Saturday, October 3, 2009

Walk this way to an easy $881 in retirement savings.

I recently brought my husband's Bostonian dress shoes in to have them re-healed and get new half soles. They were already official bargain shoes as new, the shoes would have cost $129.99, but on ebay I found them used, like new, for $29.99 which included shipping.

Eventually the soles in these shoes wore out and I called around to find a place that would resole them. Prices varied and $44 at Cecil's Shoe Repair was the lowest. If we had gone out and bought a new pair, it would have been another $129.99.

The savings on these simple two steps is $185.99 verses buying two new pairs of shoes. At 41, and assuming a typical retirement age of 65, that will grow at 6.5% interest to $881 in retirement savings, with no extra work on our part.

Now you might question why I didn't simply get a second set off ebay as the cost was even lower than resoling. The answer is two-fold. Finding used, but like new at that cost in my husband's size requires some luck. In addition, I try to be sensitive to the environment. The idea of reuse, repair, recycle is gaining ground across the board. Even the Patagonia company is now requesting its customers resole rather than rebuy when possible.

While resoling might not seem like the obvious choice, given that it sometimes approaches the cost of a new pair, there are other reasons to consider resoling shoes. Once a customer thinks about the natural resources used to create a new pair of shoes, shipping those shoes across the ocean, and then the landfill space required to dispose of the old shoes, they might decide that repairing is one way to lessen their impact on the environment. Not to mention the fact that customers current shoes are already broken in.

And when the shoes are in too sad of condition to resole, I still donate them. The article titled "10 Things You Can Do To Recycle More", states:

8. Shoes- Be sure to recycle even your “so-last-season” flip-flops! There are a couple of options for recycling shoes in Minnesota. Goodwill stores sends shoes that are “too worn” to textile and shoe recyclers. Wipers Recycling in Maplewood recycles shoes into biodegradeable oil spill clean up kits.

Thus a high quality pair of shoes, especially if you can get them used, is going to be easier not only on your pocketbook but the earth. And those ladies lusting after Manolo Blahniks are really pretty green at heart;-).



  1. I really like that you pointed out that saving resources is on the level with saving money. And, I too, can relate to having a hard time finding something in my taste and size (or that of my family members). If you already know you like it, the trouble of resoling or repairing is well worth the expense.

  2. Excellent idea! While we have never bought expensive shoes, we have recently started buying Hubby more expensive ones due to foot problems. We are fortunate that our insurance pays for orthopedic shoes and inserts, but when those expensive shoes need it, I will be looking for a shoe shop. Thanks for the great, and money saving idea!

  3. We always resole when we can. Have for years.

    ~~LuxLivingFrugalis, Totally Debt-FREE