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February 4th, 2009

Be a Recessionista: Visit a Cobbler

OK, so you’re rolling your eyes at the thought that a shoe retailer’s blogger would promote the idea of making your shoes last. But hear me out. I just have your best look in mind, and with the current economic situation, it’s best to be prepared, and make those stellar pieces last. You can stretch the life of your shoes by repairing them whenever possible.

Traditionally, shoes were made by a cordwainer and repaired by a cobbler. Before the widespread industrial manufacture of footwear, there were neighborhood cobblers on every corner. In fact, as the Shoe Beautician reports, in the 1960s there were 80,000 cobblers in the US. Now, that number has dropped to 7,500. The recession may be helping to reverse that trend– some cobblers are enjoying a 50% increase in business thanks to the recession. You can find one near you by searching here.

Just what can a cobbler fix? Here are a list of common shoe repairs:

  • Broken heels may be replaced or repaired.
  • Shoes may be stretched if they are too tight.
  • Heels may be swapped out or shortened.
  • Ripped seams or worn out areas may be replaced.
  • Submit your own shoe repair question here to learn how the Shoe Service Institute of America would fix it.

In other words, once you find a good cobbler, there’s no reason to throw out that beloved pair. Huzzah!

Now that you don’t have to buy a replacement pair, how will you use that extra spending money? (You knew it was coming…) How about putting it toward a pair of boots that could last you a lifetime: Dirty Laundry by Seychelles, shown above. I love how this boot brings together country and rock and roll. That sort of flexibility makes it a classic boot which you’ll love to wear for years to come. (Especially if you pamper your pair with regular trips to the cobbler!)


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