shop on! There’s so many options. Below, find a list of boot and shoe exclusive stores:
Victoria’s Downtown Victoria Boot and Shoe Stores*:
*This list represents stores selling exclusively shoes and/or boots within downtown Victoria boundaries
Aldo Shoes 224-1150 Douglas
Payless ShoeSource 300-1150 Douglas
SoftMoc 206-1150 Douglas
The Cobbler 718 View Street
The Shoe Shop 1150 Douglas Street
Walk in Comfort 731 Fort Street