Taking care of your shoes will bring no end of benefits. Whether its making sure heel tips (sometimes known as taps) are well groomed, or the soles aren’t worn through, the results will improve comfort and make sure those cherished shoes will give years of good service.
Just resoled and reheeled, you can get your own soles and tips to replace them at home. It will save a fair bit in cobblers bills, especially for these cheap New Look shoes, though you’ll never get the same finish without the professional equipment.
So what happens when your soles are worn down? Almost all people will wear unevenly, with the shoe leaning to one side, it is going to reduce it’s support for your feet, and ruin your balance and poise, possibly worst thing possible when it comes to wearing heels. Whats more, a floppy worn sole will be putting more stress on the other parts of the shoe and cause them to fall apart faster
Even faster to wear out are stiletto tips, which is also the most important part of your shoe, every step the first point of contact is the heel tip. When it’s worn it can cause each step to be unstable, so it’s important to keep an eye on your tips, and also why I’ll keep spare shoes with me whenever I can. If a tip cracks off you should change shoes as soon as possible, in the same way you wouldn’t drive on a flat tyre. In the US theres an interesting product which claims to be an instant heel repair, would like to try these, as it would be something easy to slip into ones bag, however I don’t know how to get hold of them here in the UK.
Check your heel tips regularly, as soon as the metal is showing (on the shoe) they should be replaced. Sometimes you will still get caught out, these black heel tips from my Zanottis shattered mid use.
It can be hit and miss when it comes to heel tips, some of top end designers have really terrible heel tips, both pairs of Zanottis disintegrated on the first wear. I cannot stress how frustrating it is when you pay good money for decent shoes only to be let down by the heel tips. Amazingly all of my Primark heels have come with really durable heel tips, the same can’t be said for New Look.
Heel tips are a mixed bag, Rupert Sanderson and YSL (centre and right) have served me well, those are both the original tips. Charlotte Olympia (left) uses similar tips as Giuseppe Zanotti, and they’ve essentially disintigrated after the first wear.
My personal preference is for steel tips, I’ve never worn out a single pair of steel tips which is testament to their durability, and does definitely ensure the shoes spend more time being worn than in the repair shop. There are downsides to steel tips though, they have minimal grip on polished stone and concrete floors, they’re also unsuitable for certain heel types. You could expect that a heel shaft made entirely out of steel would be pretty much as strong as you can get, and true the steel itself is incredibly strong. However it has a tendency to transmit shocks onto the weaker parts that hold it in place, these heels require the softer tips to reduce the shock, ironically these shoes also wear a lot more and thus I avoid these heel types now.
These types of heels, found on a lot of Rupert’s shoes, they are best with the original tips.