A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was meeting to chat with one of the men who started Shoe Drop and I asked you all if you had any questions for me. I was surprised that several of you mentioned that you hadn’t even realized you could get shoes repaired! To be honest, being able to get shoes repaired is one of my favorite parts of living in a big city. I’m hard on my shoes. Because I walk at least half a mile every day as part of my commute they get scuffed, the heels get caught in sidewalk cracks and tear or gouge, and the heel tips of my high heels get worn down.
Since I’ve lived in Chicago I’ve gotten several pairs of shoes repaired but it was always a chore. Finding a place that got good reviews that was also convenient, trying to communicate with the guy behind the counter, not having any idea how much I was going to get charged, getting my shoes back with masking tape stuck inside that I couldn’t remove without leaving a sticky residue.
The outfit I wore to visit Shoe Drop
Overall, while it certainly extended the life of my shoes, it wasn’t always the most pleasant experience.
Enter Shoe Drop. Started by Duncan and Brandon, two self-described shoe lovers, Shoe Drop aims to bring shoe repair into the 21st century. Shoe Drop started with 40 Shoe Drop-specific drop off locations and 110 Pressbox partner locations around Chicago. One of which is in my apartment building! I’d used Shoe Drop before and didn’t even realize it! Anyway, create an account in their app, drop off your shoes at a designated drop off location, fill out the form in the app, and you’re done! They come pick up your shoes, repair them, charge your credit card, and then return your shoes in about 5 days to where you dropped them off. And they text you when they’re ready!
In June of this year they opened their first physical location at 353 N Clark Street where you can not only talk to a cobbler and drop off shoes for repair, you can also get them shined. I wanted to know what happens if I show up with my blush pink leather flats and Duncan told me that was no problem. They have hundreds of colors of polish or they can even shine them with a clear polish that helps hide scuff marks.
Photo courtesy of Shoe Drop
If you do drop your shoes off with them they go to a 4000 square foot facility near the United Center where their team of cobblers work on them. Duncan said that the people in the shoe repair business in Chicago love being able to just fix shoes and not have to worry about running a business. It’s a win-win!
My other personal favorite is that they have a price list and only take credit card (and no need to tip!)
I left my favorite black heeled sandals with them when I visited. They needed new heel tips, a shine, and the heel coverings repaired. When I got them back I swear they looked better than the day I bought them! Plus, they were returned to me in a bag that I can use to drop off more shoes!
Shoe repair might be a little pricey for some people but if you have a pair of shoes you love I say go for it. It sure beats trying to find a replacement pair!
Photo courtesy of Shoe Drop
Shoe Drop’s goal is to open more physical locations where you can stop in for a shine or just drop off all your shoes for repair at once. In the meantime, if you’re in Chicago, check out their locations map and then head on out to bring your sad shoes back to life!
P.S. I’m working with them to put together an event that would offer FREE (or discounted) shoe shines and repairs. Stay tuned!