I’ve owned a pair of Quoddy’s Maliseet Oxford for a couple of years now, and they are pretty much the only pair presentable-looking shoes I own amidst a sea of sneakers and boots not suitable for formal attire. So when a hole slowly surfaced on the Vibram sole, I knew it was time to access repair options. I have always favored repairing over getting a new pair of anything. You spend a fraction in order to get to use the item again, as well as reduce your footprint on the earth.
Since skilled craftsmen are abundant in Japan, I considered getting repairs done locally to save on shipping costs. But Kirsten at Quoddy gave me a one-time offer to pay for the return shipping if I chose to do my repairs with them, which I gladly accepted. I always try to get my repairs done with the original manufacturer whenever possible.
If you choose to go to your local cobbler, Kirsten did offer the option to sell a pair of sole, which any cobbler with a Littleway sole-stitcher can use to replace the soles with.
If you decide to go with a local cobbler’s sole and service, the only instructions we have is that the soles are indeed stitched on…. so when removing s/he should take care not to scratch the leather bottom of the shoes. Also, most important, s/he should choose a sole which has the same or wider stitching groove… otherwise the stitching groove may be misplaced, resulting in visible unwanted holes from the first stitching seam.
After about 3 weeks, my Oxfords came back nicely in a nice Quoddy cloth bag. As expected from Quoddy, the resole was beautifully done and they look as good as new. The service, which costs US$79 came with cleaning and conditioning of the leather uppers as well. Definitely looking forward to more years of wear on these babies! Just see for yourselves.
I was estatic with my new repairs. Till I put them on. The front of my right sole came out after literally 10 steps in them. It seems that there was a tear on the shoe where the stitching of the sole to the leather is. I contacted Quoddy and they said that it was a problem with their littleway machine. I would have expected them to do a check before sending it back. But my disappointment was quenched by their offer to send me a new pair, in any configuration I wanted.
I went for a change in color and a luxurious inner lining. While the old shoe was beyond repair as stitching the sole back was no longer possible, I used a good amount of shoe goo to give it a few more wears for old times’ sake.