Made In The U.S.A.

I just fixed my shoes.

In Adventures on April 27, 2009 at 12:12 am

I just fixed my shoes. And not with duct tape, either.

I took my favorite pair of loafers–which were suffering from a condition I like to call “unnecessary dual inverted sole ventilation”–to the cobbler not far from work. I expected him to laugh in my face. Instead he said something else:

“One hundred dollars.”

I thought, and I hesitated, and then I said something equally surprising:


I paid $100 to have a $50 pair of shoes re-soled.

But I love them.

And now they’re good as new. And I didn’t have to wade through a swamp of Made In China labels at the local shoe warehouse, and I didn’t have to shell out $300 for an American-made pair of Allen Edmonds.

If I wasn’t engulfed in this project, would I have done it? Hard to say. Probably not. Although a few years ago I did the same thing with a slightly more expensive pair of shoes that cost slightly less to repair. And I was equally ecstatic at that moment with the results.

Even if you’re not forcing yourself to not buy imported stuff, it’s pretty gratifying to give something new life by having it repaired instead of replacing it. Whether that’s shoes or a car or a shirt.

The unfortunate thing is that the whole system seems out of whack when it’s literally twice the price to have a product repaired as it would have been to trash and replace the faulty product with a brand new replacement. And that’s not even factoring in the issue of the repair occurring locally and the new product originating from 6000 miles away.

Something is seriously wrong with our system.


  1. As you stated in an early(maybe the first)blog,there are many issues related to buying MITUSA. Layer by layer they are revealing themselves not the least of which is the idea of “comparative advantage” when it is cheaper to buy new than to repair old. However, the cheap shoes come from a country with a much lower standard of living than the U.S. where the cobbler is a skilled tradesman and should be able to earn a decent living from his skill. You have also supported your community by buying locally and receive the benefits of sales tax supported services of your city and state. That is an issue that must be addressed by state legislatures regarding internet sales.

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