Every now and again when I peruse the Fluevog Facebook page, it never fails that someone will put up a post declaring that while Fluevogs are absolutely gorgeous, they’re not quite budget-friendly. As a former struggling graduate student and a totally underpaid lecturer, I can definitely relate to the hole that burns in my wallet from buying a pair of Vogs. However, there are ways one can build a Fluevog collection on a limited budget. Today, I bring you the power of refurbishing.
Recently, I scored a great deal on the Choice | Margie on ebay. As you can see from the photos below, they were scuffed pretty badly. Margie has been on my vintage wish list for ages and given the low price, I knew that with some TLC, I could revive these babies! I could tell that the base of the shoe was in great condition (made with leather) and that the refurbishing was primarily cosmetic. Also, the seller was very honest with the condition of the shoes.
Tip: If the vintage Vog has a foam sole, beware. Foam, over time, can weaken and crack, making the Vog unwearable. I’ve seen cracked foam soles because my brother is an avid collector of athletic shoes. Also, fellow MotelyFlue member Gladys has a story to share soon:)
When the shoes arrived, I was glad to see that after adding an arch support, they fit perfectly! (Margie fits just like the Fellowship | Sandra. Because my feet are so flat, I need an arch support for a secure fit.) Yes, they were as scuffed as the photos indicated. I could swear that the previous owner ran them through a sandpaper funhouse!
I wanted to see if I could refurbish these on my own. The first thing I did was revive it with some leather lotion. As you can see from the photo above, the leather lotion gave Margie a much richer color and made it look less dried out. If you’re a Vog user and you don’t own a bottle of leather lotion, you need to get yourself a supply, stat! I’m obsessed with leather lotion. Once a Vog comes home with me, it doesn’t see the light of day without a coat or two of the stuff! It helps preserve the shoe, soften the leather, and keep the color nice and rich. You’d cry if you ever saw my Vog collection. They all look pristine because of my leather lotion obsession!
Once the leather lotion settled in, the scuffing was still noticeable. The backs of the heels still looked chewed up. Plus, the black marks on the toe just wouldn’t budge. With that, I knew I needed to take it to a cobbler. Our friends at Haight Street recommended Pioneer Renewer, a cobbler located in the Castro. When I went to Pioneer Renewer, the process was simple. I just asked them if they could refurbish Margie. I pointed out all the scuffing and the guys were really friendly. One week and $15 later (cash only!), I picked my newly revived Margie. Here’s the final product:
As you can see, the color is much richer and the scuffing is virtually gone. In person, you can see the wear and some of the texture issues. Otherwise, they’re perfect. They look like a comfortably worn pair of Vogs. I can’t believe how amazing they look now!
The final cost of these Vogs (shoes, shipping, and refurbishing) was $70. In Fluevog land, that is an excellent steal! For those of you who are looking for Vogs on a budget, check the FlueMarket and eBay. You never know what you’ll find! (If you’re curious about sizing, you can always talk to a dealer!)
Another advantage of refurbishing Fluevogs is that it’s a great way to re-cycle fashion. Though Margie was someone else’s trash, I definitely transformed her into my new treasure!
For the love of Fluegasms,