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Thread: Shoe repair questions

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    Shoe repair questions

    This is kind of a novice question but here goes. I have a bunch of nice Goodyear welted shoes, and for the first time ever need to take one in to be resoled. Having never done this before, I know the most important thing is to find a reputable local cobbler with good recommendations. Assuming that, what's the right way to talk to a cobbler about the work I want done? For example, will a good cobbler know to put on an appropriate new sole to the welt? I've heard the occasional horror story of a cobbler gluing a sole on, defeating the purpose of the welt. How about the heel? should this be part of the discussion?

    Any other advice on how to "speak the language" of a cobbler would be appreciated!

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    What i would do first is consider calling and ask their basic process. I have a few welted shoes and wish to replace the sole etc.? Also do you all do heel work, if so how do you determine what changes are needed?

    If it doesn't match-up, etc. then don't go in. It's your business and your money. You don't have to speak their language, they need to communicate to you the customer in your language to earn your business.

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    I am not close to needing a resole on some of my GYW shoes but here is my thought process when it comes to that. 1. Does the manufacturer offer resoling? If so, go there. 2. If not, what was the price of the shoe? Expensive, find a local or online cobbler to send to. Cheaper? Potentially just add a topy and be done.

    My cheaper shoes are from Bexley and were only $120. The leather quality leads me to want to look for another pair of shoes vs. resoling.

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    I second the suggestion of checking to see if the manufacturers of your GYW shoes offer resoling services. I've had good luck with AE's recrafting/resoling service. If the manufacturers of your shoes don't offer resoling services and you can't find a good local option, I'd suggest taking a look at B. Nelson (NYC). A couple of years back, I sent some GYW shoes that were in need of new soles to B. Nelson and I was happy with the results.

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    Some of the "horror stories" I've read online pictured shoes that were far gone to the point where cementing on the sole was probably the right call. That is, if you wear through your shoes to the point that they are damaged, it's not like a cobbler can remake the entire shoe for $75.

    Also, depending on where you live, we might know of a good cobbler. In Los Angeles, for example, there is Willie's Shoe Service.

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    I think the question to ask the cobbler is "do you have a Goodyear welt sewing machine?".

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    A machine isn't necessary. AE and most cobblers use a machine to stitch on the new sole, and often do a butcher job on the upper/welt area in the process. This is why AE limits recrafts to a total of three. A specialty cobber who reuses the existing stitching holes will be able to resole your shoe several times without issue. This really only matters if you intend to get decades of life out of the shoe, which requires a time investment on the part of the owner to maintain the upper. I'm fortunate to have a local-ish cobbler who is an Alden dealer and competes in 'shoe recrafting competitions' (yeah, that's a thing.) There is also a number of specialty cobblers who frequent the Allen Edmonds Enthusiast group on FB. My local cobbler charges the same price as AE for a recraft, but he includes a JR sole at that price and he won't butcher the upper in the process.

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