In modern times, people have forgone the way of quality shoes in favor of wasting money on cheaply made products that fall apart after a few wears. When those shoes call it kaput, the wearer simply repeats the cycle by throwing their money at another pair of cheap shoes. And so it goes.
However if you buy a great pair of Italian leather shoes, you can actually break this cycle. Yes, quality leather shoes are also bound to show wear and tear after some time. You don’t buy great shoes because they are invincible. The reason you invested in a pair of quality handmade shoes is so you can continue to love them long after a pair of cheap shoes calls it quits. You just have to find the right cobbler.
A cobbler is a trained expert in the art of making and repairing shoes. They are able to fix shoes by replacing the soles or retouching the leather, which gives new life to a pair of old favorites. While their services aren’t free, going to a cobbler to fix a pair of worn down shoes is almost always more cost effective than buying a completely new pair. But because we live in a society fascinated by the disposable, the occupation has all but been forgotten. This leaves some people a bit lost when it comes to finding the right cobbler.
When you are looking for a new cobbler in your area, check out what other people are saying about their services. Nowadays it’s easy to find reviews… just check online review sites like Yelp. Of course, these sites have a tendency to lean towards the negative. People are much more likely to take the time to write out a review if they feel they’ve been wronged or slighted. Your best bet is to ask your well-dressed friends or coworkers who they trust with their shoes. You are more likely to get an honest review from someone you trust.
If you have found someone with a good recommendation, don’t be afraid to ask for a visual example. Preferably, they can bring you a shoe that had the same work done to it that you need for your own pair. When you look at the example, pay close attention to the stitching, trimming, dyeing-match, sole placement, and the general feel of the shoe after it’s been repaired. If the shoe feels solid and the stitching is smooth and even, you have found a quality cobbler.
Of course, when it comes to any service it’s not all about the finished product. You want to find a cobbler that you are able to communicate with. If they are unwilling to listen to what you want, all the skills in the world won’t leave you happy with your cobbler. Take the time to meet with him and chat before you commit to leaving your Italian leather shoes with a stranger. Ask about their experience, pricing, and whether or not their work is done in-house or if it’s outsourced. If you don’t take the time to ask these questions you don’t have much of a leg to stand on if you are unhappy with their service.
Not quite at the point where you need shoe repair? Buy yourself even more time with everyday shoe care that prolongs the life of your favorite handmade leather shoes.