Meet the Shopkeeper

The Care and Feeding of Killer Heels

Learn how to keep heels in great shape, and those pricey Jimmy Choos just might be worth it.

By Sarah Gabbart October 10, 2013

It’s happened to the best of us. There you are, minding your own business, when “SNAP!” your heel breaks in two. You just can’t just toss your shoes when you get home. Maybe they were were expensive, maybe they were your favorite pair—hell, maybe you just want to make do and mend. All you know is that you need those babies fixed—pronto.

Houston Quality Shoe Repair
3421 Kirby Dr.

Having a good shoe repair shop in your rolodex seems like such a bygone idea. You know, like getting your hair curled at the salon every week or wearing underpants that were most likely made by Satan himself. But young people, let’s get real: if you’re going to own nice stuff, you need someone who can keep it nice or, failing that, fix it for you.

Thankfully in Houston, shoe repair shops are not hard to find. One of the top rated on Yelp, Houston Quality Shoe Repair, focuses on preventing accessory disasters and fixing those that occur. Owner Elias Gonzalez calls upon his over 20-year experience in the industry to give us some tips and tricks to keep your items in tip top shape.

Clockwise from top: The sign beams over the Kirby and Richmond parking lot, Elias Gonzalez of Houston Quality Shoe Repair chats with long-time customer Nancy Rutherford, matching the Louboutin red, and repairing a broken heel.

Take it easy on your heels.
Gonzalez whips out a pair of beautiful Michael Kors pumps with a heel that is almost split in two. “A lot of women bring in shoes like this. They lean back on their heels while they’re at the bar and SNAP!”

His advice: focus on putting your weight on the ball of your foot and using the heel as a balance to avoid putting too much pressure on the back. That said, if you’ve, maybe had a few and are getting a little “leany," they can fix that.  A new heel, some dyed-to-match leather and a few screws will make these babies good as new.

If you score some vintage cowboy boots, but can’t pull them over your calves, you can have them stretched.
Though stretching, said Gonzalez, has it’s limits. If the boots are way too small, you may need to have leather added, which is a service limited to basic colors. So maybe pass on those crazy Day of the Dead themed ones with the tiny, tiny calves and go for the tried-and-true brown ones with a little wiggle room instead.

Freshly repaired rag & bone boots and a reconditioned pair of suede heels.

Walking in stilettos is tough, falling down in them is worse.
Add a thin non-slip layer to your shoes to keep from keeling over. Yes, most shops even have red to match those Louboutins you wear on special occasions.

Stop putting your bag on the ground.
Raise your hand if your bag is beautiful on top and as grubby a Les Miserables extra on the bottom. The dirty, dirty bar floor is not a good place for your bag. Not going to kick the habit? An easy way to keep your bag from getting stained is Scotch Guarding it—they can do it for you at the shop or you can buy a can straight off the shelf and do it yourself.


Seeing women put their beautiful bags on the dirty ground is one of Gonzalez's pet peeves!

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