East Van Shoe Repair is a one-woman owned and operated shop, providing full-service, high-quality shoe and boot repair in the heart of Vancouver.
Read more about that one woman, Rebecca Smith
Things are done a little differently around here…
We are a member of the Shoe Service Institute of America, board member of the Hastings Crossing BIA and honorary member of the Daughters of St. Crispin.
269 East 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5T 1J7 (on the North side of 6th, a half block east of Main Street).
Friday 10:30am- 6:00pm
Please note: we’ll be closed until August 10th, 2017 when regular hours will resume.
We are a true full-service shoe repair shop, providing a wide range of repair and customization services for all types of footwear.
What Can’t We Do? We can generally repair leather bags, purses, belts and hats but not leather jackets or other clothing. We are also not currently (until further notice) taking in zipper replacement jobs. You can read why here.
Bring in your shoes and we’ll let you know! We find it unhelpful to list prices for the services we provide… there are just too many options and its impossible to know exactly what’s needed until we see the footwear.
Pretty darn well. We encourage you to shop around but we’re confident you’ll be back.
It depends on the repair required, on the shoes themselves and on our current workload. Some repairs (some cleaning/polishing, small stitching/sewing jobs, hole punching, insole or fit-product installations, etc.) may be done the same day you come in, but most will take a few days. A major overhaul may take a few extra days if we need to order something special to get it done and our wait times are longer in the busy fall/winter season.
We’re uncompromising about using the best materials available that are appropriate for the repair, bearing in mind their impact on appearance, comfort and longevity, as well as the health of the wearer and the environment on the whole. In many cases, the materials we use are superior in these respects to those the footwear was constructed with. Patches and heel-backs are made of leather – carefully selected, hand cut and skived to fit the job. Heel and toe layers are made of top-grade 12 oz. (5mm) sole bend cow hide leather. Stitching is done using durable matching thread, along existing seams where possible.
The majority of our prefabricated soles and heels (as well as bulk sheets of soling and heeling) are made by Topy (in France) and Vibram (in the USA). We also use heel pins from Avanti (USA) and whole/half heels and lifts from Tank (Italy), GTO Italia (Italy), and Biltrite (USA). We keep many specialty brand-specific materials on hand, like trademarked ‘pantone 18-1663 TPX’ Louboutin Red soling (by Vibram), genuine Birkenstock (Germany) EVA soling and cork footbeds, and the iconic Vibram Christy soles of the Red Wing 877/875 Boot. Material-specific high-quality adhesives and primers from Renia (Germany) are employed, which are free of toluene and MEK. We do not use heeling or soling made of plastic and nothing we use is made in China. Period.
We will generally repair leather belts, bags, purses, straps and hats but we steer clear of taking in jackets, clothing, luggage, tents, upholstery, etc. The fine acetate linings of leather jackets and clothing often get chewed up by our industrial leather stitchers. It never hurts to ask and we’ll accommodate whatever we can.
We pride ourselves on doing professional repairs of shoes, boots and leather goods and we don’t stray too far from this in terms of the services we offer. We trust that there are watch repairpersons and skate sharpeners around who take their jobs just as seriously.
Dying is tricky. Generally only aniline leathers may be dyed and even these vary greatly in terms of how they take dyes, meaning customers sometimes don’t get exactly what they expected or were looking for. As a result, our general policy is to dye to black only. Again, it never hurts to ask and we’ll accommodate whatever we can.
Bring in the footwear and we’ll assess the damage. Of course there are stains no one can remove (this is what permits dying, after all), but leather is resilient stuff and we have a range of tricks and techniques for removing stubborn stains, paint, bad polish, discoloration, scuffing, water damage and many other things life finds you walking through. If the damage is bad, there may be options to strip, buff out, dye, polish, or otherwise cover or hide your shoe’s shame.
We’ll do custom modifications at our discretion. Bring the shoes in and we’ll discuss what’s possible.
We stock a selection of quality (mostly European) products that we use on customer’s shoes here in the shop and that are difficult to find elsewhere. These include products made by Woly, Tacco, Kelly’s and many others. Most of it is not on display but if you ask we’ll bring it out and give you a recommendation.
As much as we’d like to, this inevitably leads to the shop becoming a storage facility. People tend to come back for their shoes when they’re paid for, so we require full payment when you drop them off. Many other shops will sell their customer’s unclaimed shoes to recoup the cost of the repair but pre-payment allows us to avoid this practice. Thanks for understanding.
Please bring in both shoes or boots regardless of whether you believe one or both are in need of repair. First, we offer complementary cleaning/conditioning/polishing with any repair, regardless of whether just one or both are repaired. Polishing only one shoe may be worse than polishing neither, so we need both. Second, and perhaps more importantly, many repairs must be done to both shoes in order to be done properly. Often the balance of the shoes – and their wearer – would be compromised by repairing only one. At times the other shoe may appear fine but is actually on the verge of a similar breakdown and repairing both will save the customer a repeat visit in short order.
Regarding differential pricing where in fact only one shoe or boot requires attention, we always charge a reduced price, although not necessarily by half. This is often the case where repair is necessitated by an accident/trauma to one shoe only, as opposed to ‘wear and tear’ which generally affects both relatively equally. The ‘one-shoe discount’ will generally manifest itself in the customer being charged for a ‘small sew’, ‘small glue’, etc. rather than a medium one.
We now accept debit, as well as cash and all major credit cards. About the only things we can’t take are cheques and bitcoin. Please note that we require payment for repair when the shoes are dropped off (see above for a rationale of this policy).
Yes and no. Shoe repair service falls under the BC professional services exemption so only the 5% Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) applies. The retail products we offer are subject to both taxes.
There is metered parking on 6th Avenue in front of the shop.
While there is a rack outside the shop available to the public, we welcome in well-behaved pets, bikes and humans of all kinds. Inclusivity is kind of a thing here. We identify as feminists, are accepting of all and too cool for none. We encourage those able to walk, bike or take transit down to see us.
Thanks for your support!
We are generally unavailable to answer the phone so please leave a message
Note: we are unable to provide estimates over the phone
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