Fred’s Shoes+ offers a variety of services — including fashioning shoes from scratch
By Kelley Carlson
At Fred’s Shoes+, Wilfredo “Fred” Moreno takes the extra steps needed to ensure his customers’ needs are met.
The Encinitas resident offers a number of services at his four-year-old business, including the creation of custom leather boots and orthopedic shoes. Moreno makes molds of people’s feet and tailors shoes to his customers’ specifications — solving the problems of those who have a difficult time finding footwear that looks nice and feels good.
“A lot of people ... don’t know what to do,” Moreno said. “We will make your shoes more comfortable.”
Although his company is relatively young, Moreno has been involved in his profession for more than 60 years. He acquired his skills by learning from family members in Italy, including his grandfather and father. Moreno added that his grandmother taught him how to stitch by hand.
Before opening Fred’s Shoes+, Moreno had a repair space in the back of Foot Care Systems, next to Vons in the Piazza Carmel Shopping Center. Several years ago, the owner sold the store to him, and Moreno realized his lifelong dream of owning a shop.
Today, Moreno and his son, Alex Moreno, continue to conduct their business in the space with the assistance of four employees.
Their most unique service is fashioning shoes from scratch. First, Fred Moreno creates plastic molds of a customer’s feet. Then shoe lasts — forms in the shape of feet — are adjusted to accommodate any irregularities a client may have in their feet. Moreno saves the pair of lasts, in case the person requests additional footwear in the future.
Finally, Moreno hand-makes the uppers — the parts of a shoe that cover the toes, the top and sides of the foot, and the back of the heel — with input from the customer. The shoes are constructed based on the color, type of material and style that the client desires. Heels are also adjusted to preference.
Furthermore, Moreno creates special orthotic insoles as needed.
Fred’s Shoes+ also specializes in riding boots. Moreno custom designs boot trees based on his clients’ needs, and also replaces zippers and adjusts boot tubes. In addition, he provides repair on all leather equestrian equipment.
Much more is offered at Fred’s Shoes+, besides custom footwear. For men, services are available for soles, heels, shine, insoles, toe and heel protector, rips and heel liner. As for women, the shop administers services for soles, heels, heel recover, recondition, insoles, rips, buckle and strap replacement, and satin dye.
Moreover, Moreno and his employees repair leather goods, including furniture, jackets and purses. From food, chemical and beverage stains; tears and rips; damage caused by pets; and puncture holes, Fred’s Shoes+ can assist clients. If re-dying is needed, Moreno can match or change the original color.
Fred’s Shoes+ has same-day service on most repairs, at no extra charge.
People who don’t have easy access to the store may mail in their items with a work order form, which can be obtained through the company’s website at www.fredshoerepair.com. The repaired items are shipped back to customers within five business days, for free.
“People send me shoes from all over the country,” from places such as Chicago and Miami, Moreno proudly noted.
But he also does a little bit of traveling himself, as he visits lawyers’ offices throughout Carmel Valley and shines shoes.
As for future plans, Moreno revealed that he intends to begin fashioning a line of men’s footwear.
Fred Shoes+, located at 3860 Valley Centre Drive, Suite 408, in Carmel Valley, is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, go to the website www.fredshoerepair.com, call (858) 232-7593 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Business Spotlight