The durability of trainers is an issue, says the repairers

They should be made to withstand more stress, wear and tear and not just as fashion status symbols. Instead, for luxury trainers (not all of them, of course), durability is an issue, but also an excellent opportunity for those who specialise in repairing them


Is the durability of luxury trainers an issue? Let’s talk about it. Of all fashion accessories, because trainers are now fashion accessories to all intents and purposes, sports footwear modelling brings with it incredibly creative and productive bulimia. Which, of course, clashes with one of the cornerstones of the current green contextualisation of any activity: the durability of each pair. Of course, they are shoes, and therefore subjected to much more stress than other items. Consequently, they are also more exposed to damage and wear. Something intrinsic to the DNA of the product represents the fortune of those who specialise in their repair, like Shoe Lab, which, when faced with expensive trainers that don’t last (that long), offers a service that is experiencing a real boom.

Who repairs them

Founded in January 2020 in Boston, Lincolnshire (England), Shoe Lab began by offering a cleaning service for Adidas Gazelles for £10. Today it repairs hundreds of pairs of the most famous luxury brands. Gucci trainers, Balenciaga, Dior, and many other brands have no secrets for Shoe Lab. The shop has an extensive case history and knows which are made to perfection (and therefore made to last) and which are not. For example, Shoe Lab’s 32-year-old co-founder Luke Goodyear tells Bloomberg that he will never buy a pair of Axel Arigato or Burberry sneakers because the brand’s ink tends to fade. “The studs on Louboutin trainers always come off. “One wrote to us saying that 25 had come off a single pair,” claims another founder, Kye Overton.

Little interest in durability

At Shoe Lab, they are convinced that many big luxury shoe brands have little interest in making their sneakers last. This, however, creates a job opportunity for those who perform a repair service that lives up to the brand name. ‘People pay £1,000 for shoes like Dior, so the dye could be better,’ adds Darren Overton, 55, Kye’s father and partner. In short, such an expensive pair of trainers should be perfect and last a lifetime. But it is not (always) so.

Beware of Louboutin

The brand that offers the most job opportunities for sneakers repairers is Louboutin, because of the red sole. All customers want it always in perfect condition. So there are those who ask Shoe Lab to apply a protective film to the bottom of the shoe. Or those who, after only once wearing a pair, ask for the original colour to be restored. But this is the tip of the iceberg. Much work, in fact, comes from the repair of substandard models or due to maintenance errors made by customers.

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