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Arantxa Cedillo / Veras

The question

I love my Louboutin shoes, but the signature red soles are worn and scuffed. Can they be replaced?

The answer

The number of Louboutin knockoffs out there proves that it isn't impossible to reproduce the red finish on the leather soles of the pricey shoes. If you are, in fact, more concerned with status than quality, you can go online and buy kits that provide shiny red adhesive tape you can cut to fit any sole and thereby turn any shoe, briefly, into a luxury look-alike. The Louboutin company itself warns that the lacquer finish on its soles is delicate; these shoes just aren't meant for walking in. However, you can buy a red touch-up paint (from a British site called Save Your Sole). Any good cobbler can also stick on a thin red rubber half-sole that will cover the worn area, be a near-perfect colour match and still leave the designer's imprint on the leather under the arch visible. This is your best fix – if the rubber layer is thin enough, it will be detectable only on close examination.

Russell Smith is a novelist. His recent memoir, Blindsided , is available as a Kobo e-book. Have a fashion question? E-mail