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We could tell you all about how incredible we are - but sometimes it's better to let other people to the speaking for you.

Zippin' up my boots

There is another solution if you're determined to clad your calves in leather. George at KG shoes (253 Eversholt Street, London,  NW1 1BA, 020 7387 2234, can work wonders on too-wide and too-slim boots. He says that if you can do the zip up, then walk for a few minutes in the boots, that may stretch the leather. However, if they're much too tight take them to him and he can stretch them by at least an inch using a heated boot-stretcher (yes really!), but this works best if the lining is also leather. Boot stretching costs a reasonable £15.00.

If baggy boots are the problem, George can also sort this out although it involves major surgery and so prices start at £75. The process involves fitting the boot to your calf by taking the top section apart, taking in the back seam and reconstructing it, all totally invisibly. Your boots should be in safe hands, KG's clients include numerous Bond Street shops, design houses and department stores.


Shopping and Services p69

We recommend this 60 year old family business for top quality shoe repairs at very reasonable prices and so does Gucci - it's the official London hospital for the famous Italian loafers. It's a good place for luggage repairs too. Offer world wide postal delivery.


The Best Cobblers: Thoroughbreds

Former shoe-maker George Zorlakkis has more experience in shoe repairs than most. His father started the business in 1954 at KG Shoes 253 Eversholt Street, NW1 1BA. He specialises in trade repairs for Gucci, Kurt Geiger, Bally, Charles Jourdan and Timberland, mends leather handbags and luggage and makes riding boots. His strangest request came from a circus stilt-walker who wanted new soles of a foot and a half added to his four foot high boots. "It needed two of us to lift them," recalls George.

Postal service. Open Mon to Fri 08:00 - 17:30 and Sat 08:30 - 13:00.


Perfect Thing - Well Heeled Shoe Repairs, Edwina Ings-Chambers, p12

Gucci trusts them, as does Soho Shoes, and if your loafers are in need of some sole you should too. What Cypriot Kyriacos Zorlakkis started in 1954 as a made to measure shoe service became a leather repair store in 1981 when son George took over. He'll restore your favourite pavement pounders to their original condition. Everyday heels can go round the corner but for your favourite footwear it's worth walking that extra mile. Or at least using its postal service. KG shoe and luggage repairs, 253 Eversholt St, London, NW1 1BA tel: 020 7387 2234


Tricks of the Trade, by Anna Selby, p155

Speaking of restoration, a few years ago a much-loved leather travelling bag died. Its handle came off, rendering it totally useless, though in other respects it was as food as ever. In the end I very reluctantly had to discard it because I could find no-one to put it back together. Where had all the old - pardon the expression - cobblers gone? Turned into heel bars. Every one it seemed.

Had I known it KG Shoes in Camden could have solved my problems. George Zorlakkis now runs his father's shop "He opened the first one in 1954 and I've been working here on Saturdays since I was 8. We work for all the top fashion houses, altering and repairing shoes. But we work on anything leather and do things no else can: reline handbags, make new straps identical to old ones, we've even done the tops of sports cars. A woman brought in a ruined jacket - a Joseph, I think. I got my tailor to copy it and she said it was better than the original fit - material, everything."

It's the only shoe repairers in London that cuts its own leather soles from a bend (the skin) and it uses traditional craftsmanship.