When to Replace Leather Outsoles

One of the greatest benefits to owning a great pair of Goodyear Welted leather dress shoes are designed to be resoled. The lifetime of the upper leather can last for several decades if cared for properly, only growing more comfortable and more beautiful with age. However, if you wait too long to resole your shoes, you can cause irreparable damage.

Regularly checking the condition of the leather outsoles and heels of your shoes is simple and easy to do and can ensure that you repair your outsoles before the shoes are ruined. Our Kirby Allison Certified Shoe Restoration Program combines Kirby Allison's high standards and the experience of our third-generation, 17-time award-winning cobbler, every pair of shoes to go through our Shoe Restoration Program will be returned at a higher quality standard than new.

Our program uses only the finest materials and craftsmanship, with every pair being thoroughly inspected when it is received. Every pair of shoes is resoled using JR Rendenbach Oak Bark Tanned full leather outsoles and combination heels imported from Germany. This 150 year-old family-owned tannery makes what are widely-considered the best leather outsoles in the world. Known for their incredible durability and water resistance, they are simply the best.

Step 1

Run your fingers over the center of the outsole to check for wrinkles or softness

Leather outsoles should be firm and provide the shoe with essential support and protection from water. If the outsole becomes soft to the touch, it normally means that the thickness of the leather outsole has been worn down. If when running your finger across the shoe it feels soft to the touch, it is time to replace your leather outsoles.

Step 2

Any holes means you've reached the lifetime of the outsole
If there are already clear, visible holes it the outsoles of your shoes, they need to be immediately repaired. In addition to just looking unprofessional, holes in your shoes allows moisture into the interior chamber of the shoe between the outsole and the insole. Water can damage the linen ribbing that is used for the Goodyear Welting, causing the welt to detach from the leather insole.

Step 3

Inspect the perimeter of the outsole to look for stitches exposed
The third way to determine if your leather outsoles have reached the end of their lifetime and need to be repaired is if the edges have been worn down and are exposing the outsole stitching. Depending on how you walk, it is possible to wear out the edges or toes of your shoe before the center of the outsole. You do not want to wear all the way through the outsole and into the welt; if this happens, the shoe may not be able to be repaired. Catching it early can ensure that it does not happen.