worn-out-shoes.jpgThese shoes need replacing...

Do you need excuses to buy new shoes? We wouldn't dream of encouraging that kind of reckless behaviour, but perhaps you think it's time to cull some of your old footwear - and we may be able to give you a free pass to some guilt-free shoe shopping.

If you're unsure as to whether your shoes are on their last legs, check through our list


Signs that your shoes need replacing

  • The uppers have holes. If, like Neil from the young ones, your shoes are letting in water, it's definitely time to let them go. Even the highest quality shoes have a shelf life, and however much you love them, shoes that have sprung a leak are never going to last for long. Best get rid before you catch something...
  • They're damaging your feet. Perhaps the arch support has 'gone' or part of the straps have worn through, making them feel rough against the skin. Maybe they never fitted you particularly well in the first place - but in either case the odds are they won't suddenly fit the way you want them to, so best to cut your losses and chuck 'em out.
  • (Borderline) You can no longer read the brand label. Perhaps only one for shoe purists, some will keep a pair of shoes only as long as the brand name can still be clearly read on the inner sole of the shoe. In many cases this is a good guide to the point at which a shoe becomes 'worn out', but it can depend on the make - and on whether or not you wear them with socks.

  • The leather/uppers are scuffed. A bit of minor scratching and crumpling is inevitable unless you only wear shoes indoors, but once you can no longer disguise the wear and tear with a bit of polish, the shoes will be looking 'scruffy'. If that's not a look you want to cultivate, ditch 'em!
  • You don't remember buying them. Try to remember what inspired you to buy these shoes, where you got them, what you wanted them for at the time and as many other details as you can. If you're drawing a total blank (or simply thinking 'why the HELL did I ever think they'd look good?) then you probably have a case for ditching those shoes.


Can my shoes be repaired?

Don't rush to throw out your shoes if there's still a bit of life in them: a much-loved shoe or boot can be often re-heeled for years of extra wear, and in many cases this will be much cheaper than replacing them with a similar pair. Your shoe can probably still be salvaged if the following apply:

  • There is no structural damage to the uppers (leather)
  • Your feet still feel supported inside the shoe
  • Damage to the heel has not extended to the sole
  • The damage is to embellishments, not the main body of the shoe