If your shoes aren’t looking their best, or you’re unable to wear a pair of shoes due to wear-and-tear, consider a visit to your local cobbler. Cobblers can extend the life of your favorite pair of shoes. If you need a basic re-sole, new tips for your high heels, or need those tall boots stretched just a bit to accommodate both your leg and a sock, a cobbler is for you. Good shoes can be expensive, so consider having them repaired and re-soled before you throw them out.
Here are our top tips for considering cobblers in your area:
That depends. Some go the route of, if it is more expensive to repair the shoe than to replace it, then it is best to replace it. Another thing to consider is to take care of the shoes you already have and love to wear. Finding comfortable shoes can take time and there is no guarantee that the shoes you are wearing today will be available in the future.
Prices for shoe repairs vary depending on your area, but most cobblers offer these basic services, which in general, cost less than a pair of good shoes.
Half-sole – the bottom of your shoe from the mid-point forward to the toe. Cost $40-55
Full-sole – the full length of the bottom of your shoe, including the heel. Cost $45-90
Heels – just the heel. $25-35
Stiletto heels – the small, usually plastic tip of your stiletto heels. Cost $5-15
Stiletto heel reconstruction – Did the heel snap right off? Have a heart-to-heart conversation with your cobbler. Cost $60-100
Shoe stretching –stretch shoes up to a half size, or up to 0.5” through the leg and calf. Cost $15-45
Waterproofing – you can easily do this at home, however if you have materials like suede or calf hair, it is best to go with a professional. Cost $18-28
Shoe shine and leather conditioning – typically an add-on service while you’re getting new soles. Cost $8-$20
Shoe repairs mostly, but cobblers can do more than save your old cowboy boots. In addition to patching, stitching, re-soling, conditioning and shining your beloved boots and dress shoes. Cobblers also create custom shoes to accommodate orthopedic issues and leg length discrepancies. Call ahead for a quote or a recommendation if what you need is outside of their basic services.
When your shoe gets re-soled, the outer sole (the part you walk on) is replaced. If your soles are worn thin, cracked, or coming unattached from the rest of your shoe, it is time for a new sole. Cobblers give you a choice between leather and rubber soles. Both are durable, but there are tradeoffs. While leather soles give you elegance and formality, rubber soles give you flexibility and extra traction in the rain and snow. Sneakers and ballet flats are shoes that have a “cup sole” and typically can’t be re-soled. Hiking boots and rock climbing shoes on the other hand can be re-soled. In the Seattle area, Dave Page is highly recommended by both customers and brands like REI, Montrail, and Merrell.
Becoming a cobbler isn’t exactly a popular profession in 2020, but it is a popular service. Cobblers can book up quickly and the turnaround time can vary from same-day to a few weeks. If you can manage a little bit of advanced planning, we recommend taking in your favorite winter boots and rain boots in during the summer, and rotating in sandals and high heels for later in the winter.
Yes. Cobblers are an excellent resource for more than just repairing and re-soling your shoes. Cobblers are known to work on strap and hardware repairs, Velcro, and zippers. The cobblers at Broadway Shoe Repair in the Capitol Hill neighborhood saved a much-loved laptop bag strap with minutes with a few critical stitches.