What is a Shoe Cobbler? Overview & 5 Facts

A shoe cobbler is an artisan who creates and repairs custom shoes and boots. There are various types of shoe cobblers, but they all work to preserve and repair uppers made of leather or fabric.

This article describes in detail what a shoe cobbler is, where to find one, and how to repair your shoes using shoemaking tools. 

What is a Shoe Cobbler?

A cobbler is an artisan who specializes in shoe repair. Historically, these individuals also produced shoes; however, they now focus primarily on shoe repair and restoration rather than shoe production.

What is a Shoe Cobbler?

In regions without cobblers, individuals may ship or mail their shoes to be repaired and reconditioned. A cobbler can repair a pair of shoes for a fraction of the cost of a new pair, resulting in substantial savings.

Cobblers have been making shoes for generations, and cobbling is one of the oldest occupations in the world. In the past, this individual sold shoes and provided shoe repair services to customers.

With careful resoling, refinishing, and minor repairs, a single pair of shoes can last at least a decade and provide the wearer with a substantial amount of mileage.

Roles Of a Shoe Cobbler

In addition to resoling, shoemakers may also stretch, resurface, contour, and reheel footwear. They may work with wood, jute, leather, synthetics, cotton, and other materials necessary for shoe production, and many offer additional services such as shoe coloring, relacing, etc.

What is a Shoe Cobbler?

Shoemakers deal with vintage shoes, expensive shoes, and everyday shoes belonging to devoted or thrifty owners.

Many of these individuals have been in the shoe repair business for multiple generations, and business is typically brisk during economic downturns, when people seek out cost-cutting measures, such as shoe repair, as opposed to purchasing new shoes.

How long does it take to train a Shoe Cobbler?

Approximately four years are required to become a cobbler. This training entails learning how to use all the necessary equipment in the field, as well as gaining experience with various shoe repair techniques by working with a wide variety of shoes.

The majority of shoe cobblers receive apprenticeship training, often with family members, and they may work independently or in groups. The prices for services are typically low, as cobblers rely on volume to make a living by constructing a large number of pairs of shoes each week.

Is it Difficult totFind a Shoe Cobbler?

Generally, using a phone book to locate a cobbler is simple. A number of websites offer mail-order shoe repair services and shoe care information for those who are not in the area. A cobbler in a nearby village may also be willing to accept shoes sent by mail from a customer unwilling to travel a great distance.

What is a Shoe Cobbler?

11 Common Shoe Problems a Shoe Cobbler Can Fix

Pinched Toe or Tight Heel

A cobbler can use a stretching machine to loosen slightly too-tight shoes or boots that you have purchased. The best part is that the shoe does not need to be stretched entirely. If only one area is causing you discomfort, only that area will be stretched.

DIY alternatives: At home, wear your shoes or boots with your heaviest socks. Alternatively, pour a bag of water into the footbed of a pair of shoes or boots and freeze them. When the water freezes, the shoe will get stretched out.

Slippery or Worn-Out Sole

A cobbler can add non-slip rubber soles to your shoes and boots. Moreover, rubber soles are more comfortable. Quality footwear can be resoled multiple times.

Cheaply made shoes, which typically wear out on the balls of the feet first, are significantly more difficult to resole, if not impossible. Another reason why purchasing durable, long-lasting shoes is recommended.

What is a Shoe Cobbler?

Broken, Ugly, or Wobbly Heel

The heel of a shoe can be repaired or replaced by a cobbler. A cobbler may, for instance, convert a traditional heel into a stiletto heel or a stiletto heel into a traditional heel.

In addition to being a preventative measure, a cobbler can add a heel tip to your current shoe to extend its life.

Stiff Insole

A cobbler may cushion the shoe’s insole and arch. Apparently, this is how Kate Middleton navigates the United Kingdom’s cobblestone roads and trails while wearing extremely thin shoes.

Smelly Shoes

Yes, a shoe cobbler can clean and recondition your shoes and boots. Even though there are commercial and do-it-yourself treatments that can be used at home, sometimes the condition is too severe to be treated at home.

Not Water/Weatherproof

The exterior of any shoe or boot can be waterproofed. Those in the northeast and midwest who experience slush during the winter, as well as those in the northwest who experience rain, will find this useful.

Too Wide or Too Narrow

A cobbler can lengthen or shorten the shaft of a boot to accommodate calves of various widths. If you find the ideal pair of boots, but they appear to be designed for someone a few inches taller than you, they may shorten the shaft of the boot. This necessitates repositioning the zipper, reducing the length of the shaft, and adding or replacing the elastic.

What is a Shoe Cobbler?

Straps Too Long or Too Short

The straps of your sandals with straps or slingbacks can be shortened or lengthened by a cobbler if they are too long or too short. In addition, inserts can be added so that the straps do not irritate your skin.


A cobbler is an artisan who creates shoes for individuals with special needs and disabilities. Helping these individuals walk better or even live a normal life is their art. A cobbler has a unique skill set, but the profession is difficult. Being a shoemaker requires considerable effort and devotion.


Cobblers mend shoes, tidy them up, and even replace damaged parts. So, if your shoes are very expensive or are just a little scuffed on the soles, you might not want to throw them away and instead practice some shoe care.
Trades that engage in shoemaking have included the cordwainer’s and cobbler’s trades. The term cobbler was originally used pejoratively to indicate that someone did not know their craft; in the 18th century it became a term for those who repaired shoes but did not know enough to make them.
A cobbler is someone who fixes shoes. A cobbler is also a type of fruit pie.
At one time, shoemakers/cordwainers were the skilled artisans tasked with making shoes out of brand new leather, while cobblers were the ones who repaired shoes.
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Pat Moriarty
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