Fine Leather Restoration Online and in Store

Established 1973

Customer Service

Call us at (919) 521-8485


  • I found some old leather shoes in my grandma’s attic. What can you do to make these wearable?
  • A:Vintage shoes are very stylish. The major problem is the material itself, whether all leather or a combination of leather and fabric. These materials can dry out and become brittle with age. Supposing that the shoes are an actual fit (this is unusual, since old shoes typically were smaller than today's sizes), and that the shoes are 100% leather, we can do a cleaning and reconditioning to both the inside and outside of the shoe in order to try to soften the leather and bring it back to life. We'll check the soles and heels as well. If the shoe sports a leather-fabric mix, we can steam clean the fabric. If the shoes are too small, there may be some risk in stretching the shoes to your size. We can normally add a size or size and a half to most shoes, but the age of older shoes may make this impossible due to the natural drying of the leather. We're willing to work with you on your vintage shoes, but we can't guarantee our usual happy outcome.

  • I’ve got some Christian Louboutin heels with red soles. I’d like to add a non-skid sole but I don’t want to compromise on the color. Can you help me?
  • A:Yes, we have material especially formulated to match Louboutin original red soles. The slick leather soles of Louboutin shoes can make them slippery on some surfaces. The solution is to put a natural rubber soleguard on the half sole which matches the fiery red that makes the shoes famous. Here at Santana Creative we have worked with a manufacturer who provides us with a rubber sole that is +/- 1% true to the original Louboutin red. Actually it is a virtually perfect match, but the different material reflects light differently because of the sole's texture and make-up. The durability of rubber assures you of long sole life, while the thin 1 millimeter thickness makes the new sole nearly invisible at the shoe's edge. Some companies use a reddish Vibram or Soletech rubber sole which is not an accurate color match for Louboutin red. In addition the soles are thick, due to a rubber and plastic mix in the soles which causes the soleguards to be visible at the shoe's edge.

  • Do you have the Tiffany blue Christian Louboutin Leather Soles? I love the color, but the lack of a sole guard makes me nervous. Can you fix this without changing the color of the sole?
  • A:Louboutin's Tiffany blue soles are lovely and we can help you with an appropriate match with either a half or full leather sole.

  • My dog attacked my new Gucci shoes while I was at work. The shoes won (the dog was banished to the backyard) but they were injured in the battle. Can you restore them?
  • A:We get a lot of calls about problems like this. Obviously a pair of shoes costing between $500 and $1500 should definitely be saved and restored if at all possible. Fortunately, shoes made from good materials can almost always be given new life with a little creativity, appropriate tools and materials and good skills. If the high heels have been bitten/punctured or scraped, these can be rewrapped in either leather (we can match the color) or fabric. We can usually repair shoe uppers, although if the dog had quite a feast on your shoes, we may have to replace entire leather pieces. Shoes can almost always be fixed.

  • I have a pair of shoes that are a half size too big. I know you can stretch shoes. Can you shrink them?
  • A:A half size is fairly easy to take from a shoe, a full size can be trouble. Open toed shoes or sandals can be downsized easily. Closed toe shoes are hard to shrink. Usually it works better to use padding and inserts to help the larger shoe to fit comfortably. With some of today's pointed- toe styles, wearing a larger shoe size is not noticeable, and inserts can provide good comfort. We can take more than a size off of sandals by cutting or trimming the sole and moving both the ankle and front straps. This can be combined with padding put underneath the innersole, which will make the shoes fit snugly as well as stylishly.

  • I used pads for comfort on my Peep Toes shoes, but the pads are visible. Can you hide them without losing the benefit of the padding?
  • A:Yes. What we would do is slit the innersole from the sole and put pads between these two layers. In this way, the pads are invisible. We can do a similar procedure on the straps if they are lined.

  • I have a pair of Jimmy Choo cream-colored high heeled shoes. The heel has snapped in two. Can this heel be fixed so that it looks just like the other?
  • A:Yes, we can fix these. We can match not only the color but the texture of the leather as well. If we would need to perform additional procedures such as matching a design, finding a special kind or color of patent leather or fabric, we would contact you to discuss options.

  • have a pair of Chanel ballerina shoes in black lambskin and off- white patent leather on the toes and back. The patent leather is scratched and scuffed. What can I do with these?
  • A:We keep various styles and colors of patent leather in stock. We can replace your off-white patent leather, and we can replace the toe box as well as the heel (rear of the shoe) with new material. The final result should be like new. Make sure to send both shoes in case we have to do something minimally different from the original design. That way we can make any needed changes to both shoes. This will not be done prior to obtaining your consent.

  • I’ve got bright red patent leather shoes that have a gouge in the toe. Can you fix this?
  • A:Patent leather is a delicate material, its high gloss making it difficult to repair. Black patent leather is the most common color and scraped heels can be easily rewrapped. White, too, is fairly straight forward, but often the texture (size and number of pores in the material) of the patent leather is hard to match. Other colors are just plain hard to match since special colors are often ordered by the shoe designer, and these designers like specialty colors which change with the fashion season. Some companies will send us original quality patent leather in order to do repairs, but not all companies keep such material stocked. We may be lucky enough to have the exact color in our stock, in which case we can disassemble the toe box and replace the damaged toe of the shoe. This adds a seam that wasn't in the original design, but if we fix both shoes, the results are very nice and quite acceptable. If the shoes are merely scuffed, the best repair may be an acrylic spray paint that we can apply sparingly in order to blend a good match. In general, we can almost always do something to make shoes that you don't want to wear out in public into items that you will be proud to wear.

  • I love the look of my sling back shoes, but the sling keeps falling down on my heel. Can this be adjusted?
  • A:Yes, this is a common problem and a straight-forward fix. The repair is completely invisible and consists in opening the shoe at the heel and shortening the ankle straps. You can do the measuring yourself by pulling the strap from being too lose to where it feels good. then mark the inside of the strap with a pen or laundry marker. We can adjust the straps to your exact measurements. If you bring the shoes to our shop we can do the measuring for you. This can occasionally take more than a single fitting since moving the ankle straps may affect another part of the shoe as well. But we will work with you until the shoe fits and feels right.

  • I have a very thin foot and have trouble finding sandals that fit me. Can you adjust a new sandal to my foot?
  • A:Yes, we can. You can either bring the sandals in or send us the measurements yourself. To take your own measurement, pull the straps (either front or ankle) tight and mark where they would feel snug. We will trim the excess, add eyelets or holes and make the strap look like the original, but to your specific measurements. If you send us the sandals make sure to include contact information. We'll get in touch with you about costs and options.

  • My sandals rub at the heel. I don’t want to wear Band Aids. Can you put some kind of padding on the back strap?
  • A:Yes. Generally we can add a pad or we can slip a pad between the strap and a next-to-the-skin leather liner that would add comfort to these straps.