Save Your Soles and Save Your Planet!

Written by Simon

6th September 2019

…and save money while you’re at it!

Did you know that more than 330 million pairs of shoes are sold in the UK every year?

It’s an impressive statistic, but also worrying when you realise that the majority of these end up in landfill – and the average pair of shoes takes over 50 years to decompose. Unfortunately, you then have a stream of nasty chemicals from the glues and rubbers in the soles which are released as toxic waste into the environment.

Thankfully, economic pressures and better environmental consciousness are improving the situation. People are now beginning to recognise how the traditional trade of shoe cobbling can help not only save their soles, but their environment too.

By choosing not to throw away our shoes so eagerly, we can all help prevent waste materials from damaging the planet and prevent wasting our hard-earned money too! After all, when you’ve invested in a great pair of shoes, why would you throw them away?

There are many ways to save your shoes from going to landfill. However, we know it can be a challenge to make the decision to have your shoes repaired, replaced or reused. For many, it’s not only a financial question, but also an ecological and ethical one. That’s why we’re here to help you know the benefits of visiting the repair shop, as well as some alternative ways of reusing and recycling them. By understanding your options, you can then decide what will work best for your shoes and the planet.

1. Why Have Your Shoes Repaired?

One of the most common problems is that shoes simply need re-gluing. Unfortunately, many people try to do this themselves and make a botched job at home without using the right tools or products.

When a repair is beyond your capabilities, it’s always best to seek an expert to do the job right. You might even find that your cobbler suggests a sturdier sole to extend its life and you’ll be surprised that most rubber or synthetic-soled shoes can still be rescued!

You might think that taking your shoes to your local shoe repairer might be a more expensive option, but that’s not necessarily the case. Having your shoes repaired doesn’t have to be an expensive process, particularly compared to the cost of buying a brand new pair of shoes.

In cases where it does cost more to have your shoes repaired, you could argue that the ecological cost of buying a new pair outweighs the financial one of having them fixed.

The truth is that it is possible to repair over 90% of shoes.

A professional shoe repairer can help lengthen the lifespan of your shoes by protecting or repairing them, or providing the correct leather care products to retain their appearance. You might be surprised at how much shoe repair stores can actually do to make your shoes look like new again!

If you’re looking for high-quality leather care products and shoe repair services, why not consider Keyishoes? We can provide all these services, all at great prices. Go on, seek your local shoe-saviour to save your shoes, money and the planet!

Proper care and protection can save you money, so when you have a great pair of shoes that you’ve spent a pretty penny on, be sure to look after them! It’s worthwhile investing in some good quality shoe care products since it makes a world of difference to the longevity of your shoes. We have a range of quality shoe care products available at Keyishoes in Carlisle, and we’d be more than happy to help you pick the right products for your shoes and budget.

2. When to Repair Your Shoes

How do you know if your shoes are even worth repairing? We know it can be a difficult decision to make, but it usually comes down to how much you love your shoes.

  • How comfortable are they?
  • How often do you wear them?
  • How much would it cost to replace them?

At Keyishoes, a phrase we like to use is:

“If they are worth wearing, they are worth repairing!”

Many cobblers suggest the ‘The Upper Rule’. This is a rule that most cobblers use to help people determine whether or not it’s worth repairing their shoes. If the upper part of a leather shoe is beginning to dry out or crack, it may be time to let them go – although that doesn’t always mean it’s impossible to repair!

At Keyishoes, we have an excellent service for repairing uppers; including new back-linings, seam repairs, buckle replacements, new elastic gussets, and zip repairs or replacements.

It’s always best to get an expert to make the decision for you. We suggest you let us be the judge by bringing them in for us to have a look at and make an honest appraisal. We encourage all our customers to ask for advice, and we’ll always offer the best care tips to lengthen the lifespan of your shoes.

Instead of throwing away your favourite leather shoes just because the uppers are damaged, why not contact Keyishoes to see what we can do? We always repair uppers to a high standard and love helping our clients save money, so you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be getting a great deal.

3. Why Recycle or Reuse Your Shoes?

Only 5% of the world’s shoes are currently being recycled. This is a shocking statistic given just how many are going into landfill, but sadly is the reality because of the various materials used in most shoes nowadays (plastics, leather, chemicals, and metals for instance). If you find that your shoes are in a very poor state and seem to be beyond repair, it is understandable that things can get more difficult.

However, there are environmental schemes in development and more sustainable alternatives out there.

There are numerous shoe collection and recycling points across the UK, like the United Shoe Recycling Company. Various charities provide bins to collect shoes and clothes, while a number of businesses throughout the country also have their own shoe collecting and recycling schemes in place. You might have noticed a shoe bank or shoe recycle bin near your area?

You can find a suitable place to recycle near you with Recycle Now’s handy locator here.

At Keyishoes, we subscribe to a recycling service with Variety and have a recycling point at our shop in Carlisle, Cumbria, to collect all kinds of shoes in any condition. Variety is a Childen’s Charity that aims to improve the lives of young children who are less fortunate by providing practical help and memorable childhood experiences.

Global footwear corporation, Nike, is one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes. They have been running a recycling scheme which has had success in the US for over 20 years, called Nike Reuse-a-Shoe – grinding old trainers down into materials used to surface running tracks and tennis courts.

If you have shoes that are in good condition but you’d still prefer to get rid of them, there is also the option of passing them on so that they can be worn by someone else. You could visit your local charity or second-hand shop to donate your shoes for a new lease of life, and what better way to use your shoes for a better cause than letting them get dusty and take up space in your home?


We hope you will find these tips helpful for when you’re deciding what to do with those shoes that are falling apart. Rather than just throwing them away, you can do yourself and the environment a huge favour by looking into more eco-friendly options like recycling them or giving them away to be reused – which can be more healthy and sustainable for the planet and the bank!

By choosing to have your shoes repaired, you can save a whole lot of time and money shopping around for new ones. And, you might be surprised at how many things your local shoe repairer is able to do for you to make your old shoes look as good as new.

At Keyishoes, we take pride in the quality of our shoe care and repairs. From stiletto heels to full leather soles on a good quality pair of Goodyear welted men’s shoes, there aren’t many repairs we can’t do! Contact us for a no-obligation quote today.

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