This week, Patagonia Footwear announced that it's partnering with a company called Mountain Soles to offer resoles and repairs on Patagonia shoes. What's the big deal? Why bother? Why is it worth reading any further? Because once again, the bleeding hearts at Patagonia have reminded us to think about our actions, and to consider the alternatives that we already know about. Resoling? I resole my cowboy boots, but haven't resoled hiking boots or other shoes in years. After they've done their duty as my lawn moving shoes, I just give them away or throw them away. Sometimes I lament getting rid of that perfectly broken in pair of boots. And that's one of the reasons that Patagonia is pushing its customers to go the resoling route. In their release they say:
While resoling might not seem like the obvious choice--it's not cheap--there are other reasons to consider resoling shoes. Once a customer thinks about the natural resources used to create a new pair of shoes, shipping those shoes across the ocean, and then the landfill space required to dispose of the old shoes, they might decide that repairing is one way to lessen their impact on the environment. Not to mention the fact that customers current shoes are already broken in.
Why give up the comfort that those hard earned miles got you? Don't. For Patagonia shoes and boots, it's $50-80 to resole, $65-$100 for most other hiking and mountaineering boots. Mountain Soles website has more info. They also repair clothing, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks and drysuits.
And Mountain Soles isn't the only choice. Patagonia's release inspired me to call up my local cobbler. It turns out that he stocks Vibram soles and resoles hiking boots locally, no cross country shipping required. He also suggested that maybe next time I get my cowboy boots resoled I consider putting a Vibram sole on there ("Better in the snow in Vermont in winter, ya know!").
Timberland has tapped into boot wearers love of broken in boots. They now collect their old boots, give a discount to the donator on a new pair, resole them and sell them abroad pre-broken in. They can't keep them on the shelves.
So, tell us, what have you decided to fix instead of replacing?
I personally just had a fight with Best Buy, which wanted to replace my stove instead of repairing it. After nearly five months of back and forth, as of today I am the victor. I have my old stove, and have all four burners working again.