midweSTYLE: Desert Boots Resoled

July 3, 2012
So, after a little over two years, I wore a hole straight through the crepe sole of my Clarks desert boots. After a round of violent weeping and gnashing of teeth, I was prepared to hold a burial service, or another memorial of similar gravitas. These felt like the boots I became a man in, or something.
While the term “essential” is egregiously overused, desert boots are one of a handful of items that actually deserve the title. They go with damn near everything, and I found myself wearing them almost every day for a year or so—a default for my feet. Thus, when they were finally unwearable, I was just short of devastated.
Then came the decision. Do I pitch them? Buy a new pair? Do I spring for a resole? WHAT DO I DO NOW?
What it really came down to was whether I should re-support Clarks, who was probably going to just fine if I didn’t, or whether I should put money toward a local cobbler to hook me up with a new sole.
In that light, the answer made itself abundantly clear.
Tucked away in the shadows of the Francis Quadrangle’s infamous columns, on 8th Street in Columbia, Missouri, sits a little shop called Dawson’s Shoe Repair. I had walked by countless times, never giving the unassuming brick storefront a second thought—that is, until I wore a hole in the sole of one of my most beloved possessions.
Inside, I was greeted by a friendly man named Bob who took my Clarks, offered me a slew of resoling options, and promised to do his best with the monster ripple soles I had chosen. Bob, who has worked at Dawson’s since he completed his service in the Air Force in 1971, made quick work of my order and after a few days, I had fallen back in love with my old, worn-out desert boots. When it was all said and done, the price tag came to $75 to have my well-loved boots resurrected with a patina and sole that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else. Compare that to the $100 I might have spent on a pair of new boots, and I’d say I came out with the better end of the deal.
The only task left is to find a fitting nickname. Suggestions welcome.

On Cameron: “The Henley” in California wash by Baldwin Denimstriped shirt by Steven Alan; submariner watch by Military Watch Co.; whiskey tortoise “Preston” eyeglasses by Warby Parker; desert boots by Clarks, resole by Bob Wood at Dawson’s Shoe Repair. 

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16030045804541727982 tara polly

    ooh, love this resole. how rad!

  • http://xts77.livejournal.com/ xts77

    Nice looking boots! I’ve been wondering about a crepe resole as well. Really debating finding someone to put a Dainite sole on them, but that will be much stiffer than the original crepe and I’m not sure how I would like it.

    Was this the case with your new ripple sole? Any difference in the feel when walking? Also, those boots have an awesome patina to them! Did you use any leather conditioner or wax on them?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12718712994213826820 Alex

    desert tooths

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13268830916966556946 Jamie

    I was equally sad when my knee high black leather boots had worn out heels. Took me over a year to realize it would cost $30 to get them reheeled over umm the $150 to buy a new pair of boots. Good call supporting local business!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00261512187487560732 Johnny

    Sand Sharks

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05732943430642350691 nadinebritt

    Now they look like dinosaur teeth.
    It is always a good day when you get your favourite shoes resoled. Enjoy!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12442044656697263520 Jet Syquia


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16863678989995162274 Wolfgang

    Rommel Stalkers

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14876880960295180538 Desmond Kinlaw

    Dude thats awesome. Never imagined desert boots with that sole. I think I kinda like it. Just out of curiosity, how much would it have been to just get another crepe sole put on there?

    Chinos & Cheesecake

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13034495291550200420 Dan Lish

    Tatooine Trekkers

  • Bryan Arri

    Super glad you posted on this! I’ve walked by Dawson’s myself a handful of times. Mine are in need of new soles. I love the way yours turned out and I think I might just have to copy them…

  • Brandon Boomsma

    Those look unbelievable, are those Vibram ripple soles? I have a pair of Gray leather that I am looking to resole and I was looking at ripple in black.

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