Tag Archives: shoe care

Back-to-school checklist for shoe repair shops 

This time of year means kids of all ages are heading back to school—and along with them, lots of gear and supplies that may need fixing and polishing. 

We’ve put together a list of common shoe repair and shoe care needs that come up during the back-to-school season.

Review our handy checklist and your shop will be ready for anything your customers ask for this fall:  

Fix a broken backpack

Backpacks are the essential back-to-school supply. Every student needs one and possibly has a favorite with a broken zipper or ripped leather that they can’t bear to part with. Stock up on zippers, sliders, snaps, leather skins, leather strapping, awls, needles and other findings to help them hang onto to their prized possession. 

Clean up my (sneaker) act

Athletic shoes can get dirty and dingy over the summer. Make sure your customers are heading back to school in style by stocking an athletic shoe shampoo (like this one from Ralyn) as well as Sneaker Rescue shoe wipes to keep sneakers looking good on-the-go. 

Waterproof shoes for class-hopping

Students have to venture out in all types of weather during the school year. Make sure you are stocked with a weatherproofing spray, such as Ralyn Aquatec or Moneysworth & Best Campmate Pro-Tex.

Resole a favorite pair of shoes

Kids and adults alike tend to become attached to a favorite pair of shoes. Help your customer get more wear out of their favorite pair with new soles. We recommend Soletech and SVIG full or half soles, which are available in a variety of textures. 

Eliminate the sneaker stink

When gym class is back in session, shoes are bound to get stinky. Help your customers destroy foot odor with the innovative new Ralyn DeoSole shoe deodorizing patch. Or for everyday freshening, the Ralyn Shoe Deodorizer spray. 

Make athletic activities more comfy

Daily sports practices can wreak havoc on a pair of shoes and make them uncomfortable. Stock up on a variety of sports-inspired insoles and orthotics to suggest to your customers, such as the Sneaker Magic Step, Viva Sport and Viva Sneaker by Pedag, as well Powerstep’s Pinnacle Junior, which is made just for kids.

Polish up interviewing skills—and shoes 

Help recent grads make a good impression in their first interview or job by shining up their shoes. Make sure you have all the shoe shine accessories you need, such as shoe polish, shine brushes, shine cloths and fully-stocked shine boxes. And don’t forget to send them home with a DIY solution like the Ralyn Leather Shine Sponge or Angelus Instant Shine.

With a little help from you, your customers will be ready to shine this school year!

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Made in USA—we proudly support local shoe and foot care businesses

Manufacturing Marketing magazine recently published an issue devoted to USA-made products, including 6th-generation Annin Flagmakers who has been manufacturing USA flags since 1847.

Here at Justin Blair, we have been partnering with locally-made companies since we started our business over 40 years ago.  On the heels of Independence Day in the USA, we would like to acknowledge the shoe care and foot care products we carry that are made in the USA and the manufacturers we partner with who manufacture many (or all) of their products locally.

We also manufacture many of our own products locally, including more than three-quarters of our Ralyn Shoe Care line.

Core Products

Core Products’ best-selling Tri-Core Cervical Pillow and Soft Comfort CorPak Hot & Cold Therapy packs are manufactured at their industrial sewing and textile manufacturing facility in Wisconsin.

Plastazote Sheets

We convert Plastazote—a latex-free, non-toxic and hypoallergenic foam used for orthotic formation that is free from all residual chemicals—in-house in our Chicago facility. As a result of manufacturing locally, we can assure the highest quality—as well as produce custom sheets, strips, or laminates in any size.

Ralyn Shoe Care

Ralyn Shoe Care, our in-house line, is made for shoe care professionals by industry experts. More than 80% of our line is manufactured in the USA, including our top-sellers, Ralyn Aquatec, Ralyn Leather Lotion and Ralyn PediMates.

Disposable Foot Sox

Our brand of disposable foot sox is manufactured at our partner’s dedicated hosiery plant in North Carolina. We sell a range of foot sox used by top footwear retailers, from the top-selling Women’s Disposable Foot Sox, to specialty foot sox such as Men’s Disposable Foot Sox, Disposable Cushioned Athletic Sox and Disposable Trouser Sox.

Join us in celebrating and supporting these manufacturers whose products are MADE IN THE USA!

 

Ralyn Shoe Care makeover: how we updated a local shoe care kiosk

 

We recently did a “makeover” on the Shoe Hospital shoe care kiosk in the B Concourse of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The kiosk offers travelers a quick shoe shine, as well as grab-and-go shoe care products. With a record-setting 79+ million travelers passing through O’Hare each year, we wanted to help Shoe Hospital attract as many potential shoppers as possible, so we upgraded their kiosk with a selection of Ralyn Shoe Care products to appeal to the on-to-go traveler. 

Whether travelers are seeking comfort or needing a quick shoe upgrade, the Shoe Hospital kiosk now offers Ralyn Shoe Care insoles, shoe shapers, travel shine kits and shoelaces—plus our new DeoSole shoe deodorizing inserts and fitting aids to improve shoe fit and comfort (perfect for travelers on long flights).

See our full line of Ralyn Shoe Care products. 

To schedule a shoe care makeover for your kiosk or shop, reach out to one of our sales representatives. 

Tips for protecting shoes in rainy weather 

Spring showers mean May flowers—but they can also wreak havoc on shoes. Make sure your customers are prepared for rainy weather with these easy weather protection tips.

Weatherproof them

mink oil productwill condition the leather and also make it water repellent (not waterproof, so you still want to limit the shoe’s exposure to water).

For ultimate protection, choose a weather protection spray such as Ralyn Aquatec or Moneysworth & Best Pro-Tex Camp Spray. It adds a water-repellant layer to the shoe—causing water to bead up rather than soaking into the leather.

Cover them up

For total rain protection of dress shoes, good-old rubber overshoes are the way to go. They are 100% waterproof, lightweight and reusable—and also offer extra traction on slippery walking surfaces.

If shoes do get soaked

If shoes get soaked, always let them dry naturally. Never use a heat source to dry (i.e radiator, hair dryer) as this can dry out and damage the leather.

Stuff the inside of the shoes with newspaper and allow them to dry overnight. Inserting a pair of plastic shoe shapers or boot tree will help them retain their shape and prevent shrinkage as they dry.

Treat the leather

If shoes have gotten wet, the leather may become dry or brittle. A leather balm or  leather lotion will soften and condition the leather, bringing it back to life.

Questions about which weather protection products you should offer your customers? Give us a call or email.

NEW PRODUCT: DeoSole odor-destroying shoe patch

DeoSole shoe odor patch

We’ve added a new product to our Ralyn Shoe Care line: DeoSole® odor-destroying shoe patch.

The DeoSole patch uses a unique carbon laminate odor-neutralizing technology that offers up to 3 months protection against shoe odor. The compact size fits easily in all types of footwear and is easy to apply—just peel and stick the patch inside shoes.

DeoSole odor-destroying shoe patch

Makes a great addition to your shoe care accessories display or countertop for impulse purchase at checkout. Sold in units of 12.

Contact us to learn more about DeoSole and to place an order.

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Tips for protecting shoes in winter weather

It’s that time of year: snow, sleet and slush will be upon us (or should I say, our shoes). Do your customers know how to protect their shoes against winter weather?

Start with a silicone

The first line of defense is an offense: brush on a liquid silicone, like Ralyn Liquid Silicone, which repels water from shoes and keeps leather soft.

Spray on heavy-duty protection

Prepare for the worst winter has to offer with a high-tech weather protector spray like Ralyn Aquatec. A spray is easily applied and thoroughly protects the entire surface of shoes, boots and apparel against rain, snow and slush—it even prevents salt stains. See Ralyn Aquatec in action in this product demo video.

Offer a natural solution

Are customers looking for a natural weather protection solution? A natural beeswax product like Sno Seal protects leather shoes and boots from rain, snow and salt. Regularly applying a wax will also extend the life of your shoes, and it can be used in conjunction with your regular shoe polish.

Take special precautions with suede

Suede shoes are especially susceptible to winter’s effects. Make sure to only use a product especially made for suede, such as Ralyn Suede & Nubuck Aquatec. Note that waxes should not be used on suede.

If you can’t protect ’em—cover ’em

If shoes haven’t been protected or your customer often travels in wet weather, you may want to suggest a pair of overshoes. Made of rubber and 100% waterproof, they fit over dress shoes and provide a physical barrier to moisture, as well as extra traction in wet weather.

And what to do if they do get wet…

If shoes do get wet, let them air dry—don’t use a heat source to dry them. And pack them with newsletter or use a wooden shoe tree to preserve the shape.

A good weather protection program will keep your customers’ shoes looking good throughout the winter season. Come springtime, they will be thanking you!

We carry a full line of weather protection from our in-house brand Ralyn Shoe Care as well as several other high-quality brands. Pick up everything you need for winter at our November 18 or December 16 meet and greets at our Chicago warehouse. RSVP on our Facebook page. 

Get your shoe store ready for winter weather

Is your shoe store or shoe repair shop ready for winter weather?

Stop by our Chicago warehouse for one of our upcoming Meet and Greets on Sunday, November 18 and Sunday, December 16, where you can meet our staff, learn more about our shoe repair and shoe care products and shop for those all-important weather protection products.

We have a large selection of everything you need for winter weather: shoe and boot protector sprays (such as Ralyn Aquatec and Tarrago Nano Protector), silicones and desalters (we carry Ralyn and Angelus brands), cleaners and shampoos. We also have a large selection of Tingley Overshoes.

We carry all of your other shoe repair and care needs, such as leather and rubber soles, shoe creams and dyes, dowels, abrasives, brushes (including personalized options), shoe laces, needles and thread. Plus the largest selection of shoe polish in the Midwest!

We will also be doing demos of Shoe Systems Plus Supreme Machines Shoe Repair & O&P Lab equipment in our showroom.

Bring your shopping list and stock your shelves before the snow and salt hits the ground!

RSVP for our November 18th or December 16th Meet and Greets on our Facebook page. Please note the dates are a bit earlier than usual due to holidays.

Email or call us with any questions or special requests before you stop by.

See you there!

Meet your new shoe repair supplier in Chicago!

Justin Blair Shoe Repair Aisles

Midwest shoe repair shops and shoe stores: Looking for a one-stop-shop supplier? Stop by our grand opening & open house on Sunday, March 25th and meet us!

Our staff, including industry veterans Justin Bennett and Mark Sheehan, will be on hand to answer product questions and help you shop thousands of professional-quality products.

Justin Blair & Company is proud to serve the Chicago and Midwest shoe repair and shoe care market with products from national brands, including our in-house manufactured brand, Ralyn Shoe Care (most products are made in the USA).

We carry all of these essential shoe care and shoe repair supplies:

  • Abrasives
  • Adhesives
  • Brushes
  • Cleaners
  • Crepe
  • Dowels
  • Dyes
  • Foot Care
  • Laces
  • Leather
  • Machinery
  • Needles
  • Polish – we have the largest selection in the Midwest!
  • Rubber
  • Thread
  • Tools
  • Zippers

Shoe Systems Plus, Inc. will be on hand with a machine show to demonstrate their latest shoe repair equipment. Plus day-of-event orders will receive 10% OFF (cash/credit card only). And don’t miss our raffle for two Amazon Echo Dots and one 32” HD TV!

Justin Blair & Company Grand Opening & Open House
Sunday, March 25, 2018
8 am – 3 pm
3028 S. Kilbourn Ave., Chicago, IL 60623
Get directions

Questions? Call us at (800) 566-0664 and ask for Mark.

RSVP for the event here or just stop by.

We welcome you to experience a new type of shoe repair supplier!

RECAP: 2017 NSRA Leadership Conference

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth at the National Shoe Retailers Association 2017 Leadership Conference last month in Memphis, Tennessee. We enjoyed meeting new people, as well as reconnecting with current customers. 

We were excited to hear that overall shoe retailers are feeling upbeat and optimistic about their brick-and-mortar businesses. According to this article by VAMP, staying on top of the competition by adding unique, new offerings and elevating the customer experience is working for shoe retailers. And with some shoe stores featuring 2nd- and even 3rd-generation owners, there is much to be hopeful about in the shoe industry.

One of our new product offerings that had people excited is our Custom Imprint Program. In addition to our imprinted plastic shoe horns, we now offer metal shoe horns and wooden shine brushes imprinted with a logo or store name. With low quantities and small runs, it’s an easy and economical way for shoe retailers to promote their shops and stand out from the competition. Download our Custom Imprint Program brochure here. 

Our experienced customer service department is here to help you help you grow your business. Reach out to us with questions about our imprint program—or let’s talk about other ways we can improve your customer experience.

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RECAP: August footwear trade shows

August was a busy month with Justin Blair territory managers David Bryan and Dan Beal attending two footwear tradshows, Northwest Shoe Travelers 2017 Buying Market and Kansas City Shoe Show.

In addition to seeing our entire Ralyn Shoe Care line of professional shoe care products, customers were eager to see the Pedifix P17 display, a 2-sided countertop spinner that gives your customers fast and easy access to Pedifix foot care products.

Customers were also intrigued by the Orthosleeve FS6, a compression foot sleeve that helps reduce swelling, improve circulation, and relieve foot pain.

Sign up on our email list to hear about future trade shows.