I am located in Lexington, VA. We used to have a repair shop that would replace zippers in tall dressage boots, but they no longer perform this service. I am looking for a repair shop in driving distance- say north to Harrisonburg, south to Roanoke, east to Charlottesville. Anyone know of a repair shop in this area? Thanks!
Sorry, I don't live in your area but I learned an expensive lesson about dealing with a boot repair person I didn't know. Maybe my experience will help you if you take your boots to a dealer you aren't familiar with.
I took my daughter's Ariats into a boot repair shop that had been recommended through a friend. The proprietor spoke little English, but he was able to convey to me that he had worked on boots that cost $1,000 and had put many zippers and gussets in riding boots.
I showed him the boots, which already had a small gusset in them and asked him to put in a larger gusset instead to replace the small one because my daughter needed a bit more room in the calf. I was very polite but he had a very edgy attitude, and in between taking a bunch of calls on his cell phone (!) he told me he knew what to do and had no trouble demanding $90 up front. He definitely had an anti-woman-telling-him-what-to-do or anti-American outlook, but I really needed those boots so I paid and left them.
When I went to pick up the boots two weeks later, I was horrified to find that he had put an enormous 6" gusset of black elastic on the outside of the boot, ruining them. When I recovered from the shock, I told him that the boots were ruined and that wasn't what we talked about at all. He went berserk, yelling at me in Arabic and getting so angry, I have to admit that like a wimp, I ran out of the store with the boots and just wrote it off as a loss.
The moral of the story is: put a piece of masking tape exactly where you want the zipper, gusset or repair and get it all in writing! Pay for a deposit, but don't pay it all up front. And if you get the feeling that the guy at the store is a weirdo, don't leave your boots!
Chuck Pinnell recommended a place in Virginia Beach. (George's Shoe Repair) I shipped my daughter's down there on Thursday. They should have arrived on Friday. When I called him last week, he said there would be no problem getting them back to me before Middleburg Classic. He quoted me "around $125", saying could be a bit more or a bit less - that he wouldn't know until he saw them.