Shoeperwoman to the Rescue: How to protect the heels of your shoes?

Shoeperwoman to the Rescue: How to protect the heels of your shoes?

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A question has flooded in from a reader! Which is great because, you know, I love questions. This one comes from Daisy, who writes:

“Hey Amber/Shoeperwoman,

First of all, I LOVE your blog. I have become addicted to it and actively try to resist my shoe shopping urges by being a good girl and just looking at pretty shoes on your website. Usually several times a day, the urge is STRONG. :)

But, of course, I do own tons of shoes and I have a pressing emergency. How do you keep your heels undamaged? Maybe it’s just the Belgian pavement, but I always manage to ruin the back of my heels. Do you have any tips or tricks to keep them nice and new looking? (I noticed the state of your gorgeous red Matalan shoes, your heels still look brand new)

Thanks, and bye!

Daisy.”

Daisy, I feel your pain. Those red heels you mention? Total fluke. And probably not a situation that will continue for too much longer.  I, you see, am the Queen of Clumsy. If there is a crack in the pavement, my heel will be stuck in it. If there’s a particularly muddy patch of grass, just ripe for sinking into, that is the patch of grass I will stand on. So I know ALL about heels getting ruined, and I have two solutions for this problem, although I’m hoping some of my readers may be able to offer up some more.

1. Clean Heels Heel Stoppers or similar

I have a pair of these:

I actually bought mine on eBay, but if you Google “heel stoppers”, you’ll find lots of results for them: they seem to be sold almost everywhere. There are also lots of other brands offering a similar kind of thing, but these are the only ones I’ve tried, so they’re the only ones I can talk about from a personal perspective.

As you can probably see from the  image, the idea here is simple: you just slide the stopper onto the bottom of your stiletto and it prevents your heels from slipping into cracks into the pavement, muddy grass and other heel-ruining substances.

They also protect floors, and that’s actually why I bought mine. We were going to a Halloween party at a friend’s house: my costume required high heels (Um, obviously) but I didn’t want to damage my friend’s floors, so I bought these. The downside is that although they’re clear, they’re still quite visible: I had quite a few “What’s that on your shoe?” questions when I last wore them, although, that said, everyone who asked about them thought they were a great idea, and one friend went straight home and bought a pair for herself.

The upside is that they’re very secure, you don’t notice them while you’re wearing them (i.e. they don’t make a difference to the way you walk or anything) and they do protect your heels, although obviously they will only work with stilettos. Which brings me to my second suggestion….

2. Make friends with your cobbler

Hmm, now that I write that word, I find myself wondering: do they still call them “cobblers”? I know there are a lot less of them around than there used to be (I remember when this was all fields…), but you know what I mean: people who repair shoes, generally found in small corners of shops that cut keys?

A good cobbler is something all shoe lovers should try to find, because they can do a whole lot more than simply replacing heels and soles: they can fit insoles, create special heel-guards to make shoes fit better… and they can repair stiletto heels. Now, I’m not saying they can work miracles, and if a shoe is very badly damaged they may not be able to help AT ALL, but I’ve had stilettos returned to me looking almost as good as new, so if you have shoes that look past their best, it’s worth finding out if they can help you before you consign them to the scrapheap.

So, there you have it: one prevention and one cure for damaged heels. I know there are other ways to keep shoes looking (almost) as good as new, though: anyone know of any?

8 COMMENTS

  1. I definitely agree about the cobbler. Once I was lucky enough to live above a real cobbler (who made and adapted orthopaedic shoes as well as deal with standard repairs) who was also my landlord so he could just give me a shout when job was ready, plus he had a big cuddly dog so lots of pluses there (except for the other people sharing the flat).
    The only other thing to do is wear those flat folding up shoes if you expect to cross rough territory.

    I’d love to know how other people deal with cobble-stones by the way (apart from avoid them altogether).

    • Ooh, you’ve just reminded me of another tip: I don’t have any of the fold-up shoes, but I will frequently carry a pair of flats in my handbag, just in case of emergency. (If only I’d had them with me when I went out with two different boots on that time!) You need a handbag that’s big enough to carry spare shoes in, of course (I just got a new one which probably isn’t – d’oh!) but those flats really come in handy if you encounter rough territory, or if your feet start to hurt in heels!

      • I agree. I carry my heels in a bag and walk to the bus stop in my flats, mainly because I have to walk through a field and it just can’t be done in my beloved heels.

  2. I find most heels come with plastic tips; I go straight to the cobblers and get them to put rubber tips on. They last longer and don’t slip as much on pavements/sidewalks and cobbles! Plastic tips wear down really quickly, exposing the metal post, and that’s when you come to grief and start clip-clopping around like Liz on Coronation Street.

  3. I think everyone who has a passion for high heels has the same problems. The solution, as I’ve found it is really to find a good cobbler (shoe-repair-person) and to have new shoes brought straight to them not only to put in rubber heel tips, but also to put a thin rubber on the heels as well because I found that even though it’s almost invisible, it does wonders to stop you from slipping, protects the shoe, and makes them more comfy to wear.

  4. I had never heard of heel stoppers! Might have to get some. After I start an intimate ‘liaison’ with my cobbler. All I have to do now is find a cute one.

    Thank you so much girls, my shoes are very grateful, no doubt. :)

  5. how can i protect the backs of my heels when driving. i work from my car and am constantly in and out so changing from heels to driving shoes is becoming impractical. help

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