Friday, February 12, 2010

Remote cobblers make shoes last

"Last"—yes, a pun. A shoe pun. How often do you read one of those?
Oh, never mind. (The last is part of a shoe.)

Sarah E. Needleman, WSJ, Feb 11, 2010, says women bought more than 700,000 pairs of shoes in 2009, men, half that many.

Still, shoe repair shops are becoming scarce. There used to be 120,000 in the 30s. Now we are down to 7,000.

Now many cobblers and repairmen have websites—you send the shoes in with instructions. Check out Resole America, American Heelers, NuShoe, and Great Lakes Shoe & Orthopedic Service.

They send you the boxes and shipping materials—you fill it in and send off the kicks.

The reporter tested them on the basics—new soles and heels. Some threw in polishing and waterproofing.

One job was soles for cowboy boots--$70 with $15 or $20 shipping depending on your location.

Another one had free shipping—she sent some worn out pumps and let the cobbler decide what they needed. They came back much better--$44.

Some responded and whipped the shoes out. Some took their time. Like any other eBay or online service, I guess.

Where is that corner guy? I used to get scraps of leather there to make sandals for my Barbies.

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