Shoes Built to Last: Discover the Best Repairable Shoes

Step into almost any clothing store today and you will find cheaply made fashion barely able to sustain a year of wear. That’s why finding quality footwear is more important today than ever before.

With Fast fashion and disposable products being so prevalent, a revolutionary trend is emerging in the footwear industry: repairable shoes. Repairable shoes are becoming the champions of sustainability, offering us a chance to step into a greener future. 

Brands that want to stand out today are meeting the growing demands for eco-friendly products and are creating repairable shoes that are designed to last longer and be easily fixable.  These shoes challenge the throwaway culture that has plagued the fashion industry for years. By providing repair services, brands can extend the lifespan of their shoes and reduce waste in landfills.

Not only do repairable shoes offer environmental benefits, but they also present an opportunity for consumers to save money in the long run. Repairable shoes are often constructed with quality materials making them more comfortable and designed to withstand use, ultimately reducing the need for frequent replacements.

RELATED: Exploring Cactus Leather: A Sustainable and Stylish Choice

There is nothing I hate more than inferior quality footwear, and so I put together this list of eco-friendly, long-lasting footwear options with specific info about what is fixable on the shoe.

Check out the quick links below or read the full review on how these companies are rocking today’s footwear!

Repairable Shoes
(click to shop now)
How Are Shoes Repairable?
Stitching …
Laces and eyelets
Leather or upper material …
El NaturalistaSoles
Stitching …
Leather or upper material …
Laces and eyelets
Laces and eyelets
La SportivaLaces and eyelets
VYNLaces and eyelets
Insoles …
Leather or upper material
Thursday Boot CompanySoles
Leather or upper material
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The Impact of Fast Fashion on the Footwear Industry

Fast fashion has had a significant impact on the footwear industry, with consumers constantly seeking the latest trends and styles. This demand for inexpensive and quickly produced shoes has led to the creation of low-quality products that are designed to be replaced rather than repaired. As a result, landfills are filling up with discarded shoes, contributing to environmental pollution.  Shoes sent to landfill contribute to these environmental problems:

  • Slow Decomposition: Shoes, especially those made with synthetic materials, can take decades or even centuries to decompose in a landfill [1]. Leather shoes can also take a long time due to the tanning and treatment processes used in their production. Look for biodegradable shoes to ensure an eco-conscious shoe design.
  • Toxic Leachate: As shoes break down in landfills, they can release toxic chemicals and pollutants into the soil and groundwater. This toxic leachate can contaminate nearby water sources and harm ecosystems.[2]. Ethical shoes are made with materials that avoid these pollutants.
  • Wasted Resources: When shoes are disposed of in landfills, the resources used to manufacture them, such as leather, rubber, and various materials, go to waste. This contributes to resource depletion and increases the demand for new production, perpetuating a cycle of resource consumption and waste generation. Try looking for zero waste shoes which are a great example of circular fashion.

Choosing repairable shoes is the best option to limit the footprint on the earth.  The next best solution is to recycle or donate shoes that have been used. Durable shoes can also be considered sustainable footwear as they are long-lasting and are often made with replaceable parts.

Related: 20 Eco Friendly Things on Amazon to Help You Save Money And Make Your Home More Sustainable

Where to Fix Repairable Shoes

Artisan handcrafting a durable leather strap, showcasing traditional shoe repair tools, embodying the meticulous process of creating and maintaining sustainable, repairable footwear.

Locating reliable shoe repair services is essential for maintaining and prolonging the life of your footwear. Here are some common places to find reputable shoe repair professionals:

  • Local Cobbler or Shoe Repair Shops: The most traditional and often most reliable option is to visit a local cobbler or shoe repair shop. These professionals have the expertise and tools needed to perform a wide range of shoe repairs.
  • Shoe Repair Chains: In larger cities, you may find chain stores specializing in shoe repair. These establishments can offer consistency in service quality and may have multiple locations for convenience.
  • Shoe Retailers: Some shoe retailers, especially those selling high-end or premium brands, offer in-house repair services or have partnerships with local cobblers. Check with the retailer where you purchased your shoes.
  • Online Repair Services: In the digital age, there are online platforms that specialize in shoe repair. You can often mail your shoes to them for assessment and repair, making it a convenient option for those without local repair shops. Coblrshop is a great online service for this type of repair. 
  • Local Markets, Flea Markets and Street Vendors: In certain areas, you might come across cobblers offering their services at local markets or as street vendors. While their services can be cost-effective, it’s essential to ensure their expertise meets your needs.
  • Youtube can even show you how to fix repairable shoes yourself!

How to Spot Quality Repairable Shoes

Modern white sneaker in a clean, sustainable design, emphasizing comfort and durability, with a focus on repairable components for eco-friendly fashion.
  • Check the Construction Method
    • Look for shoes that mention a stitched or welted construction method. Common methods include Goodyear welt, Blake stitch, or Norwegian welt. These constructions are typically repairable because the soles can be easily removed and replaced.
  • Examine the Sole
    • Inspect the sole material. High-quality, repairable shoes often have soles made from durable materials like leather, rubber, or a combination of both.
    • Check how the sole is attached to the upper. If it’s stitched, rather than glued, it’s a good indicator of repairability.
  • Look for a Welt
    • Some repairable shoes have a visible welt, which is a strip of material that runs along the perimeter of the sole, connecting it to the upper. A welted construction makes it easier to resole the shoe.
  • Inspect the Heel
    • Consider how the heel is attached. A repairable shoe will often have a heel that is attached with nails or screws rather than being glued.
  • Materials Matter
    • High-quality leather uppers are often more repairable than synthetic materials.
    • Examine the insole. Some shoes have a cork footbed that can be replaced along with the sole during resoling.
  • Check for Accessibility
    • Ensure that the stitching used to attach the sole is easily accessible. A cobbler needs to be able to remove and replace the sole without damaging the upper part of the shoe.
  • Read Product Descriptions and Reviews
    • Look for product descriptions and reviews that mention repairability. Some brands market their shoes as being repairable, so this information may be readily available.
  • Ask the Retailer or Manufacturer
    • If you’re unsure about a shoe’s repairability, don’t hesitate to ask the retailer or contact the manufacturer’s customer service. They can often provide information on the construction and repairability of their products.
  • Consider the Brand and Price
    • Higher-end and well-established shoe brands are more likely to produce repairable footwear due to their commitment to quality and longevity. However, some mid-range brands also offer repairable options.
  • Inspect Previous Repairs
    • If you’re looking at a used pair of shoes, check if they have been repaired before. This could be a sign that they are repairable models.

By following these steps and looking for these characteristics, you can increase your chances of identifying a repairable shoe that will be a wise and sustainable investment.

What Component of a Shoe Can be Repairable

Diagram highlighting the repairable parts of a leather shoe, detailing the sole, heel, stitching, shank, insole, laces & eyelets, toe cap, and leather upper, advocating for sustainable fashion by educating on shoe repair and maintenance.
  • Sole: The sole of a shoe is one of the most commonly repaired part. It can be re-soled to extend the shoe’s life.
  • Heel: Both the heel of the shoe and the heel cap can be replaced if they become worn or damaged.
  • Stitching: If the stitching that holds the shoe together starts to come apart, it can often be repaired.
  • Insole: An uncomfortable or worn-out insole can be replaced to improve comfort and support.
  • Laces and Eyelets: Shoelaces can be easily replaced, and if the eyelets are damaged, they can be repaired or replaced.
  • Leather or Upper Material: Small scuffs or scratches in leather can often be buffed out or repaired. For fabric uppers, tears or damage can sometimes be patched.
  • Zippers: On shoes with zippers, a malfunctioning zipper can be repaired or replaced.
  • Velcro Straps: Shoes with Velcro closures can have the Velcro straps replaced if they lose their grip.
  • Shank: The shank is a supportive structure between the insole and outsole of the shoe. In some cases, a broken shank can be repaired.
  • Toe Cap and Toe Box: For steel-toed work boots or shoes with reinforced toe caps, these components can often be repaired or replaced.

12 Popular Brands Offering Repairable Shoes

Repairable Shoes #1: Nisolo

  • Repairable Components: Nisolo offers shoes with resoleable soles, heels and repairable stitching, ensuring your footwear lasts longer.
  • Materials: Committed to ethical sourcing, Nisolo uses high-quality materials, such as sustainably sourced leather and recycled materials.
  • Green Footprint: Nisolo’s dedication to sustainability includes eco-friendly practices, ethical manufacturing, and partnerships with artisans in developing countries.
  • Warranty: Nisolo provides a limited warranty, demonstrating confidence in the durability and quality of their products.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

Nisolo ethically crafted sandals, featuring a minimalist design and sustainable materials, designed for durability and easy repair, catering to the eco-conscious lifestyle.
Image by
Veja sneakers displaying eco-innovative design with recyclable materials and repairable details, embodying ethical fashion for environmentally conscious consumers.
Image by

Repairable Shoes #2: Veja

  • Repairable Components: Veja designs sneakers with durable soles and repairable stitching, and replaceable laces and eyelets allowing you to extend the life of your footwear.
  • Materials: Known for its sustainable materials, Veja uses organic cotton, recycled plastic bottles, and responsibly sourced leather.
  • Green Footprint: Veja is committed to eco-friendly production, fair labor practices, and transparency in its supply chain, resulting in a smaller environmental footprint.
  • Warranty: While Veja may not offer a traditional warranty, their durable construction speaks to the brand’s confidence in the longevity of their products.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

Repairable Shoes #3: Camper

  • Repairable Components: Campers shoes often feature resoleable soles and repairable stitching, ensuring the longevity of your footwear.
  • Materials: Committed to eco-conscious materials, Camper embraces new technology, considerate materials, and ethical supply chain.
  • Green Footprint: Camper focuses on sustainability, including the use of vegetable-based dyes, responsible sourcing, and minimizing waste in production. Low Impact Packaging.
  • Warranty: Camper offers a lifetime guarantee.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

Repairable Shoes #4: El Naturalista

  • Repairable Components: El Naturalista’s shoes often feature resoleable soles and repairable stitching, ensuring the longevity of your footwear.
  • Materials: Committed to eco-conscious materials, El Naturalista uses environmentally friendly leather, organic cotton, and natural rubber.
  • Green Footprint: El Naturalista focuses on sustainability, including the use of vegetable-based dyes, responsible sourcing, and minimizing waste in production.
  • Warranty: While specifics may vary by model, El Naturalista typically offers a warranty that reflects their confidence in the quality and durability of their shoes.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

El Naturalista vibrant yellow shoe, crafted with eco-friendly materials and featuring repairable soles, combines style with sustainability for the eco-conscious consumer.
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Birkenstock sandal highlighting replaceable cork footbeds and durable construction, promoting sustainable fashion through repairable design elements ideal for eco-conscious wearers.
Image by

Repairable Shoes #5: Birkenstock

  • Repairable Components: Birkenstock sandals and clogs feature replaceable footbeds, cork and soles, extending the lifespan of your favorite footwear.
  • Materials: Crafted with high-quality, eco-friendly materials, including natural cork and leather sourced from sustainable suppliers.
  • Green Footprint: Birkenstock is committed to sustainability, using water-based adhesives, reducing waste in production, and supporting ethical and eco-conscious practices.
  • Warranty: Depending on the model, Birkenstock offers a warranty that covers certain defects and craftsmanship issues.
  • Price Range: $$

Repairable Shoes #6: Blundstone

  • Repairable Components: Blundstone boots are renowned for their replaceable soles and durable stitching, ensuring your footwear remains dependable over time.
  • Materials: Crafted from premium leather and robust materials, Blundstone prioritizes quality and longevity.
  • Green Footprint: While Blundstone’s sustainability initiatives focus on responsible manufacturing and ethical sourcing, their commitment to eco-friendliness continues to grow.
  • Warranty: Depending on the model, Blundstone offers warranties that reflect their confidence in the durability and performance of their boots.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

Blundstone leather boot showcasing premium craftsmanship, designed for extended wear and easy maintenance, aligning with eco-friendly values.
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Vivobarefoot minimalist shoe designed for both durability and comfort, featuring recycled materials for the eco-conscious consumer.
Image by Vivobarefoot

Repairable Shoes #7: Vivobarefoot

  • Repairable Components: Vivobarefoot’s minimalist shoes often feature resoleable soles and repairable stitching, ensuring longevity and reducing waste.
  • Materials: Committed to sustainability, Vivobarefoot uses eco-friendly materials like recycled plastics, bio-based materials, and sustainably sourced leather.
  • Green Footprint: Vivobarefoot focuses on ethical and environmentally responsible production practices, including a commitment to circular design principles.
  • Warranty: While specific warranty terms may vary, Vivobarefoot typically stands behind the quality and durability of their shoes.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

Repairable Shoes #8: Wolverine

  • Repairable Components: Wolverine specializes in durable work boots and heritage footwear, many of which feature resoleable soles and repairable stitching for extended use.
  • Materials: Committed to quality, Wolverine uses premium materials, including full-grain leather, to ensure long-lasting performance.
  • Green Footprint: Wolverine prioritizes sustainability by adopting eco-conscious practices in manufacturing and a commitment to ethical sourcing.
  • Warranty: Depending on the model, Wolverine often offers warranties that reflect their confidence in the durability and craftsmanship of their boots.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

Side view of Wolverine repairable shoe, highlighting its unique design and sustainable construction for eco-aware fashion.
Image by Wolverine
Mephisto:  Stylish, durable shoe designed for easy repair, featuring sustainable materials. Perfect for eco-conscious individuals seeking longevity and style in footwear.
Image by Mephisto

Repairable Shoes #9: Mephisto

  • Repairable Components: Mephisto is renowned for its comfortable and high-quality footwear, many of which are designed with repairable soles and stitching to extend the life of your shoes.
  • Materials: Committed to quality, Mephisto uses premium materials, including soft leathers and natural rubber, to ensure long-lasting comfort and performance.
  • Green Footprint: While sustainability initiatives vary, Mephisto’s focus on ethical manufacturing and responsible sourcing aligns with eco-conscious practices.
  • Warranty: Depending on the model, Mephisto often offers warranties that reflect their confidence in the craftsmanship and durability of their shoes.
  • Price Range: $$$-$$$$

Repairable Shoes #10: La Sportiva

  • Repairable Components: La Sportiva specializes in outdoor footwear, particularly hiking and mountaineering boots, designed to withstand rugged conditions and featuring repairable soles and stitching for prolonged use.
  • Materials: La Sportiva is committed to using high-quality materials, including durable leather and performance-oriented components, ensuring resilience and comfort.
  • Green Footprint: La Sportiva emphasizes responsible manufacturing practices and eco-friendly materials, aligning with their commitment to sustainability.
  • Warranty: Depending on the model, La Sportiva often offers warranties that reflect their confidence in the durability and performance of their outdoor footwear.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

La Sportive:  Stylish, durable shoe designed for easy repair, featuring sustainable materials. Perfect for eco-conscious individuals seeking longevity and style in footwear.
Image by La Sportiva
Goral:  Stylish, durable shoe designed for easy repair, featuring sustainable materials. Perfect for eco-conscious individuals seeking longevity and style in footwear.
Image by Goral

Repairable Shoes #11: Goral

  • Repairable Components: Goral is known for crafting premium, handcrafted footwear, often featuring resoleable soles and repairable stitching to extend the life of their eco-friendly shoes.
  • Materials: Committed to quality, Goral uses top-notch materials, including fine leather and sustainable components, to ensure both style and durability and quality sustainable footwear.
  • Green Footprint: While sustainability initiatives may vary, Goral’s emphasis on craftsmanship and ethical manufacturing aligns with eco-conscious practices.
  • Warranty: Depending on the model, Goral often offers warranties reflecting their confidence in the craftsmanship and longevity of their footwear.
  • Price Range: $$-$$$

How to Care for and Maintain Repairable Shoes

Caring for your repairable shoes not only prolongs their lifespan but also enhances their repairability. Here are some eco-conscious tips to keep your footwear in top shape and minimize the need for frequent repairs:

  • Regular Cleaning: Clean your repairable shoes regularly to prevent dirt and grime buildup, which can lead to premature wear. Use eco-friendly cleaning products and natural brushes when possible.
  • Proper Storage: Store your shoes in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Consider using shoe trees or stuff them with newspaper to maintain their shape.
  • Rotation: Rotate your repairable shoes to allow them to air out and recover their shape between wears. This reduces stress on the materials.
  • Waterproofing: Apply a sustainable waterproofing treatment to protect your shoes from moisture. Look for environmentally friendly, non-toxic options.
  • Shoe Trees: Invest in wooden shoe trees to help maintain the shape of your shoes and prevent creasing.
  • Quality Shoelaces: Replace worn-out or frayed shoelaces promptly to prevent further damage to eyelets and maintain a polished look.
  • Sole Protection: Consider adding sole protectors to your shoes to extend the life of the soles and make them more resilient.
  • Resole Preventatively: If you notice significant sole wear, consider resoling before extensive damage occurs. This proactive approach can save you money on more extensive repairs.
  • Seek Professional Advice: If you’re unsure how to care for a particular type of shoe, consult with a professional cobbler or refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions.

By following these sustainable shoe care practices, you not only reduce your environmental footprint but also ensure that your repairable shoes continue to serve you well for years to come.

DIY Shoe Repairs and Essential Tools

Click on Image for Price

Taking care of your shoes goes beyond basic maintenance; it also includes the occasional DIY repair. With the right tools and a little guidance, you can tackle common shoe issues on your own, saving money and extending the life of your footwear. Here are some essential tools and repair kits to consider:

Shoe Repair Kit: Invest in a comprehensive shoe repair kit that typically includes items like a shoe hammer, awl, needle and thread, shoe glue, sole replacement materials, and more. These kits are designed for various repair tasks and are a valuable addition to your home maintenance toolkit.

Shoe Trees: Wooden shoe trees help maintain the shape of your shoes and are particularly useful when making minor repairs or applying shoe polish.

Leather Conditioner and Cleaner: High-quality leather shoes benefit from regular conditioning and cleaning. Look for eco-friendly and leather-safe products to protect and revitalize your shoe’s leather.

Sole Protectors: For added sole durability and grip, consider sole protectors. These adhesive, clear or colored sheets can be easily applied to the bottom of your shoes.

Replacement Laces: Keep a selection of replacement shoelaces in various lengths and styles on hand, ensuring you always have the right ones when needed.

Sewing Kit: A basic sewing kit with strong thread and needles can be useful for repairing small tears or loose stitching in your shoe’s fabric or leather.

Shoe Polishing Kit: Regular polishing not only keeps your shoes looking sharp but also helps protect the leather. Invest in a quality shoe polishing kit with brushes, creams, and waxes.


Repairable shoes are revolutionizing the sustainable footwear industry by challenging the throwaway culture that has dominated for years. These sustainable alternatives offer benefits to both consumers and the environment, providing an opportunity to reduce waste and save money in the long run. With the rise of repairable shoes, the industry is shifting towards a more circular and eco-friendly model, paving the way for a greener future. By embracing repairability, we can make a significant impact on reducing our carbon footprint and creating a more sustainable future for generations to come.

14 Responses

  1. Great information on how to choose good quality shoes. I like Birkenstock shoes. They’re comfortable and fashionable and last a long time.

  2. This is so cool! I wasn’t aware so many shoes brands were repairable! This definitely makes me rethink where I buy my shoes. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Great article! I love the idea of investing in quality footwear that can be repaired so that my investment is worth while. Cheap uncomfortable shoes are the worst!

  4. Amazing that repairable shoes are a thing! I’m all about making things last. Great post!

  5. Great information on how to choose good quality shoes. I like Mephisto and Ara shoes. They’re comfortable and last a long time..While traveling you need good shoes.

  6. I love the trend of repairable shoes. Thank you for highlighting the great company options and process of getting repairs. We have a shoe repair at the end of our street – so it’s perfect!

  7. So interesting! I never even considered which shoe brands are repairable. Thank you!

  8. Such an extensive list! I was actually in the market for new, sturdy shoes.

  9. I really like this post. About 10 years ago I did a shoemaking course which gave me a good appreciation of how a shoe is put together. It took me 4 full days to make the shoes by hand. Blundestones are very popular in Australia as both a work shoe and leisure shoe so I am quite familiar with them. This article has valuable information – thank you!

  10. Avatar Nicholas Rosen says:

    This is a lot of good eco friendly information to have.

  11. I had never heard of repairable shoes! Thank you for this informational, eco-friendly post!

  12. WHat an important topic to talk about! I like thinking about sustainability of my choices, but shoes have not yet gained much attention to be honest.
    Thank you for sharing!

  13. Thank you for highlighting the great company options and process of getting repairs. I really want to grab a pair of Birkenstock shoes soon!

  14. Avatar Lani of says:

    Good points. I always try to invest in good quality shoes because it is repairable. Some “season fashion shoes” are just throw away.



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